For Master Gardener Interns
Gardening Activities Series 2020
Growing Microgreens for Home
MicrogreensMountain View Garden Club. University of Arizona Extension, 2019
Starting Seeds Indoors University of Minnesota Extension, 2018
Salad Greens: Health Benefits and Safe HandlingColorado State University Extension, 2012
Step-by-Step Instructions for Growing Microgreens
Decide what to grow. Here are some options: arugula, amaranth, basil, beet, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, chard, cilantro, collard, corn, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, nasturtium, pea, radish, sunflower.
Choose microgreens seeds. Use seeds specifically labeled for growing as microgreens or sprouts. Seeds that are sold for growing in the garden are sometimes treated with a fungicide to improve germination in cool, wet soil. Organically grown seeds are untreated and therefore are a good option.
Find containers. Any shallow container will do, even recycled ones, such as foil pie plates and take-out containers. Just be sure they're clean. You can either poke holes in the bottom and place them on a watertight tray, or plan to water very carefully.
- Add the soil. The best option is a sterile, peat- or coir-based seed-starting mix. Spread a 1' deep layer of pre-moistened planting mix in each container.
- Sow your seeds. Scatter seeds evenly over the planting mix.
- Cover seeds. Spread a thin layer of planting mix over seeds and press lightly to ensure good contact between the mix and the seeds. Misting with water will also help to settle the planting mix around the seeds.
- Place containers in a warm, bright spot. A sunny window is ideal.
- Keep the planting mix moist. If your containers have drainage holes, you can bottom-water by adding water to the tray underneath and letting the planting mix soak up the water. Drain any excess water from the tray. Or you can use a spray bottle to water from above, taking care to thoroughly moisten the soil without over-saturating it -- especially important if your containers don't have drainage holes.
- Observe daily. Check soil moisture and water as needed. Most seeds will germinate in a few days to a week. Look for the tiny, red beet stems and beefy sunflower shoots. Once they're up they'll grow quickly. Rotate the containers every day or two so the stems grow straight.
- Harvest your microgreens. Plan to harvest when the plants are 2" to 3" tall, or when they've developed one or two sets of true leaves. Use scissors to cut the stems just above the soil.
- Start a fresh batch! Toss the used soil from your first batch into the compost. For best results, start each new batch with fresh planting mix.
Adapted from "Growing Guide: Microgreens" on April 3, 2020 from Kids Gardening.org, Helping Young Minds Grow.
Extension Horticulture Agent
NMSU - Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service
1510 Menaul Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: (505) 243-1386