January 20, 2022

How Do You Grow Microgreens Without Soil? Detailed Step-By-Step Guide

Table
of
Contents

Growing
microgreens
without
soil
is
one
of
the
easiest
things
to
produce
your
food.
You
don’t
require
expensive
materials
or
a
high-flying
agronomic
degree
to
do
it.
All
you
need
are
a
few
essential
supplies
and
a
DIY
guide,
and
you
are
good
to
go! 

What’s
more,
microgreens
take
a
maximum
of
13
days
to
mature.
So,
you
should
have
your
homegrown
microgreens
before
the
14th
day.

This
practice
is
being
largely
adopted
due
to
the
increasing
awareness
of
healthy
living
habits.
The
thing
is,
growing
your
own
microgreens
allows
you
to
take
more
control
of
the
cultivation
process.
So,
you
get
to
decide
which
nutritional
components
to
focus
on
and
which
ones
to
avoid
in
your
microgreens. 

This
situation
makes
soilless
farming
popular
among
folks
around
the
world.
Although,
a
sizable
number
of
DIYers
grow
microgreens
without
soil
for
fun
or
for
aesthetic
purposes. 

Before
we
talk
about
how
to
grow
microgreens
without
soil,
let’s
first
look
at
the
usefulness
of
various
hydroponic
supplies.
Basically,
the
success
of
microgreens
aquaculture
depends
on
your
ability
to
utilize
these
essential
materials
appropriately. 


Materials
Needed
to
Grow
Microgreens
Without
Soil 

Have
these
materials
ready
before
you
start
your
microgreen
farming
project:


Growing
trays:

You’ll
need
standard
size
10”
x
20”
growing
trays.
They
should
have
holes
to
allow
refill
and
drainage
of
water
at
stipulated
intervals.


Microgreen
seeds:

Microgreen
seeds
are
the
primary
supplies
for
starting
this
process.
It
will
be
great
to
pick
organic
microgreen
seeds
and
stay
away
from
seeds
that
were
exposed
and
treated
with
chemicals
at
all
costs.
Fungicide-treated
seeds
carry
foreign
chemicals
that
could
distort
the
essential
nutrient
control
in
hydroponic
systems. 


Light:

Get
a
T5
fluorescent
for
all
your
lighting
needs.
A
cheaper
T8
option
is
equally
effective
if
you
can’t
get
a
T5.
Having
a
lighting
system
is
important
since
you
can’t
expose
your
microgreens
to
direct
sunlight
for
the
first
10
days
or
so. 


Growing
medium:

You’ll
need
a
suitable
growing
medium,
such
as
coconut
coir
or
hemp
mats,
to
hold
microgreen
roots
in
place.
This
material
replaces
soil,
which
is
absent
in
such
hydroponic
systems. 


pH
test
strips:

pH
test
kits
are
required
in
hydroponics
to
enable
constant
testing
of
water
to
maintain
preferred
salinity
continuously. 


Spray
bottle:

An
unused
spray
bottle
is
required
for
regular
misting
and
application
of
chemicals.
A
new
bottle
is
ideal
to
make
sure
that
there
are
no
traces
of
chemicals
introduced
in
the
microgreen
beds.


Paper
towels:

Unbleached
paper
towels
are
preferable
since
the
plants
can
absorb
the
dye
or
coloring
in
colored
materials. 


Nutrients:

Specific
nutrients
are
key
to
the
soilless
farming
of
microgreens.
These
nutrients
should
be
organic
and
contain
the
right
components
for
particular
microgreens. 


Note:

Some
microgreens
seeds
are
technologically
modified
to
carry
essential
nutrients
for
resilient
growth
in
the
hydroponic
systems.
Nonetheless,
you
should
have
the
recommended
nutrients
when
starting
your
hydroponics
project.
Often,
microgreen
seeds
contain
an
optimal
set
of
components
that
enrich
the
delicate
microgreens.

Growing
microgreens
without
soil
is
as
easy
as
gathering
these
materials.
So,
if
you
have
these
materials
ready,
you
are
halfway
to
getting
your
homegrown
microgreens.

There
are
several
established
ways
of
growing
microgreens
without
soil.
We’ll
focus
on
the
two
popular
methods
for
now:

  • Growing
    microgreens
    hydroponically.
  • Growing
    microgreens
    on
    paper
    towels. 


Growing
Microgreens
Hydroponically

Hydroponics
is
a
method
of
growing
plants
in
an
aquatic-based
environment,
with
no
soil
involved.
Under
this
method,
your
microgreens
are
set
to
receive
nutrients
from
water
as
opposed
to
soil.
This
means
that
fertilizers
and
other
desired
nutritional
properties
are
added
to
water
to
create
the
intended
nutrient-rich
solution.

You’ll
require
mediums
like
substrate
to
support
roots
in
the
hydroponic
planting
system.
Other
growing
mediums
include
coconut
coir,
hemp
mats,
and
rockwool.
Even
so,
some
hydroponic
methods
don’t
require
such
growing
mediums
at
all.


How
to
Grow
Microgreens
Without
Soil:
Step-By-Step
Process
of
Growing
Hydroponically


Step
1:
Get
the
Water
Ready

Preparing
the
water
involves
maintaining
the
right
pH
balance.
The
appropriate
pH
balance
for
rearing
microgreens
is
between
5.5
and
6.5.
You
might
have
to
add
lime
or
wood
ash
to
adjust
the
pH
level
if
it
is
too
high.
You
should
also
have
phosphoric
acid
ready
in
case
the
pH
level
falls
below
the
expected
range. 

It
is
advisable
to
use
rainwater
or
distilled
water
if
you
can
get
it.
Since
they
normally
have
the
right
pH
balance
for
this
kind
of
farming.
Tap
water
can
be
used
to
set
up
your
hydroponic
system,
but
you
have
to
boil
it
first
or
let
it
rest
for
24
hours
to
let
out
the
chlorine
gas. 

Once
you
have
the
right
water
conditions,
add
your
chosen
ingredients
to
start
dissolving
in
the
meantime.


Step
2:
Prepare
the
Grow
Mat

The
second
step
is
to
cut
the
grow
mat
just
big
enough
to
fit
the
trays.
Then,
soak
the
grow
mats
in
the
water
solution.
After
that,
allow
the
mats
to
drain
excess
water
before
putting
them
in
the
planting
trays. 


Step
3:
Plant
Your
Seeds

Spread
the
seeds
over
the
mat.
Make
sure
to
distribute
the
seeds
evenly
for
them
to
share
the
nutrients
equally. 

The
density
of
seeds
per
square
meter
varies
depending
on
the
type
of
microgreens
you
are
dealing
with.
Check
the
manufacturer’s
recommendations
for
the
right
seed
distribution. 

After
planting,
mist
the
seeds
with
clean
water.
Alternatively,
you
can
use
a
nutrient
solution
for
misting. 


Step
4:
Cover
the
Seeds

Put
on
a
light
cover
over
the
seeds. 


Step
5:
Early-Stage
Nurturing

Your
microgreens
should
be
kept
covered
24/7
in
a
dark
place
until
they
begin
sprouting.
Opening
your
tray
is
allowed
once
every
24
hours
to
enable
the
regular
misting
procedure. 


Note:

Most
seed
varieties
require
complete
covering
for
around
five
days. 


Step
6:
Growing
Stage

The
seeds
normally
start
growing
after
five
days.
Remove
the
cover
and
expose
the
tray
to
the

grow
light

when
this
happens.


Moderate
watering

begins
at
this
stage.
Instead
of
misting,
add
water
into
the
holding
area.
Use
balanced
pH
water
for
your
regular
watering.
On
succeeding
days,
reduce
the
strength
of
the
original
water
by
three-quarters. 


Step
7:
Harvesting
Stage

You
can
harvest
your
produce
when
they
are
10
to
13
days
old,
depending
on
the
type
of
your
microgreens.
This
is
done
by
cutting
the
microgreens
off
at
the
base
of
the
stem. 

Rinse
your
harvested
microgreens
thoroughly
to
wash
off
all
chemical
traces.
Then,
put
them
in
moist
paper
towels
before
putting
them
inside
the
fridge.


Cultivating
Microgreens
on
Paper
Towels
Without
Soil


Growing
microgreens

on
paper
towels
without
soil
is
a
pretty
straightforward
process.
All
you
need
are
microgreens
seeds,
paper
towels,
water,
a
spray
bottle,
and
a
holding
container. 

Microgreens
on
paper
towels
can
also
be
done
on
a
large
scale
if
you
intend
to
sell
them.
For
such
a
large-scale
setup,
you’ll
need
extended
metal
shelving
to
hold
your
trays
in
appropriate
positions.
Positioning
is
important
since
watering
and
artificial
lighting
are
often
automated
using
timers. 


Step-By-Step
Process
of
Growing
Microgreens
Using
Paper
Towels 

Once
you’ve
assembled
all
the
required
materials,
follow
the
steps
below
to
grow
your
microgreens.


Step
1:

Select
Your
Microgreens
Seeds

Identify
the
right
seeds
for
growing
microgreens
of
your
choice.
Note
that
nearly
all
edible
vegetables
and
herbs
can
be
nurtured
as
microgreens
without
soil. 

Notably,
microgreens
are
dense
in

flavor
and
nutrients
.
That
is
why
the
practice
of
growing
microgreens
without
soil
is
increasingly
becoming
popular
around
the
world. 

Microgreens
vendors
in
your
area
should
have
these
seed
varieties:
sunflower,
spinach,
amaranth,
mustard,
and
basil.

You
shouldn’t
grow
the
following
seeds
on
paper
towels:
beet,
cabbage,
and
carrot.
Nonetheless,
these
seed
varieties
can
be
grown
in
other
soilless
farming
mediums
like
soil
trays.

Also,
tomatoes,
peppers,
eggplants,
and
other
nightshade
varieties
should
not
be
grown
on
paper
towels
since
their
sprouts
are
poisonous.


Step
2:

Soak
The
Microgreens
Seeds.

Soak
your

microgreens
seeds

for
a
few
hours
or
even
overnight
for
some
varieties.
This
is
done
to
soften
the
seeds
to
ease
germination.
Unsoaked
microgreens
seeds
tend
to
delay
sprouting.

However,
certain
seed
varieties
like
basil
and
chia
do
not
require
soaking
in
advance.
These
varieties
form
a
sticky
gel
when
exposed
to
water.
So,
ensure
your
microgreens
seeds
are
water-tolerant
before
soaking
them. 


Step
3:
Plant
the
Microgreens
Seeds

Soak
your

paper
towels

in
water,
a
few
at
a
time.
Then
squeeze
out
the
water
to
obtain
the
right
level
of
dampness.

Before
planting
your
seeds,
ensure
you
get
the
right
moisture
level
in
your
medium.
If
your
paper
towels
get
too
dry,
the
seeds
might
dry
out
and
not
grow.
Too
wet
surfaces
also
expose
your
seeds
to
moisture
molds
and
other
issues. 

Then,
fold
your
paper
towel
to
get
a
reasonable
thickness
for
lining
the
bottom
of
your
container.

Once
your
surface
is
ready,
use
a
small
spoon
to
spread
your
seeds
evenly.
Do
not
apply
too
much
pressure
during
application
to
avoid
crushing
some
seeds. 

After
that,
mist
the
seeds
appropriately
before
covering
them
with
another
sheet
of
paper
towel. 


Step
4:
Place
Your
Planting
Containers
in
a
Dark
Place

Cover
your
medium
with
another
container
and
place
it
in
a
cupboard
to
prevent
direct
sunlight. 

Also,
if
you
are
in
a
very
dry
climate
or
growing
in
winter,
use
a
plastic
wrap
or
a
clear
lid
to
maintain
the
right
humidity
conditions
inside
the
container. 

Do
not
uncover
the
growing
container
more
than
is
necessary.
This
is
required
to
maintain
the
right

humidity
conditions

and
continuous
darkness
inside
the
container.


Step
5:
Monitor
Moisture
Levels
Daily

Check
the
paper
towel
daily
to
ensure
the
correct
moisture
level
is
maintained.
If
the
surface
is
wet,
do
not
intervene
in
any
way.
Just
cover
the
tray
back
up.
If
it
is
dry,
gently
spray
it
to
rehydrate
the
system.

When
misting,
use
the
stipulated
instructions
in
the
spraying
bottle
to
avoid
applying
too
much
pressure.
Too
much
pressure
can
dislodge
the
newly
formed
roots
from
the
surface. 

Constantly
check
and
rehydrate
the
system
as
long
as
it
is
necessary.


Step
6:

Uncover
the
Microgreens.

You
should
uncover
your
microgreens
after
seven
days. 

By
this
time,
they
should
have
grown
tall
and
formed
leaves.
It
is
now
safe
to
expose
the
plants
to
sunlight
to
begin
the
photosynthesis
process.

Photosynthesis

will
turn
the
yellowish-white
coloring
into
vibrant
green
in
about
24
to
48
hours. 

It
is
safe
to
continue
watering
your
microgreens
to
maintain
the
right
moisture.
Ensure
you
don’t
expose
the
plants
to
too
much
dampness. 


Step
7:
Harvest
Your
Microgreens

Your
microgreens
should
be
ready
for
harvesting
after
24
to
48
hours
of
direct
sunlight.
You
can
expose
your
microgreens
to
moderate
lighting
for
a
few
more
days
to
enlarge
the
stem
and
develop
more
nutrients. 

In
any
case,
you
shouldn’t
go
beyond
day
13
before
harvesting
your
microgreens.
On
the
14th
day,
the
seeds
will
have
run
out
of
the
essential
nutrients
and
energy
to
sustain
stretched-out
microgreens.


Final
Thoughts

Growing
microgreens
without
soil
is
generally
a
straightforward
process.
Most
of
the
work
is
done
collecting
and
assembling
the
essential
materials
to
create
an
ideal
planting
space.
After
the
planting
stage,
the
rest
involves
simple
monitoring
and
watering
to
maintain
the
right
humidity
conditions. 

Even
so,
you
can
stumble
into
problems
along
the
way.

Common
issues

in
hydroponic
systems
include
wilting,
molds,
bad
smell,
uneven
growth,
yellow
leaves,
and
poor
germination.
So,
other
than
setting
up
and
planting,
you
should
arm
yourself
with
the
right
ideas
for
troubleshooting
and
fixing
issues
as
they
arise. 

Original Source