How to Grow Microgreens

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How and why to grow microgreens in your kitchen
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Microgreens are all the rage lately. They are similar to sprouts, but require soil and sunlight (or a grow light) to grow.

What are Microgreens?

As the name suggests, microgreens are just miniature plants of greens, herbs, or other vegetables. Like sprouts, they are a concentrated nutrient source and packed with beneficial enzymes because of their rapid growth.

Though they are often seen in dishes at gourmet restaurants because of their delicate flavor and sophisticated presentation, they are simple to grow on your own and cost very little once you have the supplies. With the right tools, you can have a year-round vegetable source on your kitchen counter.

Microgreens also solve the problem of the potential for bacteria growth in sprouts (though it is very rare) because they are grown in an open-air environment and in soil. Unlike sprouts, only the stem and leaves are eaten, not the seed and root.

What to Grow?

The most common plants used for growing microgreens are:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Beet
  • Watercress
  • Herbs
  • Greens
  • Cabbage
  • Mustard
  • Chia
  • Sunflower
  • Buckwheat

Any edible plant that is entirely edible (root to leaves) can technically used, but the ones above are the most common and taste the best. Microgreens add beautiful color and great flavor to salads and are an excellent garnish for meats and other dishes.

Microgreen Growing Supplies:

How to Grow Microgreens:

  1. Find a south-facing window with plenty of sunlight or install an inexpensive growlight. I’ve found that a growlight mounted under kitchen cabinets works perfectly for growing greens on the counter if you have the space to do it. In warmer months, these can also be easily grown outside.
  2. Place an inch of organic potting soil in the bottom of a shallow tray or planter and smooth out to be as even as possible. Alternately, clear an area of your garden for growing microgreens.
  3. Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil evenly. You will spread more seeds than you would if just planting the seeds to grow to full size, since they will only get 1-2 inches tall and you want to harvest as many as possible from each tray. TIP: Soaking the seeds overnight will speed sprouting time, but make it more difficult to scatter them.
  4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and spray the surface with clean, filtered water. I use an upcycled glass vinegar bottle with a misting spray top.
  5. Place on the warming mat, if using, and under the grow light or near the window.
  6. Mist the seeds a couple of times a day to keep the soil evenly moist while waiting for the seeds to germinate.
  7. Greens are usually ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of seed used.
  8. To grow another crop, either remove the roots and replant or dump the entire tray in the compost and fill with more soil to replant. If you dump in the compost, some straggler seeds usually volunteer and make a crop of their own a few weeks later.

To use: Cut microgreens right above soil level with kitchen shears. Rinse with filtered water and add to salads or to garnish almost any dish.

Ever grown anything inside?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


50 responses to “How to Grow Microgreens”

  1. Julie Avatar

    Warming mat?…. Grow light?
    These aren’t really necessary are they.. I mean I use naural warming and light woth no problem at all

  2. Maria San Diego Avatar
    Maria San Diego

    Hi Katie! Do i need to make drainage holes on the tray? Thanks.

  3. Ashley Avatar

    Hi, The A grow light link takes me to a an anti-snorning tape. Any chance you could update it? Thanks!

  4. Karen Avatar

    Do you know how much micogreens we need to eat each day in order to acheive the RDA of Vitamins and Minerals.

    For example would a measuring cup of a Radish, Broccoli, Alfalfa, Green Lentil & Mung Bean Micogreen mix be enough to supply the RDA of the vitamins and minerals in this microgreen mix?

    For those with regular hypothyroidism would the broccoli componate be a problem if eaten raw every day. I wouldn’t think so since it is just 1/5 but what do you know?

  5. Amanda Wilson Avatar
    Amanda Wilson

    Hello, Katie
    Thank you for your help. I’m new, my first time with growing micro greens, and I’m very excited.
    When i was pregnant i read a lot about nutritions and found out that Microgreens is the best food for women during their pregnancy (alongside kale), especially during their second and third trimester. During this period the mother needs to have a much higher calorie intake (340 calories whilst she is in her second trimester and approximately 450 calories during her third). The increased food also involves an increased vitamin and mineral intake which the microgreens provide plenty of.
    Now, i want to try growing itself. One question -Can microgreens be juiced?

  6. Jean Avatar

    Trying micro greens for first time. I likely overseeded but that is how I’ll learn!

  7. Cheri Avatar

    Do people ever let the plants go to seed to make your own seeds for re-growing?

  8. Brigitte Avatar

    When you cut the greens for harvest do they regrow? or do you have to re-seed?

  9. El Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    do you have a post that is walk through of your kitchen? I’m seeing several of your articles about sprouting or fermentation and trying to imagine how this is managed space wise. Maybe we just have so little counter space and cabinets but I can’t figure out any configuration in my own kitchen to make room for this. We tried sprouting beans on top of our refrigerator for a while and were constantly dropping them because the space was awkward.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      No I don’t, sorry. The one think to keep in mind though is that while I’ve written about hundreds of different topics over the years, I don’t do all of them at once. Many things are seasonal, or no longer have the time/desire to do, so while all the topics I write about are great to do, don’t feel like you have to hop in and do all of them at once 🙂

  10. Erickson Avatar

    Hi. Thanks for the article! Would I need to add any type of nutrient to the microgreens, especially the slower growing ones? Sorry if it’s been answered in another comment. Thanks! 🙂

  11. Penny Avatar

    Wow! How cool is this! Growing micro greens seems like an easy, cost effective way to get these nutrient packed punchers in your home and diet.

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