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9 Steps to Germinating Microgreens In Your Home

The Steps Germinating Microgreens might be a bit redundant, but if your growing environment isn’t just right, you won’t have microgreens. 

Your goal is to have microgreens, so germination is a crucial step in this process. Getting it right sets the foundation for healthy plant growth. Having the right equipment, seeds and set up is the ideal foundation for growing successful greens. 

And you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see that first set of leaves poking up through the growing tray. The first sight of fresh greens is so much fun to see. You’re that much closer to leafy greens and the health benefits that comes with it. As you know, microgreens are loaded with nutritional value and growing a variety of microgreens will make it even more fun. 

So, in this post, I will share:

* 9 steps to germinating microgreens

* Little things you can do to increase germination rates of your microgreens

* Creating a great environment that will make your little, tiny seeds turn into its first set of tiny leaves. 

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1. Prepare High-Quality Seeds:

Start with fresh, high-quality microgreen seeds, such as sunflower microgreens, radish microgreens, beet microgreens or broccoli microgreens. Look for reputable seed suppliers to ensure viability and germination success. Most sellers of microgreen seeds will include average germination rates in their details. 

2. Select the Growing Medium:

Choose a suitable growing medium for germination. Common options for growing media include coconut coir, peat moss, or soilless seed-starting mixes. Ensure it is well-draining and sterile for growing microgreens.  

You could also get seeds to germinate in a moist paper towel. If you simply have a paper towel that is moist, you can wrap in your seeds and set them in a sunny window. Use a spray bottle to keep the paper towel moist around the seeds. I’ve used this method with paper towels to demonstrate germination when teaching kids. It’s a fun way to experiment with germination and growing your own microgreens in just a couple of weeks. 

3. Prepare Growing Trays:

Use shallow trays or flats with drainage holes. Fill the plastic trays with the chosen growing medium, leaving about half an inch from the top. Lightly tamp down the medium to create a flat surface.

​Then, set the growing trays in a sunny location to warm them. This is optional but you can speed up germination by warming up the medium. The young plants will emerge from the seed and reach the soil line faster in a warm environment. 

4. Sow Seeds Evenly:

Sprinkle the microgreen seeds evenly over the surface of the growing medium. For smaller seeds, like broccoli or radish, you can lightly press them into the medium. Try not to push them in too deep – that will slow down the time it takes them to push through the soil. Also, avoid overcrowding to allow space for proper growth. Baby plants need their space, too. 

5. Watering:

Trays of microgreens need to stay moist – but not too wet. Use a fine mist spray bottle to thoroughly moisten the seeds and the growing medium. Ensure the medium is evenly moist but not waterlogged. Check your medium every couple of days if not every day. That depends on the shallow container and where you have your trays set. 

6. Covering Seeds:

Now it’s time to make your seedling trays humid. Microgreen seeds LOVE humidity and there’s an easy way to create a more humid environment. 

Cover the trays with a clear lid, plastic wrap, or another tray to create a humid environment, which aids in germination. This step is optional but it really does work.  This step depends on the different types of microgreens varieties.

7. Provide Warmth and Light:

I’ve already mentioned keeping the medium and trays warm but I want to talk more about it. They don’t so much need light until they are out of the ground. But they do need warmth – That is the key. 

Place the trays in a warm location with temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). Room temperature may not be enough. You can use grow mats or heat mats to artificially warm the trays to the desired temperature. 

Once they are up, ensure they receive indirect light or use artificial grow lights, such as LED lights. The specific light requirements may vary depending on the microgreen variety.

8. Monitor Germination:

Germination is the science of a baby plant pushing through the seed and emerging to the surface. And yes, some microgreen seeds will fail to germinate. Regularly check for signs of germination. You can even gently dig into the medium to look for any sprouting. Use a sharp knife or some kind of skinny utensil so you don’t disturb the other seeds. 

9. Remove Cover and Transition to Light:

Once the majority of seeds have germinated and small seedlings are visible, remove the cover. Transition the trays to a location with direct natural sunlight or maintain consistent exposure to a light source, such as grow lights. Also check regularly for proper moisture.

Best Microgreen Grow Tips:

  • Check Moisture Levels: Regularly check and adjust the moisture levels. The growing medium should be consistently moist, but not waterlogged.
  • Thinning (Optional): If seeds are sown densely, consider thinning the seedlings once they have grown a bit to allow for better airflow and prevent overcrowding.
  • Patience is Key: Germination times can vary based on the microgreen variety. Be patient and allow the seeds the time they need to sprout and develop.

By following these Easy steps to germinating microgreens, you’ll have the best results for successful germination. Your microgreen seeds should soon start germinating and growing into vibrant and nutritious plants.