How To Grow Microgreens Indoors

Microgreens add nutrition and freshness to any meal, and they are easy and quick to grow without a lot of fuss. Even kids can grow microgreens.

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Next Project
Time

7 to 14 days

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Less than $15

Introduction

If you've never been served a salad or other dish garnished with microgreens, you may wonder if they are some strange new food. Quite the contrary. They're the edible seedlings of many of our favorite vegetables, and they're packed with nutrients — often more than fully mature vegetables!

They're also easy to grow indoors and don't require a lot of fancy lights or other equipment. You can grow microgreens in various containers under a basic shop light, providing a ready supply to add to salads, sandwiches, or any dish that needs a little garnish.

One caution: Once you start to grow microgreens, you won't want to stop.


Tools Required

  • LED shop light or other light source with a timer
  • Snips or scissors for cutting microgreens
  • Spray Bottle
  • Watering can

Materials Required

  • Covering for containers
  • Microgreen seeds
  • Plant labels
  • Planting container with drainage holes
  • Potting soil or seed starting mix
  • Saucer or other tray to place under container

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Fill Containers With Soil

black planter tray filled with soilCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman

Step 2

Sow Microgreen Seeds

  • Scatter microgreen seeds across the surface of the soil. Don’t worry about spacing; smaller seeds can be fairly close together. Larger seeds, like peas, need more room.
  • Use seeds labeled specifically to be grown as microgreens. That way you’ll get more seeds in a packet and know those seedlings are edible.
  • Tamp down the seeds to ensure good contact with the soil.
  • Add a label to the container with the seed variety written on it.
    • This is especially helpful if you’re sowing several types of microgreens at the same time.
  • Cover the seeds lightly with soil, then gently mist with water from a spray bottle.

sowing micro green seeds in black planter tray filled with soilCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman

Step 3

Cover the Containers and Put In a Dark Location

  • Cover the containers or place in a plastic bag. The cover can be clear or one that block lights.
    • This keeps the seeds from drying out.
  • Place your microgreens in a dark location for the first few days where the air temperature is around 70 degrees.
    • In the dark, your seedlings will grow taller trying to find the light. That will make them easier to harvest later.

green plastic Cover covering the trays growing microgreensCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman

Step 4

Check Your Microgreens Twice a Day

  • Lift the cover and check your microgreens twice a day. If the soil appears to be drying out, mist with clean water. Depending on the variety, seeds may begin to germinate within a few days or up to a week,
  • Once seedlings are about an inch tall, they’re ready to go under lights.
    • Don’t panic if your seedlings look yellow at this stage. They’ll green up quickly under lights.

Microgreens starting to grow in a black plastic tray at homeCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman

Step 5

Place Growing Microgreen Seedlings Under Lights

Microgreens growing in a black plastic tray at homeCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman

Step 6

Harvest Your Microgreens

  • Harvest once they have healthy green seed leaves, or later when you see the first set of true leaves.
  • Harvest by cutting them off with clean pruning scissors or kitchen scissors well above the soil line. This way, you avoid mixing soil with the microgreens.
  • Rinse off the cut microgreens, blot them dry with paper towels and enjoy. They’re best eaten soon after cutting, but can be stored in a refrigerator for a week or two.
  • Dump the soil out, clean the container and start a new batch of microgreens with fresh potting soil and more seeds.

freshly cut Microgreens in small glass bowlCarol J. Michel for Family Handyman