How To Grow Microgreens Without Soil

Posted by Jeena Lugo on

Microgreens have become increasingly popular over the years due to their impressive nutritional value, delicate flavor, and versatility in cooking. These young plants, which are essentially mini versions of mature plants, can be easily grown at home and are a great addition to any dish. One of the most exciting things about growing microgreens is that they can be grown without soil using hydroponic systems. In this blog post, we will explore how to grow microgreens without soil using hydroponic systems, coconut coir, paper towels, sprouting seeds and more.

How to Grow Microgreens Without Soil

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are young plants that are harvested at a very early stage of growth, typically after the first two leaves have developed. They are usually 1-3 inches tall and come in a variety of colors and flavors. Microgreens are often used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish for various dishes. They are also packed with nutrients and can provide an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Why Grow Microgreens Without Soil?

Growing microgreens without soil has several benefits. Firstly, it is a more efficient and space-saving way of growing. Hydroponic systems, for example, use up to 90% less water than traditional soil-based methods. Secondly, it is a cleaner and more hygienic way of growing as soil can be a breeding ground for bacteria and pests. Thirdly, growing microgreens without soil allows for more control over the growing environment, such as temperature and nutrient levels, resulting in healthier and more consistent growth.

How to Grow Microgreens Without Soil?

There are several ways to grow microgreens without soil, but we will be focusing on two main methods: using coconut coir and using paper towels.

Using Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is a growing medium made from the fibrous husk of coconuts. It is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional soil and is excellent for growing microgreens. Here’s how to grow microgreens using coconut coir:

Step 1: Soak the coconut coir in water for 30 minutes to an hour until it expands and becomes moist.

Step 2: Spread the coconut coir evenly across the bottom of a growing tray.

Step 3: Sprinkle the microgreen seeds on top of the coconut coir, ensuring that they are evenly spaced out.

Step 4: Cover the seeds with a thin layer of coconut coir and mist them with water using a spray bottle.

Step 5: Place the growing tray in a warm and bright location, such as a windowsill or under grow lights.

Step 6: Mist the seeds with water daily and keep the coconut coir moist but not waterlogged.

Step 7: After 7-14 days, the seeds should sprout, and the microgreens will be ready for harvesting.

Using Paper Towels

Another way to grow microgreens without soil is by using paper towels. This method is particularly useful for those who want to grow microgreens quickly and easily without investing in specialized equipment. Here’s how to grow microgreens using paper towels:

Step 1: Wet a paper towel and wring out any excess water.

Step 2: Spread the paper towel on a plastic tray or shallow dish.

Step 3: Sprinkle the microgreen seeds evenly across the paper towel.

Step 4: Cover the seeds with another damp paper towel and place a lid on the tray to create a mini greenhouse.

Step 5: Place the tray in a warm and bright location.

Step 6: Check the paper towels daily and mist them with water using a spray bottle if they start to dry out.

Step 7: After 7-14 days, the seeds should sprout, and the microgreens will be ready for harvesting.

Choosing Microgreen Varieties

There are many microgreen varieties to choose from, each with its unique flavor and nutritional profile. Some popular microgreen varieties include:

  1. Broccoli - Broccoli microgreens are rich in sulforaphane, a compound that has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.

  2. Radish - Radish microgreens have a spicy flavor and are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C.

  3. Pea - Pea microgreens have a sweet flavor and are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamin C.

  4. Sunflower - Sunflower microgreens have a nutty flavor and are a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

  5. Beet - Beet microgreens have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor and are high in antioxidants and betalains.

When choosing microgreen seeds, it is essential to select high-quality seeds from a reputable source. It is also important to ensure that the seeds are suitable for the growing medium you have chosen.

Maintaining Hydroponic Microgreens

Maintaining hydroponic microgreens requires some care and attention, but it is relatively straightforward once you get the hang of it. Here are some tips for maintaining hydroponic microgreens:

  1. Monitor the nutrient solution - Check the nutrient solution regularly to ensure that the pH level and nutrient levels are correct.

  2. Keep the growing medium moist - Ensure that the growing medium is moist but not waterlogged, as this can lead to mold growth.

  3. Provide adequate light - Microgreens need plenty of light to grow, so make sure they are in a bright location or under grow lights.

  4. Harvest at the right time - Microgreens are typically ready for harvesting after 7-14 days. Harvest them when they are at their peak freshness and flavor.

  5. Clean the hydroponic system - Regularly clean the hydroponic system to prevent the buildup of algae, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Comparing Hydroponic Microgreens to Soil-Grown Microgreens

Hydroponic microgreens offer several advantages over soil-grown microgreens. Firstly, hydroponic systems use less water, fertilizer, and space than soil-based methods. They also allow for more precise control over growing conditions, such as temperature and nutrient levels. This can result in healthier and more consistent growth, leading to higher yields and better quality microgreens.

However, some people prefer soil-grown microgreens for their natural taste and texture. Soil-grown microgreens can also be less expensive to grow, as they do not require specialized equipment or growing mediums.

In conclusion, growing microgreens without soil is an excellent way to produce fresh, nutrient-rich greens at home. Whether you choose to use coconut coir or paper towels, the process is relatively simple and requires minimal investment. By selecting high-quality seeds and maintaining the right growing conditions, you can produce a variety of delicious and nutritious microgreens all year round. So why not give it a try and start growing your microgreens today?

Try using our broccoli seeds for growing your own microgreens.

Sprouting Seeds

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