The microgreen revolution has been steadily on the rise. From the culinary scene to your local farmer’s market, they are everywhere. This superfood is not only delicious but also nutritious. What’s more, you can even grow them at your own home!
They take up very little space and are therefore easy to grow even in small apartments. Microgreens can grow in various climatic conditions as well.
Microgreen supplies are undoubtedly an essential part. If you are planning to indulge your green thumb, you need to get the right microgreen supplies. Read on to find all about them in this guide.
Microgreen Supplies: All You Need to Know
Microgreens are quite easy to grow and quick to harvest. However, you do need to know about the essential microgreen supplies.
The most important of the microgreen supplies are the microgreen seeds. It is important to use microgreen seeds instead of mature vegetable seeds specifically. There are many types of seeds available. Basil, broccoli, amaranth, and even onions are some of the most popular seeds.
The easiest microgreens to grow to include pak choi, cabbage, and cauliflower. Salad mixes are also popular choices. Depending on your choice, you can either get individual seed bags or seed assortments.
Besides deciding on the type of seeds, there are some other factors to consider too. The quality of the seed is the most important. Do not compromise on this as it might lead to unsatisfactory results. Organic, untreated seeds with a high germination rate are ideal.
The quantity you need to buy is also important. To buy fresh batches of seed from time to time is a better option because the seeds need to be stored properly. However, keep in mind that microgreen seeds need to be sown densely, so you must have enough of them.
Where to Get Microgreen Seeds?
There are many places to get your microgreen seeds from. Trusted suppliers over the internet are the best. Growing Microgreens, a part of True Leaf Market, is a great place to get your microgreen seeds. They are a company specializing in microgreen supplies. A variety of great quality seeds are available here. They also have colorful microgreen assortments that have really beautiful arrangements of microgreens.
You can also get quality microgreen seeds from Amazon, where it is available from sellers like Mountain Valley Seed. Their Basic Dozen Microgreen Seeds Assortment containing twelve resealable packs of microgreens is a good choice to start on this journey.
Growing trays form the base of your microgreen supplies, literally. It is especially important if you are planning to do them in batches, more than once. Usually, you need two trays. The extra tray is for use as a blackout and humidity dome. This prevents moisture from escaping. Microgreens need a highly moist and damp environment for optimal sprouting.
You need to keep them covered for about four to five days during the “stacking” period. This period is really helpful for rapid and smooth germination. Keep the lid as well as the seeds moist by spraying over them. After a few days, the seeds will start to germinate and grow. Once the sprouts grow a little, take off the covering tray and expose them to sunlight.
Ideally, the best places for your microgreen garden is your windowsill or your countertop. You can use repurposed containers as growing trays. These are cheap, light, can fit almost everywhere, and most importantly, greatly ecological. You can use multiple containers to grow different microgreens simultaneously.
Packaging from mushrooms or fresh fruit, hummus, tofu, or yogurt containers is a good choice as growing trays. If they are lidded, separate the lid and use them as the dome or covering.
It is advised, however, to buy trays specifically made for growing microgreens. Repurposed containers can often go bad after a few rounds of planting. Get one that fits in the space you are planning to plant your greens.
The 20” X 10” tray from Living Whole Foods is a great growing tray. It has no drainage holes and is made of durable plastic. It also comes in sets often so you can plant a variety of seeds together. The Bootstrap 1020 trays are also a good choice. It is made of BPA-free plastic and has a warranty period of two years. Durable trays like this ensure you can focus on your gardening without having to worry about your microgreen supplies repeatedly. They can also be used with heat mats.
Now that we know where to grow our microgreens, we need to know what is needed to grow them. All seeds need media to grow in whether it’s soil or hydroponic media. Although some seeds thrive more in soil, most of them do equally good in any hydroponic medium. Hydroponic media also provides an easy time cleaning up.
Soil is also a great choice. If you are growing microgreens that can only thrive in soil, they are, of course, the only choice. The quality of your sprouts also depends on the quality of your potting mix or soil used.
The better this quality, the healthier your microgreens will be. Your soil also needs to be airy enough. If your roots are not able to breathe properly, it might lead to rotting.
Microgreens are very young plants and absorb organic matter such as nutrients and minerals from the soil. Soil rich in substances like nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus is the best for these plants.
Poor quality soil or potting mix can lead to a lot of problems. These include inconsistent growth or even failure to grow at all. Accumulation of mold due to bad soil also has adverse effects on your sprouts. The nutrition factor of your seed, therefore, greatly depends on the quality of your soil.
Of the hydroponic substances, organic Coconut Coir is the best. It is a renewable resource made from the husks of coconuts. It is free from bacterial and fungal spores and is rich in all the nutrients required for your budding microgreens. This makes it a great growing medium. It is also easier to work with compared to soil.
Apart from microgreen supplies like soil and hydroponic substances for growing media, Growing Pads are also great. Many microgreens might not need soil at all. If you want to do away with the mess from the soil, growing pads are a great alternative.
You can get them in several sizes, depending on the size of your growing tray. The Sure to Grow Pads are a good choice.
pH Control Supplies
The pH balance of your growing media and water is one of the most important factors for healthy and tasty microgreens. The ideal pH in which most plants thrive is considered to be 5.5 to 6.0. They prefer a slightly acidic medium. However, most tap water is too alkaline for microgreens.
If the pH levels are below 5.5, the plants grow too acidic, while above 6.5 is considered too basic. Since microgreens are such young plants, they are very delicate. If the pH is not balanced properly, it can greatly affect their growth and production.
How to Find Ph Of Water?
You can use the Digital pH Meter to determine the pH of your water. It ensures high accuracy. The tester has a sensitive electrode sensor to read the pH levels accurately. Its Auto Temperature Compensation feature automatically adjusts to the temperature of the medium to give almost instant readings.
Besides testing the water and media for your microgreens, it can also be used in many ways. You can use it to check the pH levels of your drinking water, aquarium water, and more.
There are also pH testing kits like the General Hydroponics pH Control Kit. They are really handy and helpful. To use this, you have to fill half a test tube with nutrients and add a few drops of the pH Test Indicator to it. Then, observe the color of the liquid in the tube. These are inexpensive alternatives to digital meters. They are also reliable and easy to use.
Baking soda and vinegar are home ingredients that you can use to balance your media or water’s pH. Baking soda makes it more alkaline, while vinegar makes it more acidic. If you use these, you can get a set of pH testers like the General Hydroponics pH Test Indicator to check the pH level. It comes with a sampling tube, reagent, and a color comparison card that you can use as a reference.
A tool to water your greens daily is an essential part of your microgreen supplies. As mentioned, moisture is really important for the growth of your microgreens. They love a damp atmosphere. Do not ever let them dry. However, it is also essential not to overwater them.
The frequency of spraying depends on where you keep your microgreens. If they are exposed to too much sunlight, like on a windowsill, they will dry out quickly. On the other hand, if they are indoors like in a greenhouse, they often need sprayings.
Type of Water Used
The water you use is also important. Like we already saw, the pH level of the water you use is extremely important. Good water not only helps microgreens grow healthy but also affects their taste. You can use different waters to see which one suits your microgreens the best.
Chlorine levels are very high in water these days. It is reflected in your plant if they have curled and yellowed leaves. To remove excess chlorine from water, you can use activated charcoal filters. You can also let the water sit uncovered in a container for twenty-four hours. This will let the chlorine evaporate.
Using a spray bottle is helpful because it allows you to spritz an optimum amount of water. The Rayon Empty Spray Bottle is a good choice for this. It boasts of a comfort grip with ergonomic accuracy. This is an extremely well-thought feature as it lessens the irritation from possible carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Microgreen Spray Bottle from Home Microgreen is also a good spraying bottle. The nozzle of this bottle can be adjusted according to the spread you want to wet. It is also smaller than most spray bottles (16-oz), which makes it handier.
Planting Tools like Scissors and Knives
Microgreen supplies are incomplete without a set of tools. They will help you plant and maintain your sprouts. The first tool is a good, sharp pair of scissors. Use this particular pair exclusively for your microgreens. A sharp knife or scissor ensures a clean cut in one go. It will harm your plants if you use a rusty tool and hack it because they are extremely delicate.
Steel scissors are preferable as they are easier to clean. Also, go for ones with longer blades. Ceramic scissors are also a good choice. They ensure your stems do not get oxidized when you cut them. You can go for herb snippers or gardening shears, but they are not the best choice.
This is because they have short blades and long grips. This can prove to be a bother when working with such small, delicate plants densely packed. The only advantage of this is that many gardening shears can be disassembled so that you can give them a thorough clean.
Knives are also a good option. Small, sharp knives with a good grip work wonderfully. However, you must be careful with all of these tools because of their sharpness. Since you will be working in a small space with delicate plants, you need to be careful of your hands.
In case you are using some repurposed food-safe plastic container, it helps if the stems of your microgreens have been snipped clean. This will help them grow healthily for a longer period. In case you are growing different varieties together, a sharp cutting tool will also help you selectively harvest.
Getting yourself the proper microgreen supplies is the first and most important step. Grow delicious and nutritious microgreens with the help of these tools. Not only is this journey extremely rewarding, but also enjoyable.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.