Want to Grow Microgreens? Here's Where to Start
The MicroPro Microgreen Grow Kit has everything you need to grow any microgreen crop in a countertop sized tray system. We include the three most popular microgreen growing media to assure your success no matter what size seeds you are sowing.
Included in the Microgreen Grow Kit:
- Two 2 part tray sets (10x13")with two germination lids
- Two 1 qt Coir Wafers enough for 4 crops
- Two 10 x 20 jute pads enough for 4 crops
- Instructions for growing right on the band!
Meet The Famous Green and White Trays
You cannot beat our 2 part Green and White trays! They are the backbone of our MicroPro Microgreen growing system. Measuring a convenient 10x13 inches they are the perfect size for counter tops, windowsills, or racks. These trays allow you to grow your microgreen crops hydroponically with the white mesh tray that holds your seeds, nesting into the green bottom tray which serves as a reservoir providing water to the roots of your micros. And let me tell you.. the roots your seeds quickly produce, will grow right though the mesh, seek out that water, suck it up, and your microgreens will take off! Topping the nested trays is a germination lid that you will use to provide humidity as your seeds germinate.
Using the Mesh Tray As Your Microgreen Growing Media
If you are growing crops that start with larger seeds, like pea shoots (shown above) mung beans or sunflower, you can grow directly on the mesh without using any other media. Larger seeds need to soak overnight, just like you would soak dried beans. After soaking, rinse them well. Then place back into the bowl without water, topped with a damp cloth or damp paper towels and leave them another day to germinate. Putting them in a dark place will help! When they have little tails, like above, place them into the tray. Mist heavily, add some water to the reservoir, and put on the germination lid. Place them in a warm dark place for 2 to 4 days, misting twice daily and changing the water in the reservoir anytime you mist. By day 4, bring them into the light.
Using the Jute Felt Pads As Your Microgreen Growing Media
Seeds like radish, lettuces, cabbages and broccoli, may be too small to grow directly on the mesh. That's why we include the jute pads. Simply cut a 10X20 pad in half and wet it thoroughly in warm water. Jute felt is tough and can be treated like a rag. Rinse it well in warm water and squeeze it out, placing it on top of the mesh tray. You can stretch it as needed to fit. Then sow your seeds right on top. Mist heavily and place the lid on top. Put your sowed trays in a warm dark place misting a couple of times daily while maintaining water in the reservoir tray. Change the water in the reservoir at least once daily. Once you have good germination, you can bring them into the light.
Using the Coir As Your Microgreen Growing Media
For seeds that really like to be covered, like cilantro and sometimes sunflower, we've provided coir wafers. Each 1 qt coir wafer will be enough for two trays. Start by expanding the coir wafer by adding a cup and a half of warm water to the wafer right in it's bag. The expanding bag could leak so place it on a dish to protect surfaces. The coir will expand immediately into a full quart ! Squeeze the bag to fluff it up then place a paper towel on top of the mesh and add a light layer of coir. Sow your seeds and top them with more coir. Spray well to mist, cover with the lid, and place in a dark warm spot misting daily for 2 to 4 days. Replace the reservoir water daily.
When Your Microgreen Crop Is Growing Taller
At around the 4th day, you can bring your Microgreen crop into the light. You want to maintain the humidity so you will continue to use the germination lid for a couple more days at least, misting as needed. You do not want your micro starts to dry out and you always want to maintain water in the reservoir. As the root system gets more established, the plants will drink more and more each day. Growth once in the light is amazing. They will color up almost immediately!
The light source for microgreens can be as simple as a sunny windowsill, or even the florescent lights in your kitchen. If your microgreens get leggy, they may not have enough light. The Microfarm could be a good solution as it has an automated quality LED light system and a base that fits the tray. You can see it here
The Image below is of pea shoots, day 4, 12 hours of light!
When to Stop Misting Your Microgreens
At some point you will stop misting. Once you have good germination with root penetration, it's time to start bottom watering only. Misting is no longer necessary after you have good strong root development into the reservoir. You will also stop using the germination lid. To bottom water, simply lift the top mesh tray up while you tilt to dump the old water. Then add fresh water to the reservoir. If the bottom tray feels slimy at all, make sure you clean it well as you changing the water. Changing the water daily reduces the risk of bacteria growth and mold.
Harvesting your Microgreens
After 8 to 10 days, your microgreens are probably ready for harvest! Harvesting is easy! Just cut off the microgreens above the seed with a good pair of scissors. It's always a good idea to sterilize with alcohol first. The distance from the seed will vary depending on the crop your are growing. With pea shoots you'll probably cut about an inch above the seed.
Storing Your Microgreens
After cutting, do not wash or wet the microgreens. You want them as dry as possible for storing, or they will rot. Line a gallon re-closable plastic bag with a couple of paper towels and loosely place the microgreens inside. They will store amazingly well in the refrigerator. As long as they smell fresh, they are good to eat. If you feel the need, you can rinse before you eat them.
Speaking of Eating Them...
Microgreens are fantastic in salads, soups, on sandwiches and beautiful as a garnish for just about anything. Since microgreens taste like the mature vegetable, they can be used to enhance flavor anywhere you want it. Try Broccoli or chive microgreens on a baked or mashed potato.. Use radish microgreens to top a nice Filet (their taste is somewhat like horseradish). Pea shoots are fantastic on sandwiches to replace lettuce. Actually any microgreen is a compliment to a sandwich! There are just so many ways to enjoy them!
It's also fun to bring a whole tray of microgreens to a party.. they are great conversation starters and people love snipping them and adding them to their dish!