Growing Microgreens

Gardening is a great family activity but with today’s hectic schedules it’s hard to find time for a garden. Growing microgreens is a fast and tasty way to grow veggies with the entire family.

Growing microgreens is a fast and tasty way to grow veggies with the entire family.

Growing microgreens is a fast and tasty way to grow veggies with the entire family.
Amy Dabbs, ©2018, Clemson Extension

The term “microgreen” defines small leafy vegetables harvested just as true leaves begin to form; usually while they are between one to three inches tall. Microgreens differ from sprouts as they are grown in soil and only the above ground plant parts are consumed. For more information on Sprouts see, HGIC 3884, The Food Safety of Sprouts.

Use microgreens as garnishes, in sandwiches, wraps or salads or in smoothies for an extra serving of vegetables.

Avoid growing in garden soil, manure or compost which may harbor bacteria. Use seeds labeled for microgreens or marked “untreated” (some seeds are pre-treated with fungicides). Wash recycled containers with soap and water.

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Potting soil for more information on soil see, HGIC 1456, Indoor Plant – Soil Mixes
  • Microgreen Seeds
  • Shallow containers with clear lids & drainage holes
  • Adjustable grow light
  • Clean scissors for harvesting
  • Clean spray bottle

Moisten potting soil prior to filling containers.

Fill shallow trays (1 -2” deep with drainage holes) with potting soil.

Sow seeds thickly over the surface and gently press into the soil for good contact. Larger seeds can be lightly covered with potting soil.

After sowing seeds, cover trays with clear plastic covers or plastic wrap to create a warm, moist environment like a mini-greenhouse.

Use a spray bottle to keep sprouting greens watered.

Place the trays under a grow light or adjustable light source. You don’t need fancy grow lights, a simple fluorescent light bulb will suffice. Keep the light around 4” above the new sprouts to guard against leggy seedlings.

Snip plants just above the soil line with clean scissors when greens reach desired size. Store in a clean plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wait to wash them until you are ready use them.

After harvest, refill containers with fresh media and sow new seeds.

Seeds Days to Harvest Flavor
Basil 8-12 Strong Basil
Beet 11-21 Earthy
Broccoli 8-10 Mild Broccoli
Kale 10-15 Mild, Earthy
Nasturtium 14-16 Spicy
Sunflower 8-12 Nutty
Pea, Green 10-15 Sweet


If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at or 1-888-656-9988.

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