How To Grow Your Own Microgreens In 7 Easy Steps
Think microgreens are only for fancy schmancy restaurants? Think again! With a handful of seeds, soil, water, and sun, start growing your own right at home. Here’s how to grow your own microgreens in 7 easy steps.
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Why all the fuss about microgreens? I’ve personally been sold on sprouts and microgreens ever since 2010 when I went on a raw food health kick that got rid of my fatigue, kicked my anxiety to the curb, cleared up my skin, and sharpened my mental clarity. (Read more about it here.) Microgreens boast an excellent nutritional value and are packed with enzymes that facilitate digestion. They’re easy to grow, they can be harvested even in the dead of winter, and are much cheaper than store-bought microgreens. It’s like growing your own multi-vitamin pills right at home. If you want access to fresh food year-round and practice or fine-tune your gardening skills, try to grow your own microgreens!
- Organic microgreen seeds. (We buy ours in bulk from High Mowing Organic Seeds.)*
- Filtered water
- Jar sprouter or bowl
- Containers (shallow + food grade, like take-out boxes or 10x20 trays)
- Drip trays (if your containers have holes)
- Organic potting soil or organic seed-starting mix
- Unbleached paper towels or soy-ink newspaper
- A windowsill that receives light most of the day (or grow lamps)
Before starting, make sure your house is at room temperature and to wash your hands and your equipment. It’s easiest to wait for the evening before starting, because the seeds will need to soak 8-12 hours.
How to Grow Your Own Microgreens in 7 Easy Steps:
Step 1: Measure the seed quantity
- If you’re using a 3”x 6” microgreens growing container, place 1 tbsp. of large seeds (i.e. sunflowers, peas) or 2 tsp. of small seeds (radishes, broccoli) in your jar sprouter (or bowl) and screw on the lid. (If you want to guesstimate this step, you can.)
Step 2: Rinse seeds
- Pour cool filtered water through the sprouter lid (or in the bowl) onto your seeds
- Swish seeds around, rinsing them well
- Let the water drain out of your jar (or pour it out of the bowl)
Step 3: Soak seeds overnight (optional but highly recommended)
- Add more filtered water to your jar (or bowl), making sure there’s at least 2x as much water in volume
- Let seeds soak at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 8-12 hours
- Pour off water in the morning (after 8-12h) (Your houseplants will love that water!)
The first 3 steps are the same for sprouting. To learn how to sprout, click here.
Step 4: Seed transfer
- Rinse seeds with fresh water
- Add 1.5-2 inches of soil to your containers, leaving at least ¼ inch of space at the top
- Gently level out the soil with your fingers
- Add seeds evenly in one layer on the soil: they should be touching but not overlapping (use a spoon to help spread small seeds)
Step 5: Add a protective cover
- Fold soy-ink newspaper or unbleached paper towels to fit the shape of your container
- Let it soak in a bowl of cool water
- Remove it, squeeze it so it isn’t dripping
- Place it on top of your seeds, pressing down very gently
- Leave the cover there for 3-4 days without watering. Place your drip trays under your containers at this point, if your containers have holes.
Step 6: Sunlight
- After 3-4 days, the plants’ yellow cotyledons appear; they’re pushing the protective cover up
- Take the cover off
- Place the containers on your windowsill
Step 7: Watering
- Water your plants 1-2 times a day (make sure soil is moist not wet)
- Let your greens grow 1-2 more weeks
That’s it! Now you can harvest your microgreens once they are 2” tall or more. Harvest only what you need, right when you need it to ensure your greens stay fresh and nutritious! Enjoy them in salads, on sandwiches or in smoothies!
Give it a grow, and let us know about your experience in the comments below! What’s your favorite way to eat them?
Peace, microgreens, and macro-hugs,
Christelle & Cristina.
Permaculture Principles applied:
No need to get high-tech to grow microgreens! All you need is to recycle old food-grade containers, like take-out boxes, to use them as growing vessels. Make sure even your leftover soaking water has a purpose – your houseplants will thank you!
When we are too close to something, we don’t have the full picture. Are you looking to have a healthy and balanced diet? Is this why you wish to integrate microgreens in your life? Remember that sprouts and microgreens are only a part of the bigger picture and part of the solution for a healthier lifestyle: nothing alone is a panacea.
It might take you several weeks to grow your vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. But I promise you it’s much more fun and fulfilling this way than to buy packaged vitamins from the store.
When you grow microgreens, you’re receiving an abundant yield of living food, vitamins, and medicine. Take note of uncommonly noticed yields as well. Perhaps you’re developing, improving or practicing your food-growing skills and taking a first step towards gardening.
There is such a rich variety of microgreens to choose from, from leafy greens, to beans, and legumes. Pick and choose from all these categories for optimal nutrition.
If you’re interested in saving your own microgreen seeds, as opposed to purchasing them, consider growing some of your seeds to maturity.