Growing Microgreens Starter Guide

Worried about growing space?
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Wheatgrass, sprouting, and microgreens can be grown in a very small countertop space. Check out our kits page for all you need to get started!

Fresh Garden Produce with Microgreens… All Year Long

Microgreens are simply some types of garden plants (cabbage, radish, mustard, cauliflower and more) that are grown to be harvested while the plants are still very young (after only 10 days). They are surging in popularity because:

  • They can be grown indoors all year long
  • They are fun and easy to grow, and make a great hobby
  • They are a very fast crop that can be harvested as early as 8 days from sowing seed
  • They can be grown in soil or hydroponically
  • They are nutritionally dense and are thus very healthy
  • Their flavors are usually more intense than the full grown vegetable
  • They have an amazing diversity of colors and flavors
  • They are great in salads, sandwiches, as garnishes and more
  • Many microgreens are very colorful and make an amazing garnish

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What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are garden plants that are at an early stage of development and harvested at that point. The best way to understand them is to compare various stages of plant development:

  • Seed – A seed is the ‘embryo in stasis’ stage of a plant. It is the next generation of the species in waiting.
  • Germination – When the conditions are right (water, temperature, etc) the seed to springs to life and begins to grow.
  • Sprout – A sprout is the stage of plant life immediately after germination. The root tail has emerged from the seed, and the first hints of leaves will soon begin to show, but they haven’t opened yet. The sprout stage is typically 1 to 3 days after germination. Learn more about sprouts and sprouting.
  • Microgreens – Microgreens are juvenile plants that have “starter leaves” called cotyledons. A cotyledons isn’t a true leaf (hey, that’s the name of our company…). True leaves will emerge after the cotyledons and characterize the mature plant. Many plants have similar looking cotyledons in the microgreen stage. The duration of the microgreen stage starts when the cotyledons open (after the sprout stage) up until the point where the plant’s true leaves begin to emerge. This typically lasts between 3 to 12 days after germination, but can be a little shorter or longer depending on the variety of plant. Radish is a little shorter, and Cilantro is a little longer, for example.
  • Mature Plant – Once the true leaves have emerged, the plant has left the microgreens stage and is headed to maturity and eventual harvest.
Not sure where to start? Try one of our most popular kits:

For More information on what Microgreens are, check out this article.

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Why Grow My Own Microgreens?

There are lots of great reasons to grow your own microgreens. Some folks love the fact that they can have access to fresh, living, healthy produce all year long. Others find joy in indoor gardening during the fall and winter months when they can’t be outside working their own gardens. For some it is the excitement of something different and new to experiment with their cooking. The bottom line is growing microgreens is a fun hobby with the added benefit of healthy, delicious, living food for your family. Some of our customers have even started out as hobbyist growers and then began to offer microgreens to local stores and restaurants, turning their hobby into a full blown business.

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What’s the Best Way to Get Started?

Most microgreens are easy to grow once you know the technique. Some crops (like beets and cilantro) can be more challenging, which is part of why some people love growing micros as a hobby. It’s the right balance of easy and challenging to make it very interesting.

In terms of getting started we’d recommend two things:

  • Watch Our Video Tutorials We have created a series of videos that discusses the various aspects of growing microgreens. These videos are thorough, and along with the detailed instructions in our microgreens starter kits, should be everything you need to know to get started.
  • Get one of our Microgreens Starter Kits We have created complete microgreens starter kits that should be everything you need out of the box to start on this exciting new indoor gardening journey. We offer several distinct starter kits to fit your need:
    • Mini Microgreens Kits – These are the cheapest and easiest way to try your hand at microgreens. They are small, affordable, single use kits that will grow a small amount of micros. The pros are they are inexpensive and are designed around a selection of microgreens that are both popular and extremely easy to grow. The cons are that they are small and produce a limited amount of microgreens in a single grow. They also have a limited selection of only 6 varieties chosen for their ease of growing.
    • Sectional Hydroponic Microgreens Kit This kit is the next step up from the mini kits. They will allow you to grow small amounts of several varieties at once. They come with plenty of seed and supplies so that you can many, many smaller batches of microgreens.
    • Hydroponic Microgreens KitThis kit is for those looking for larger crops of microgreens, including some of the crops that are a little more colorful and challenging.
    • Soil Based Microgreens KitSome types of microgreens (herbs, beets, chards and others are quite challenging to grow hydroponically, but are easier to grow in soil. The soil kit focuses on these crops allowing you to grow larger batches at a time. Note that any microgreen can be grown in soil, but some are also easy to grow hydroponically.
    • Microgreens KitThe deluxe kit combines both the soil and hydroponic kits together for the ultimate microgreens starter kit.
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Can Any Garden Plant Be Grown As A Microgreen?

No. There are some garden plants that, while they bear delicious fruit, have toxic leaves. For example, tomato and pepper plants have toxic leaves, as do the leaves of rhubarb (but not the stem). If you are unsure if a plant is suitable as a microgreen, don’t grow any micros unless they are listed in our microgreens seed category.

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