Sept. 27 column: Microgreens

microgreensHere’s a link to my column in today’s edition of The Spokesman-Review: For homegrown greens in winter, think micro. I’ve been very excited to share this with you because it’s all about growing microgreens.

What, you’ve never heard of them before? Well, neither had I until last summer while interviewing Peaceful Valley gardener Greg King about a different topic. I felt this was worth writing about after hearing how nutritious they are, as well as how easy they are to grow.

In today’s column, I mentioned there would be additional information right here so please read on:

Due to space limitations in the newspaper, I didn’t have room to share Greg’s detailed, finely-tuned technique for growing microgreens. He is very successful at this so it’s worth reading. Here’s what he does:

1. Once he has filled a seedling flat that has drainage holes with his mix of compost and coconut coir, he places the flat into another flat (without drainage holes) that has been filled with a gallon of water. This waters the soil-filled flat from the bottom. He places a sheet of black plastic onto the soil surface to help warm it up and sets it aside for 24 hours.

2. Greg then sprinkles the seeds thickly onto the compost surface and presses them into the soil to make good contact. He again covers the flat with black plastic and places a water-filled flat on top of it to help moderate the temperatures and further press the seeds down into the soil.

3. He puts this “stack of flats” under his grow light and told me that in 2 to 3 days, the seedlings will actually lift up the tray on top! At that point, he removes the top tray and sheet of plastic. Greg told me the seedlings will green up in about a day.

Additional information:

  • Greg uses light fixtures with T5 fluorescent tubes. He says they are very bright and that they don’t waste as much heat as regular fluorescent tubes do.
  • He told me that when he harvests his 8 trays of microgreens, he ends up with (10) 10-oz. bags of them. Wow!
  • The containers you start your microgreens in should be a minimum of 2″ deep.
  • Plants need a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight, although Greg says he leaves his lights on all day long.

Here are links to microgreen seed suppliers. Note: Greg recommends Sprout People because they have high-quality seed at a good price, and they ship orders quickly. Here’s the list:

OK, you now know the basics for starting and growing your very own microgreens! If you are going to try this, or if you already grow microgreens, I’d love to hear from you. Just drop me a note at or leave a comment on this post. Thank you.