Updated: Mar 13
Growing microgreens requires materials. A bit of these things you might have laying around the house, although others will be just a small investment. Microgreen farmers usually start their business with a 100 dollar bill or several hundred.
We find that heavy duty 10 x 20 black plastic trays with drain holes work the best. These trays are often available online selling for around $2.50 per tray. Whether you decide to use the 10 x 20 or 10 x 10 black trays, proper drainage is very important. Although often overlooked, drainage is one of the keys for a plant to thrive. While being very important in the garden, it's even more important in your trays. If you are buying or collecting plastic trays, they will probably already have holes cut in the bottom. If you're making your own trays, be sure to create slits or holes to allow excess water to flow through. If there is a lack of drainage, you will find stunted growth, rot, and mold in your microgreens.
The core of any indoor or outdoor farm is its soil, and microgreens are no exception. Choosing the proper soil to grow your microgreens in is vital. A rich, fertile soil is filled with biological and mineral interactions necessary for vibrant, nutrient rich plants. During the beginning of our first rounds of growing microgreens, we used several brands of potting soil, looking for the ultimate one. Throughout these trials we were overwhelm to see the differences between them. The soils that stood out the most in both quality and performance had additional ingredients derived from the ocean such as kelp, crab meal, and shrimp meal. Using a high quality soil, you will enjoy strong, even growth and an increase in yield. While yield per tray is less important for the home grower, a commercial grower must pay close a attention to this detail. The cost of higher quality soil is often absorbed by the yields you will reap from your trays. We recommend Sunshine mix #4 for growing microgreens commercially or at home. For hydroponic growers we recommend burlap rolls or microgreen pads.
Humidity dome / Grow Tent
If you don't have a greenhouse to grow in, you will need to invest in or invent humidity dome or grow tent to cover your trays. This creates a mini greenhouse effect and keeps temperature and moisture at a more consistent state than if your germinating seeds were exposed to open air. This is especially important in dry climates or in seasons when there is larger fluctuation between the night and day temperatures. If humidity domes are not used, you may find your seed germination is greatly reduced, uneven, and much slower than covered trays. Any local hydroponic store should carry them. The average price seems to be around $4.00.
If you have a small garden or houseplants, you may already have some of the supplies you'll need to water your microgreens. Make sure you can adjust the the sprayer head. Out of all the settings provided on your sprayer, a midst shower has been the most effective. Since you are growing the microgreens so densely, air circulation is very important. You don't want to water them so hard that they fall over. If this happens, the lack of air and excess water will cause them to rot. If you find that your microgreens have fallen, you can try gently brushing them upright with your hand. The key to good watering is to be gentle while spraying.
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