This article is all about growing microgreens indoors.
Benefits of Growing Microgreens Indoors
Growing microgreens indoors gives you more control over the humidity and temperature of your growing environment.
Which provides your microgreens the conditions they need to thrive. If the humidity is too high that can cause mold growth and will ultimately ruin your grow.
Luckily, since we're growing indoors, the chances of the humidity and temperature getting out of control is way less likely to happen.
Another benefit to growing indoors is the prevention of unwanted pests from ruining your grow.
Bugs such as nats and spiders will make the microgreens unedible and will have to be thrown away which is not what we want.
Growing microgreens indoors reduces the chances of bugs invading your microgreens.
Why You Should Grow Microgreens Indoors
Having a dedicated space inside your home that is used for growing microgreens is the best way to grow microgreens indoors.
Aside from all the benefits we just talked about growing microgreens indoors makes the growing and harvesting process easier and quicker.
You won't have to worry about bugs, humidity, temperature, or lack of sunlight killing your microgreens.
Growing indoors gives you full control over the light, environment, and safety of your microgreens.
Materials You Need To Grow Microgreens
Shelving is important for growing microgreens as it allows you to grow lots of microgreens in a small area.
There are many different sizes of shelves available but I recommend you start with either a 2ft by 2ft or 2ft by 4ft shelve.
If you are limited on space then I recommend you get a 2ft by 2ft shelf, and if you have a lot of space like an empty closet or corner of a room then get a 2ft by 4ft shelf. Choose a shelf size Here.
You do not need a shelf if you are just wanting to grow just a few microgreens as an experiment.
If you are then just get a microgreen kit instead which will provide you with everything you need except a grow light to grow microgreens.
Although if you are wanting to grow a lot of microgreens indoors quickly and easily then you are going to need a shelf.
A grow light is essential for growing lots of microgreens indoors unless you just want to use your window which is not always going to give your microgreens the right amount of light they need to thrive.
Growing microgreens by a window can cause them to become leggy and they may tip over and fall. Having a grow light will prevent that from happening and will provide your microgreens with adequate light.
There are many different types of grow lights to choose from. The main two options are LED grow lights and fluorescents.
Out of the two I recommend LED grow lights as they provide a full spectrum and that is what your microgreens need to thrive.
Fluorescents only provide blue light which will get the job done but in terms of efficiency and longevity LED grow lights are better.
If you opt for a 2ft by 2ft shelf then you are going to need an LED grow light that is the same length. The same goes for a 2ft by 4ft shelf.
See my post Top 5 LED grow lights for growing microgreens to choose the right LED grow light for your shelf size.
Grow trays are important for growing microgreens as they keep everything nicely packed together so that everything doesn't end up like a giant mess.
The more growing trays you have the better because how many you need depends on how many microgreens you are going to grow.
I recommend growing trays that are 20 inches long and 10 inches wide.
Although you can choose whatever size you like, and there are many microgreens kits out there that provide grow trays of all sizes.
The next items you are going to need are microgreen seeds.
Make sure you buy seeds that are specifically labeled microgreens just to avoid buying the wrong kind of seeds.
Even though microgreens are the same as their full-grown counterparts you still want to buy seeds that are specifically labeled microgreens as they usually come with more seeds.
There are many different types of microgreens to grow and some do need to be grown differently than others so I highly recommend you check out my How To Grow Microgreens selection which shows you how to grow 16 different types of microgreens.
You don't want to grow all microgreens the same way as some do have longer germination times and some even need weight on top of them to grow straight and tall.
There are many different growing mediums out there but I recommend you stick with Coco Coir as it's less messy and doesn't get all soggy like soil.
It retains moisture well and it's sustainable and cheap! It comes nicely packaged in a small form factor and expands as you wet it.
Overall it's my favorite growing medium to use but there are also different growing mediums as well such as paper towels and growing mats.
Paper towels are a great option but first make sure to use nontoxic paper towels that are free of dyes, inks, and fragrances so you don't contaminate your grow.
Growing mats are another great option but can get expensive.
Overall what growing medium you choose to use is up to you. Experiment with different growing mediums to know which one you like best and then stick with that one.
How To Grow Microgreens Indoors
Before you follow along in this step-by-step guide, make sure you have all of the materials ready to go.
This will make the follow-along process so much easier.
Here is a recap of essential items you are going to need:
Shelving - Wired Shelves
Grow Lights - LED Grow Lights
Grow Trays - Microgreen Trays
Growing Medium - Coco Coir
Step 1. Prepare The Growing Trays
Start with 2 10 by 20inch growing trays, or with whatever grow tray you decide to use. If you decide to use other grow trays then ignore this section.
One of the 10in by 20in trays will be beneath the other filled with water.
Do not do this yet, just place the one with drainage holes on top of the one that does not.
The one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens.
This will prevent mold growth and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Then fill the tray that has drainage holes with coco coir.
Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle.
If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
Step 2. Plant The Seeds
Spread 2-3 tablespoons (or the amount shown in the directions) of your seeds evenly onto the coco coir.
If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Step 3. Water And Cover
After planting water the microgreens one more time, do not top the seeds with soil, just place another container on top to blackout the seeds and put some weight on top.
Yet again this does depend on the type of microgreens you are growing as some need weight and others don't so do your research first.
Microgreens need humidity and dark to thrive. So set the microgreen tray in a place where it won’t get too hot, or too cold. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
This begins the germination process. Spray seeds about 15 times once every 10-12 hours.
Step 4. Uncover And Give Light
After 3 days remove the top container and the microgreen seeds should have developed shoots.
The shoots may be yellow because of lack of light but this is normal and is nothing to be alarmed about.
Just set your microgreens under your LED grow lights and give them at least 12 hours of light every day.
You can buy an automatic timer to automatically turn the LED grow lights off and on but you don't have to.
You can just leave the LED grow lights on all day, but if you want to reduce your electricity bill, then buying an automatic timer is something I recommend you do.
Now is the time to use the watering tray at the bottom of the container to avoid any soil from splashing onto the plants and to avoid mold growth.
Do not use the spray bottle anymore. To do this just simply grab the second tray that doesn't have drainage holes and set it under the tray that is growing the microgreens and fill it slightly with water.
Always check up on the water levels every day to make sure the microgreens don't dry out.
Step 5. Harvesting Time
Microgreens are usually ready to harvest in just 8 - 12 days. You'll know when they're ready to harvest when their true leaves start to appear.
This is after their first set of leaves, so once their second set of leaves start to appear they are ready to harvest. You can also taste test them to know whether they're ready or not.
I did a complete guide on harvesting microgreens so check that out to learn a lot more about harvesting microgreens.
To harvest microgreens just simply use a pair of scissors or a knife and cut as close as you can to the coco coir to get the maximum harvest.
Final Thoughts on Growing Microgreens Indoors
Growing microgreens indoors is the best way to grow microgreens as it gives you full control over the environmental conditions.
There are only a few essentials you'll need to start growing microgreens like a pro!
Re-read this step-by-step guide as much as you need to until you know how to grow microgreens by memory, and check out our other posts to learn more about growing microgreens!