Grow Microgreens in your Home Kitchen in 7 Easy Steps
Here in Vermont, where gardens are frozen under snow for long cold winters, gardeners can still grow their own greens inside.
While microgreens may sound and look fancy, you don’t need fancy equipment to grow them. In fact, between your garden and your kitchen, you likely already have all the supplies you need to grow microgreens.
Like sprouts and shoots, microgreens are high in nutritional value, are easy to grow on your kitchen windowsill, and offer a fresh taste all winter long.
How to Grow Microgreens in Your Home Kitchen
- 1020 tray with drainage - if you don’t have a 1020 tray, you can use any shallow shallow tray with draining, including the top of an egg carton or recycled clamshells
- Bottom tray, slightly larger for bottom watering (a plastic boot tray works well for this)
- Potting Soil
- Spray bottle
- Paper towels or Germination dome
- Seeds: try single varieties or pre-made mixes
- Optional: grow lights. Longer, consistent light will help your microgreens grow, but for the purpose of keeping it simple, we’re going to skip the lights and opt for what most every home has: windowsills.
1. Moisten the soil and spread it 1” thick in the tray. Soil should be moist enough that it holds its shape when you squeeze it in your hands, but not so wet that water drips out. The great thing about microgreens is that they don’t require much soil, so a little bag goes a long way!
2. Scatter seeds across the soil, and gently press them into the soil. Seeds can be sown thickly, but should not completely cover the soil, as a high density could lead to inhibiting airflow once they germinate.
3. Mist the seeds with a spray-bottle, and cover with moist paper towels or a germination dome, and place the tray on the windowsill. If using paper towels, mist the towels 1-3 times per day to keep them moist during the germination period. Germination will occur within 3 - 4 days.
4. Once the seeds have germinated, remove the paper towels or germination dome. Continue to mist with a spray bottle when needed—overwatering can lead to waterlogged soil and potentially disease.
5. If the growth is too dense for the spray bottle to reach the soil, switch to bottom watering. To do this, simply pour water into the bottom tray, where it will be taken up through the drainage holes in the grow tray.
6. Rotate the tray on the windowsill once a day to lessen the microgreens reaching and leaning too much in one direction.
7. Harvest & enjoy!
Microgreens are ready to harvest when they have cotyledons and their first true leaves. Days to harvest differ from variety to variety. Microgreens typically have a multi-day harvest window, so you can experiment with harvest time, and find what stage of growth tastes best to you.
Harvest the microgreens with scissors or a sharp knife. Because they’re so tender, microgreens are best when eaten on the day they’re harvested, but can be stored in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.
The best way to ensure a fresh meal of microgreens is to cut only what you plan on eating. Depending on how much you harvest, this will give you 2-3 days’ worth of fresh microgreens per tray.
For a continued supply of microgreens, start a new tray once a week (adjust succession planting based on days to maturity), and you’ll be eating fresh, nutrient dense greens all winter long.
Kate Spring is an organic farmer, mother, and chief inspiration officer at good heart farmstead in Worcester, Vermont.