Grow Microgreens at Home

SharePin4ShareYumFlipTweet4 SharesWhen you grow microgreens at home you’ll have a ready supply of tasty, nutritious greens for salads, soups, and snacks. It’s easy and fun! In this post, I’ll describe a hydroponic method for home use. How I got hooked on microgreens Because this post is a departure for me as a food blogger, I…


When you grow microgreens at home you’ll have a ready supply of tasty, nutritious greens for salads, soups, and snacks. It’s easy and fun! In this post, I’ll describe a hydroponic method for home use.

grow microgreens

How I got hooked on microgreens

Because this post is a departure for me as a food blogger, I wanted to tell you how I got into growing microgreens. I’ve been growing my own sprouts for years. I enjoy them on salads, sandwiches, and grain bowls. Last summer I started buying microgreens from a vendor at the farmer’s market. I enjoyed the microgreens that I purchased but I decided to try growing my own. I still enjoy sprouts and often eat both sprouts and microgreens in the same dish as shown in the grain bowl below. By the way, that’s some air fryer cauliflower in that bowl.

After some trial and error, I settled on a couple of systems that work for me, so I thought I would share things with you so you can grow your own microgreens and add them to your salads too.

What are microgreens?

  • Microgreens are young greens that are harvested before they are fully mature.
  • They grow and develop leaves before harvest.
  • While sprouts can be eaten as soon as they sprout, microgreens are typically cut off of the growing medium and added to food as small greens.
  • Microgreens grow in some sort of media, such as soil, coco coir, or hydroponic mats. The latter method is described here.

Why grow your own microgreens?

While you might be able to purchase microgreens at your local farmer’s market or specialty grocery store, there are advantages to growing your own microgreens.

  • Home-grown microgreens are fresher than store-bought. Because you cut them right before you eat them, they’re as fresh as they can be.
  • You can choose the kinds of greens that you want to grow.
  • Depending on the type of setup you use, you can probably save money by growing your own microgreens.
  • Because microgreens are so fresh, they are full of nutrients.

How to grow microgreens at home

You can use easy-to-find containers or purchase trays that are specifically designed for growing microgreens. I’ve used both kinds and I’ll describe the two methods here. I use a hydroponic method, which works well for microgreens that are grown for personal use. Micro-mats that are made from biodegradable wood, serve as the medium in this hydroponic system. The roots of the microgreens stay wet and the greens grow well in this setup.

Inexpensive methods

  • Repurposed produce and tofu containers
  • Repurposed take-out containers

My favorite home-made kit that I use to grow microgreens consists of a plastic tofu container and a tomato container. I add some filtered water to the tofu container and the tomato container fits inside the tofu container. This makes a simple, but effective hydroponic system since the tomato container has holes near the bottom. It’s also clear so when the greens leaf out, they can get sunlight (real or artificial) and grow into strong, healthy microgreens, plus it’s tall enough that the greens grow to full height. Shown below:

  • Tofu container (Small mushroom containers work too.)
  • Tomato container (or similar sized fruit container)
  • Micro-mat growing medium, cut to size.
  • Seeds
  • Salt shaker repurposed to spread seeds evenly
  • Craft scissors to cut the micro-mat. Later those same scissors are a great size for cutting the microgreens.

Steps for creating a tofu/tomato container kit

  1. Wash both containers with warm, soapy water.
  2. Put about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water in the tofu container. This keeps the micro-mat moist.
  3. Cut the micro-mat to fit the tomato container leaving a little extra material to go up around the holes in the container so the seeds don’t fall through.
  4. Wet the micro-mat with filtered water.
  5. Sprinkle the seeds evenly.
  6. Put the lid on the container and put a piece of foil or dark paper on top until the seeds sprout.
  7. Change the water in the tofu container daily.
  8. Once the seeds have sprouted, allow the sprouts to get sunlight or artificial light to grow into greens.

The photo below shows this tofu/tomato container set up ready to start growing.

grow microgreens

Here’s how they look after ten days.

grow microgreens

You can also use take-out containers to grown microgreens. The steps are similar but you’ll need to find something suitable for the take-out container to sit in. I used a large plastic storage container.

Steps for creating a take-out container kit

  1. Wash both containers with warm, soapy water.
  2. Put about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water in the plastic container. This keeps the micro-mat moist.
  3. Cut the micro-mat to fit the take-out container.
  4. Wet the micro-mat with filtered water.
  5. Sprinkle the seeds evenly.
  6. Put a piece of foil or dark paper on top until the seeds sprout.
  7. Change the water in the plastic container daily.
  8. Once the seeds have sprouted, allow the sprouts to get sunlight or artificial light to grow into greens.

Using purchased kits to grow microgreens

Hydroponic kits provide a convenient way to grow microgreens. They come with easy-to-follow instructions. Just because I didn’t list them in the “inexpensive” section doesn’t mean that they cost a lot. If you’re growing more microgreens than the small tomato containers can hold, this type of kit is cost-effective. The advantages of a kit that you purchase are:

  • You can grow more greens at one time.
  • It’s designed as a hydroponic system so you don’t have to find a container for the water.

The picture below shows a hydroponic kit designed to grow microgreens. I used different types of seeds in this setup.

Here’s what the greens look like after 10 days.

grow microgreens

Tips for growing microgreens at home

  • Use a medium specifically designed for hydroponics.
  • Change the water daily.
  • After the seeds have sprouted, make sure the microgreens have adequate ventilation to prevent mold from growing.
  • Provide light, either natural near a window, or artificial light.
  • Don’t confuse root hairs with mold or fungus. Fungus looks like a mat of thin, translucent fibers that grow randomly over the surface of the greens. If you see fungus, use the steps in this link to treat it. Root hairs are tiny extensions of the roots and are perfectly normal. The photo below shows some root hairs.

Types of microgreens

You can grow many types of microgreens. What you grow depends on what you like to eat. I use them mostly in salads and I’ve been happy with the following microgreens which are available from True Leaf Market:

Enjoy your microgreens

Whichever method you use or the types of greens that you grow, enjoy eating them by adding them to your dishes. They go great on salads, side dishes, and grain bowls. Try them on:

grow microgreens at home

4 responses to “Grow Microgreens at Home”

  1. Magda Avatar
    Magda

    Great post! Thanks for showing how “do-able” this is with upcycled items for the growing containers.

  2. Julia Avatar

    Thanks, I’m glad it’s helpful!

  3. Nancy Avatar
    Nancy

    Thanks for making it so simple and well explained. I’m putting this on my “to do
    List”.

  4. Julia Avatar

    I’m glad you found it helpful. Thanks for letting me know!

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