How To Grow Microgreens In A Jar – Best Practices

how to grow microgreens in a jar

Growing sprouts in mason jars have been on the trend for a significant period now. Following the same processes for microgreens would make growing microgreens easier than it is already is. Just tossing them in a mason jar at home will minimize all the work.

But is it really possible to grow microgreens in a jar? Taking all the correct measures, it is pretty simple to grow microgreens in a mason jar at home. In this blog, you’ll learn all that you need to know about growing microgreens in a jar. Let’s get started!

What Are Microgreens?

Before moving on to how to grow microgreens in a jar, let’s gather some insight into what microgreens are.

Microgreens resemble a plant that has magical health benefits. All green plants and herbs are at some point known as microgreens. This makes one owner what these greens actually are.

A microgreen is the status of a plant following germination. It is a great time to harvest these plants when they are a few inches tall with few leaves growing. Harvesting microgreens when they’re young saves all the nutrients it has in store for you, unlike when you harvest mature plants.

Microgreens are pretty easy to grow and do not even take much time to grow. They have a fresh fragrance to add along with their flavor. Adding microgreens to your dish enhances its flavors. The good thing about microgreens is that they can be consumed raw and still taste refreshing and good.

It is, however, important to know that not all microgreen seeds are edible. Microgreens are fresh green leaves and are supposed to be consumed or used in their original state. Their seeds are not supposed to be treated with pesticides. Pesticides harm the freshness and rawness of the microgreens.

Make sure you try only organic seeds and those labeled for microgreens only. Microgreen seeds should be treated as a child with gentle care and maintenance. Before hitting the market to get yourself some seeds to grow microgreens in mason jars at home, research to know the difference between regular seeds and microgreen seeds.

As already mentioned, microgreens are super easy to grow and a great start to your way to the horticulture journey. There is a plethora of information to learn about growing microgreens, their uses, and their benefits.

To grow microgreens, you require minimal space and equipment. You may use any mason jar that you ordered for a mocktail, maybe? So, read on to acquaint yourself with everything you need to know about microgreens before you start growing them in jars.

Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens are not just limited to the essence; they add to your food with their flavors. They are truly beneficial, starting from the convenience they offer while growing them to the health benefits. This section shall tell you the benefits of growing microgreens and their health value.

1. Source of Nutrition

Often microgreens are underestimated for the pretty little eaves that they are. However, those small size microgreen leaves are the source of some of the essential nutrients. The powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that these microgreens are may vary according to their types.

However, most of the microgreens act as the source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and other antioxidants. Besides, growing these greens at home will prevent the use of strong pesticides and chemicals. The size of the microgreens makes them a concentrated source of food nutrients. These are fresh raw materials providing multivitamins to your daily dosage of nutrient intake.2Lowers the Chances of Food Poisoning.

Sprouts and microgreens are similar in many areas, such as their growing, care, and maintenance. However, unlike sprouts, microgreens are adaptable to low humidity for their growth. And unlike baby greens and regular plants, microgreens have minimal soil requirements.

Microgreens can easily grow on peats or single-use growing mats. This is the reason why microgreens are trusted to lower the risks of foodborne diseases.

2. Lowers The Chances Of Food Poisoning

Sprouts and microgreens are similar in many areas, such as their growing, care, and maintenance. However, unlike sprouts, microgreens are adaptable to low humidity for their growth. And unlike baby greens and regular plants, microgreens have minimal soil requirements.

Microgreens can easily grow on peats or single-use growing mats. This is the reason why microgreens are trusted to lower the risks of foodborne diseases.

3. Convenient To Grow

Growing microgreens offers you convenient conditions to suit yourself with their maintenance. You can use potting containers, apart from mason jars, to grow microgreen seeds.

Microgreens are super sweet and tender because of their rawness and fresh essence. Moreover, you can plant a lot of microgreen seeds in a compact space.

The care and maintenance requirements are minimal as well. 10-12 hours of sunlight exposure and misting them with water until the leaves bud for the first time. Here is a kick now! Different microgreens take different periods to bear their leaves.

The sowing and harvesting of microgreens take 15-21 days on average. After that, you can cut off the stems and harvest the microgreen leaves as per your requirements. Harvesting these greens during winter at home proves really useful as the greens outside will be much costly.

Amazingly, microgreens take only weeks to develop to their harvest period. You need not wait for months for these greens to develop leaves.

4. Cuts Off Expenses

Growing microgreens at home in mason jars cut off your expenses on these leaves in the market. You do not need to have a large space of land. Quality seeds for growing microgreens need fertilizers for fortification.

However, depending on the medium that you grow the microgreen, you may need to feed these baby greens with insecticides or pesticides. Moreover, you do not require any fancy gardening tool to grow these small size greens.

5. Minimum Cooking Time

Cooking the microgreens ensures the inhibition of infectious elements. However, they can still be eaten raw by rinsing them in cold water and then add them to your dish. This is a common advantage of microgreens, sprouts, and other greens. They are best consumed in their raw form, all fresh and nutritious.

Their flavor is best tasted in their raw spice form. This is how you can make microgreens a daily diet for your palate.

6. Improves Your Health

Microgreens have tremendous nutrition value. Consuming microgreens help fight heart and cancer diseases. These are plant-based food with contents of Vitamin K essential for your body.

For example, broccoli microgreens contain sulforaphane compound, which helps target and fight cancer stem cells.

Plant-based foods are also good in controlling blood pressure. They help in lowering high blood pressure. Thus, people with low blood pressure must be careful while eating microgreen quantities on their plates.

Consuming microgreens in their best raw form and making yourself a salad will help boost your immunity. Another health benefit of these plant-based green leaves is their lutein content, a phytochemical that takes care of your vision health.

There are many other such ailments that the greens are useful in taking care of. Eating fresh microgreens adds to the content of prebiotics in your intestine, thus, leading to your holistic health.

7. Versatile in their Use

The microgreen is a versatile addition to your daily diet. You can blend some green smoothies or make some dips and green sauce out of it.

Microgreen leaves are most commonly used in salads. However, if you can ace the toughest way of eating them, to eat them raw right after you pluck them, you’d get double the benefit.

Microgreens You Can Grow In A Jar

There are several microgreens to grow in a jar or mason jars at home or otherwise. Often you may go to a restaurant for some Mexican food, and you may menu search for pasta with greens as spices or seasoning added to them. Pasta or other food add different types of greens to their recipe or while garnishing them.

Lettuce is a microgreen type that you can grow in a mason jar at home, and it covers minimum space. You may put the mason jar on the windowsill or the countertop space with contact to direct sunlight or even on your patio.

Spinach has relatively bigger leaves compared to certain microgreens. But, given that you have a bigger yet portable jar at home, you can grow these greens efficiently at home for daily requirement purposes.

Basil sprouts are another popular microgreen that is easy to grow, covers very little space, and can be grown in your waste mason jar at home. They may take relatively more time for germination. However, the results will be worth your wait.

There are several other microgreens that you can grow in jars. Sprouts and microgreens are common pot plants that you can grow at home in jars and boxes. Other microgreens that you can grow in a mason jar include radish greens, tatsoi, peas, cabbage, watercress, and parsley.

Somewhat bigger than other greens, these microgreens include beet greens, broccoli sprouts, arugula, mustard, kale, endive, alfalfa sprouts, and Brussel sprouts.

Growing Microgreens

Growing sprouts and microgreens both need minimal space and equipment. However, growing microgreens in a mason jar require even lesser equipment.

To start with, you have the jars for the growing medium. Next, you’ll be needing microgreen trays to control the water seepage through drainage holes. The trays need covers for every seed that sprouts, shall sprout out through the tray cover. The seed sprouts push open the cover.

Heat mats are essential when you are growing microgreens at home. Having grow lights makes harvesting easier. However, circulation fans, though not essential at home, would be a bonus to have them.

Let’s get started with the process of growing microgreens which is quite similar to growing sprouts.

1. Soaking The Seeds

The first step of growing sprouts or microgreens is to get the correct seeds. You need to know the difference between regular seeds and microgreen seeds. Several hardware stores and nurseries are selling all kinds of seeds.

You can visit the local store or get the email address of the store you got through your research. Only one packet of microgreen seeds can grow ample sprouts or microgreens.

One thing to bear in your mind here is some microgreen seeds need soaking in water before you spread them over the soil. Generally, the larger seeds, like broccoli seeds or mung beans, need prior soaking. Small seeds don’t generally require soaking before planting.

Soaking the seeds accelerates their growth. Soaking is traditionally common among sprouts. Sprouting seeds that have been soaked makes it easier to plant them and stimulates their growth. Soaking the seeds stimulates the health benefits and the growth of the sprouts and microgreens.

Make sure to read the instructions on the packet of seeds before soaking them to ensure if those are the types of seeds to be soaked.

2. Filling The Jar

Selecting a suitable container for growing your sprouts or microgreens is essential. Make sure to select a jar that is a few inches deep. You’ll get such jars in the stores that sell special jars and containers for sprouting seeds.

Even jars that you plant your seeds in must have good drainage holes to prevent excess soil accumulation in the soil. You do not want your seeds to rot in excess water.

You can use a glass jar to keep track of the progress just by looking at it. Make sure to have space for your soil more than the space between the seeds.

Versatile microgreens can be grown anywhere. However, glass containers are durable, and the expenses incurred on buying glass jars will be totally worth it. They’ll last longer, saving you the trouble of looking for more trays in the market to grow your greens.

Ensure that the jar you’re using is clean and the perfect size for the number of seeds you’re sprouting. A pro tip is to boil your seeds before planting them to cut off the bacteria that may be thriving in them. Once done, add 1-3 inches of soil at the bottom of the jar.

3. Planting The Seeds

Before planting the seeds into the soil, ensure that the soil you’re using is suitable for better growth and health of sprouting the seeds. Loose, crumbly soil with organic matter is best suited to plant. When the concern is about growing microgreens, then potting mix or potting soil is most effective.

You get to buy the organic potting mix from the local store or nursery, or you could make your potting soil by mixing garden soil with compost. Add some fertilizers to it, and you’ll be good to go.

Sowing seeds of microgreens is easy. Sprinkle the seeds over the potting mix in a uniform way so that they are not too close to one another. For example, broccoli microgreens need to be spaced quite far apart, for the mature plant will be large enough to spread out its leaves.

However, for the smaller microgreens, you can go loose on the instructions on the packet. You can sprinkle a lot of seeds on the soil in the jar. For the time being, these seeds aren’t sprouting to maturity. Some plants need to be planted inches deep into the soil. But that is not the case for microgreens.

Once you are done sprinkling the seeds on the soil, press them gently into the soil and if the seeds are the larger ones, consider spreading a thin layer, about 1/8 inch, on top of them.

4. Watering The Seeds

Make sure the soil isn’t too wet to rot the seeds sprinkled on top of it. However, do not let the soil get too dry either. You can use a plant mister to spray water to the soil and keep the soil moist enough. Make sure that you don’t make it muddy.

Overwatering will rot the microgreen seeds. Therefore, five to ten sprays of water will ensure enough moisture in the soil, and you won’t be forming a pool of water in the soil.

5. Cover The Jar

Once you have sprinkled the seeds and sprayed the water to the soil, cover the jar with a light covering. It may be a paper towel, a cheesecloth, t-shirt, or foil paper with holes made in it.

The next step would be to store the jar in a dark place for 3-4 days until the process of germination. This blackout phase helps the greens thrive in their own natural ways as they sprout from the soil.

6. Expose The Seeds To Sunlight

Growing sprouts at home need timely exposure of them to the sunlight. The seeds will need a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight daily. It would be helpful if you place the jar on the windowsill or your patio, anywhere that has access to direct sunlight.

Once you have put the jar in a dark place, 5-7 hours of direct sunlight would be beneficial for the growth of the seeds. Although you can use grow light, if that’s more convenient, however, direct sunlight does wonders always!

Next, you need to ensure that the seeds receive water twice or thrice every day. Take a plant mister to spray water to the greens.

7. Harvesting

Microgreens take weeks to harvest. You just need to wait till the plants are a few inches tall and then cut the stems from the bottom. Microgreens do not regrow themselves. Therefore, you should go for the stem and not uproot them.

Final Words

Water is essential when it comes to keeping the soil moist. As long as you keep the water requirements and the soil suitable to your greens, you are good to go.

Consuming greens like broccoli sprouts add to the daily nutrient intake. Growing sprouts at home make it quite convenient for the daily access to their health benefits through the food they’re added to. Besides, they also add to the flavor.

You can make chutneys, or smoothies, or salads using greens. Another trick is to secure the microgreen seeds in a plastic bag and crush it gently with a rolling pin to make a fine powder out of them. You can add it to your Mexican food or maybe to a plate of tacos?