How to Grow Microgreens

I worked at a restaurant right out of college that had amazing cheese boards, harvest bowls, salmon filets, pretty sweet potato cake stacks–you name it! What made their food unique? Their food was pretty. Yes, it was also flavorful and well-prepared with quality, seasonal ingredients. But, it was beautiful, and I think this was important. Adding microgreens atop a number of their signature dishes was one of their best moves. 

Microgreens are a pretty ingredient to have on hand. Sprinkling a few microgreens on *virtually anything* make any meal look a bit more fancy. Microgreens are full of healthy nutrients. So, instead of coughing up an extra five dollars with each grocery run, learn how to grow microgreens at home to enjoy this healthy green year-round. 

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are like they sound: micro (teeny tiny) greens (plants). Essentially, microgreens are tiny plants harvested before they reach maturation. They are popular on dishes like omelets, salads, grilled chicken or fish, soufflés, and roasted root vegetables.

A wide variety of plants make delicious microgreens, and they are packed with health benefits unique to their harvest time. The nutrients are more concentrated than their mature plant counterparts. According to WebMD, research indicates that microgreens have as much as 40% more beneficial nutrients than its full grown plant. 

microgreens against white windowsill

What are the different types of microgreens? 

There are a ton of popular microgreen varieties, just like other forms of hydroponic gardening. If you have leftover seeds from your garden, check the instructions and see if they are suitable for growing microgreens. (They might also work if you are learning how to grow sprouts.) Some common microgreens to grow are: 

  • radish
  • oregano
  • beet
  • chard
  • arugula
  • basil
  • broccoli
  • mustard
  • sunflower
  • carrot
  • pea

How to Use Microgreens

Microgreens are typically served as a topping, rather than on their own. However, they are perfectly safe and healthy to eat on their own and even pack a nutritious punch to whatever you’re eating. 

Some folks mix microgreens into their juicing routine or into a smoothie recipe. If you like to make herby sauces you can sneak some microgreens in–try adding them to a pesto or chimichurri recipe. You can replace any greens with microgreens, and it just might add a crispy texture or enhanced flavor. 

sprouts on sandwich with white background

Microgreens Vs. Sprouts

It’s easy to confuse microgreens and sprouts. Both are tiny plants. However, the difference is in how the two are grown. Microgreens are grown in soil, whereas sprouts are grown in water, much like other hydroponic plants. Microgreens grow over a few weeks, while sprouts take only a few days. Microgreens require sunlight while sprouts do not need sunlight. Both plants come with differences in their nutritional values, although both are healthy to consume. 

supplies for growing microgreens scissors, seeds, jar, grow sheet

Tools You’ll Need

  • growing container 
  • sprouting seeds
  • water
  • misting bottle
  • natural fiber grow mat
seeds in jar for microgreens

How to Grow Microgreens

Step 1

Much like growing seeds in soil, begin by soaking your seeds for several hours, up to 8 hours. (Always check your seed packet for any particular instructions for the seed.) 

Step 2

Prepare your other items. Cut your growing mat to the correct size to fit into your growing container. Then, wet the growing mat to prepare it for growing microgreens. (Hint: if you don’t have a grow mat, you can also grow these in compressed potting soil. This will make harvesting a bit more challenging.) 

Step 3

Sprinkle seeds evenly and generously all over the growing mat. Carefully press the seeds into the mat or soil so that they are able to take root. Squirt the seeds with a mister. 

Step 4

Cover the seeds with a lid or plastic wrap, and set them in a sunny windowsill to sprout. 

spray bottle against background of microgreens

Step 5

Mist the sprouts daily with water. 

Step 6

After a few days, the seeds will sprout. Once they’ve sprouted, remove the plastic wrap and store them uncovered, misting them up to twice a day as they grow into microgreens. 

Step 7

Harvest the microgreens after two weeks or longer. You can test the microgreens for readiness by checking the leaves. If they’re strong and healthy, the microgreens are ready. 

microgreens near window

Tips for How to Grow Microgreens

How should I store my microgreens? 

Microgreens can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will last for up to two weeks. 

Can I use paper towels to grow microgreens? 

Yes! If you don’t have access to soil or a grow mat, consider using paper towels when learning how to grow microgreens. 

How to Grow Microgreens

How to Grow Microgreens

Yield: 1 bunch
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Days Until Complete: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 5 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate

Microgreens are my go-to ingredient for making any recipe look pretty. Plus, they're super healthy. Learning how to grow microgreens is one of the best decisions I've ever made!


  1. First, you'll cut your natural growing mat to fit the size of your growing container. Then, place it inside
  2. Next, you'll fill your mister bottle with water.
  3. Mist the growing mat with water until it's fairly wet.
  4. Sprinkle seeds onto the mat pretty generously. Spread two tablespoons or so for a standard container.
  5. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap to trap moisture. Leave in a sunny window to sprout.
  6. Mist with the water spray bottle every 12-24 hours.
  7. After 3–5 days, the seeds should sprout. Once they've sprouted, remove the plastic wrap.
  8. Continue to mist the microgreens every day until they reach full size.
  9. Harvest the microgreens after 2–3 weeks when they have reached full capacity.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply