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Quick Guide on Growing Microgreens Indoors

by Marilyn Mayberry 11/17/2021

With fresh microgreens on hand, you can add tons of nutrients to your salads, stir-fry dishes and so much more. These greens are tough to find in normal groceries stores and go for quite a premium at specialty shops. Fortunately, they are incredibly easy to grow indoors and taste best when cut fresh. If you’re ready to get started, just use this guide on how to grow microgreens to learn what to do.

Select Your Plants

Microgreens are fresh veggie sprouts that are allowed to grow for around two to three weeks before harvesting.

Plants that work great for this purpose include:

  • Arugula

  • Mustard

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Swiss chard

  • Cabbage

  • Radishes

Basil, cilantro and other herbs can work well, too, as long as you give them about a full month of growing time before harvest.

You can try out any vegetables you want to know if you like their microgreens. The only exception are nightshade plants, like tomatoes, since their stems are toxic when consumed. 

Set Up Your Lights

If you have a garden window or wide windowsill, you can grow your microgreens in the sunlight nearly year-round. They will need about six hours of direct sunlight to sprout and quickly grow to their harvestable size.

Otherwise, you can use full-spectrum LED grow lights to keep your microgreens growing strong. Just be sure to position the lights about 12- to 24-inches above the soil to keep your greens from getting too leggy and falling over.

Prepare Your Growing Medium

As you first learn how to grow microgreens indoors, you’ll want to use soil as your growing medium of choice. Go with a high-quality seed starting medium with organic fertilizer and scoop it into a planting tray, egg carton or similar container.

Then, you can sow your seeds by casting them out over the entire surface of the soil without worrying about crowding. You won’t grow them into full-size plants, so you don’t have to give them extra room in the tray. Cover the seeds with about a ¼ inch of additional soil.

If your seeds refuse to sprout within the first week, consider adding a heat mat under the container. Many seeds will not sprout if it’s not consistently around 70 degrees, so the extra warmth can help encourage them to germinate and start growing.

Water with a Spray Bottle

As the seeds germinate and sprout, you’ll want to keep the growing medium damp but not soaked. The easiest way to do that is by watering it with a spray bottle every couple of days. If it’s hot out, you may need to water once or twice a day instead. Just monitor the soil and water when it seems dry.  

Harvest and Enjoy

Most microgreens take anywhere from 15 to 30 days to reach the right size for harvesting. Once they are at that level, you can grab what you need for each meal and leave the rest to grow longer. If you want to keep a continuous supply of microgreens on hand, grow several trays on a staggered schedule.

Once you get started growing microgreens indoors, you will definitely want to try all the different options. Then, before you know it, you’ll have a list of favorites, letting you move on to figuring out ways to incorporate them into every meal.

About the Author

Marilyn Mayberry

Marilyn Mayberry has had the honor and privilege of engaging in one of the most exciting careers imaginable. She has marketed the American dream of home ownership for over 40 years. Marilyn is the Associate Broker for her own boutique brokerage Real Estate Today LLC in Farmington Hills. Her company offers a complete line of residential and commercial services to buyers and sellers.

Buying or selling real estate is probably one of the most important decisions anyone will make in a lifetime. Marilyn’s passion for the real estate business assures that the transaction will be handled with the highest degree of professionalism. This philosophy has allowed her to build a community of lifelong relationships.