Welcome to True Leaf Market, the new home of GrowingMicrogreens.com! Growing microgreens is not only healthy and delicious, but is challenging and fun. With us, find all the seeds, supplies, and advice that you’ll need. Microgreens can be grown indoors or outdoors with our wide variety of do-it-yourself kits. It takes up little space—it is literally countertop gardening!
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tiny garden plants that are harvested and eaten when they are still juveniles. They are grown in trays like grass on counter-tops and tables, using a hydroponic medium or soil. They are ready to harvest in about 10 days, which entails cutting their stems just above the soil or growth medium and rinsing. Think of microgreens as teenage sprouts, packed with nutrients and flavor!
Microgreens have been gaining increasing popularity since 1991 because they are easy to grow and maintain, and they are a lot of fun to experiment with culinarily. On top of that, there are so many options when it comes to growing microgreens. Most garden vegetable and herb seeds can be grown as microgreens. Here is a notable few: Radish, Lettuce, Sunflower, Arugula, Chard, Beet, Pea, Cilantro, Basil, Onion, Pak Choi, Kale, etc. Explore through our long list of seeds to discover your new favorite treat!
Microgreens are not only a fun hobby with a delicious payoff, they are extremely healthy for you! Dense in vital enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll, they provide your body with the nutrients they would otherwise use to grow into a strong plant. There aren’t many foods you could eat that are fresher and better for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I don’t see my question on this FAQ
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will use questions to improve this FAQ.
2. What are the differences between your hydroponic pads?
We have actually written an article about this on our blog page. Check it out here.
3. Are your Seeds Organic and why not?
Microgreens seeds tend to be very expensive compared to sprouting seeds. As such, we currently offer a limited line of organic seeds. We will be adding more organic seeds over time. Check each seed page, as we will offer that particular seed in organic and non-organic options. All of our seeds are NON-GMO, and untreated.
4. What if I’m looking for a seed you don’t carry?
Please email us at email@example.com. We’ll try our best to find it and add it to our product line.
5. What are your favorite microgreens?
6. What are the easiest microgreens to grow?
Usually the brassica family is the among easiest. These include broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages. The mustard family is also typically easy to grow. We find arugula the absolute easiest to grow. Most of the seeds in the hydroponic microgreens kit (recommended for beginners) have the easier seeds. In soil-based crops, sunflower and buckwheat are very easy to grow.
7. What are the hardest microgreens to grow?
Amaranth can be difficult as can beets. Chia can be quite challenging. Some of the challenging Microgreens are really what makes growing microgreens a fun hobby. Experimenting with different growing techniques and variables can be very educational and fulfilling.
8. When do I use soil vs. hydroponics?
You can always grow microgreens in soil. Some crops like sunflower, buckwheat, pea, cilantro and beet are very challenging to grow hydroponically, so we have created a soil based microgreens kit especially for these crops. They are among our very favorites. We prefer to grow hydroponically where possible because it easy, clean and every bit as effective as soil for most microgreen seeds. Our hydroponic kit is also very light and less expensive to ship.
9. How important are growing lights?
They are not critical, but your crops will need to be exposed to light at the right time. Incandescent, fluorescent, and direct sunlight are all fine. We do use grow lights and prefer LED grow lights as they are light, consumes vastly less electricity, produce very little heat, and only give plants the blue and red ends of the spectrum which is what plants absorb, resulting in greener and more healthy plants even with direct sunlight.
10. Why are LED Grow Lights the best choice for Microgreens?
LED growing lights are the best choice for not only microgreens but any type of plant for several reasons: (a) they emit no heat, and consume a much less electricity than traditional grow lights, (b) most grow lights like T-5 and fluorescent lights emit white light which is much less efficient for growing plants, (c) plants reflect light in the yellow and green part of the spectrum and want to absorb the red and blue ends of the spectrum, (d) LED lights are tuned to emit exactly the portions of the light spectrum that plants want, and (e) our LED lights are suitable for all stages of a plant's growth.
11. I’m getting sections of rot in my crop?
This can be caused by several things. The most likely is watering with water that is too alkaline. See our pH balancing kit for help in adjusting your water to a desirable pH. Rot in a crop can also be caused by sowing seeds too thick or over-watering.
12. Which seeds to I pre-soak?
13. My crops are wilting, what am I doing wrong?
Wilt is caused by either under-watering or excessive heat.
14. Can I harvest the same crop twice?
Second harvests are generally scraggly and weak, but it can be done, especially if growing in soil. Hydroponic crops that regrow will go for so long that the grow pad will begin to give off a musty odor. We recommend one harvest per crop and then disposing of the growing pad.
15. How important is it to balance the pH of my water?
Very important. Most of our support inquiries are related to growers believing that the pH doesn’t really matter. It does.
16. My crops are pale, what am I doing wrong?
They are probably not getting enough light. Try direct sunlight by a window or outdoors. Your crop may angle for light, so be sure to rotate periodically. LED grow lights are also a good solution.
17. My crops are getting burned or dry sections on the leaves, what am I doing wrong?
They are probably getting too much light, or getting light too early.
18. What do I do if I smell a musty odor?
This usually occurs after the grow pad has passed about 10 days. We rarely get an odor before 10 days. Since most crops are ideally harvested at 10 days, this should not be a problem.
19. My crops are growing very slowly, what am I doing wrong?
They are probably too cold. Try putting them in a warmer place. If you have the trays on granite counter-tops, they may struggle. Try placing them on a towel to insulate from the cold of the counter-top. You can also try placing them in a warmer location.
20. Can I compost Sure-to-Grow pads?
Unfortunately, they are not compostable. They are not made from natural fibers and so won’t compost. We recommend disposing of them directly. We have experimented with other hydroponic materials but none perform anywhere near as well as the Sure-to-Grow pads. When growing in soil, the spent soil mat will be held together by the root structure of your crop, and can be composted.
21. What is the difference between Microgreens, Sprouts & Baby Salad Greens?
Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s development and are generally grown without a growing medium (soil), but are sprouted and rinsed in a sprouting tray, jar or bag. They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate and are delicious and crunchy. Microgreens are typically grown is soil or other growing medium and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. Microgreens are harvested at this stage before the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge. Plants in the micro green stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and have had the opportunity to absorb trace elements and micro nutrients from the soil. Baby Salad Greens are allowed to grow for a week or two beyond the micro green stage when the true leaves have emerged. Baby greens are harvested while they are still juvenile plants. The flavors are much closer to their full adult stage, and they have had ample opportunity to absorb more micro nutrients from the soil.