After my first failure at microgreens…well, I wouldn’t classify it as a failure, more like an underestimation of the number of seeds I needed to grow a full mini-tray of microgreens; I reordered more seeds and am giving it another go.
Since I’m a household of one, I usually don’t need to grow five or six varieties of greens in 10- by 20-inch trays to meet my needs.
Instead, I took a trip to the dollar store and bought some leftover plastic containers that were eight inches long, five inches wide, and about one and a half inches tall. They came in a bundle of two or three containers for a dollar.
Growing one variety of green in five or six containers should give me a good quick harvest of microgreens for home consumption.
After this article was published, I started a website named Home Microgreens.
Home Microgreens and the Home Microgreens Store contain everything you need to know about growing microgreens at home.
From what to grow microgreens on, how to grow different varieties of microgreens, what are the best lights, and everything else you might want to know.
If you are interested in growing microgreens, check out Home Microgreens. There is even a free guide on how to get started growing microgreens.
First Failure at Microgreens
As mentioned, I only used 100 seeds in my first attempt at growing microgreens.
Even with great germination, the growth density wasn’t even close to enough plants in each tray.
So back to the drawing board.
After more research, I came across a YouTube channel named Big Pond Farm. Mike and his family are modern homesteaders, and he supplements his income by market farming.
In one of Mike’s videos, he and his daughter plant 10- by 20-inch trays of microgreens.
The density of his seeding is way more than I used. The seeds covered the soil surface. I’m not sure how many ounces of seeds he used; I don’t even think he measured or weighed the seed. Instead, he uniformly spread the seeds across the soil surface.
After sowing the seed, he surprised me by stacking his trays on each other, adding an empty tray at the top, and putting cement bricks (not blocks) in the top tray.
Mike said they would lift the trays when the microgreens started growing.
If it works for him, why wouldn’t it work for me? So I gave it a try.
Planting Microgreens Small Scale
Realizing I didn’t use enough seeds the first time, I went to Everwilde Farms’ website and purchased three packets of seeds from their organic microgreen category.
I bought the XL packets of Roquette Arugula, Garnet Stem Endive, and Purplewave Mustard seeds. Each packet was said to contain around 1,000 seeds, and they cost $2.50 each.
There are larger sizes of seed packets, but I wanted to try out my new method before I bought ounces of seeds.
I filled my 8x5x1.5 inch Dollar Store containers with my homemade seed starter mix. I packed it down quite firmly and leveled it off to the top of the container.
Then I poured all 1,000 seeds onto the top of the tray, spread them out as evenly as possible, watered them in, and stacked them on a heat mat.
You can see the whole process below in the video.
Stacking the Microgreen Trays
As you saw at the end of the video, I stacked the trays on top of each other, fashioned a cover for the top tray, and put some weight on the stack.
I’m not sure what the stacking does for the seeds other than keeping light off the majority of the seeds. Maybe it forces the plants to set roots instead of growing upward.
I noticed on my attempt that the seeds were loosely anchored in the seed starter mix. The weight may force the seeds to anchor themselves better to push up on the weight above them as if they were growing at depth in the ground.
Not sure, but time will tell.
In future posts, I’ll inform you how the microgreen growing process works.
*Note: If you are interested in microgreens, you are better off going to Home Microgreens and getting the free guide or signing up for the updates there. It’s doubtful that more microgreen articles will be posted here.
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