Growing Microgreens and Sprouts Indoors

Starting an indoor garden can be overwhelming but microgreens and sprouts are some of the simplest plants to start your indoor garden. Sprouts and microgreens are nutritional and easy to grow in your home! You can sow the seed in a repurposed container or purchase a seed sprouter.

Photo of bean sprouts.

Bean Sprouts by Stacy Spensley

Sprouts do not need soil, just moist dark conditions and space to grow. While microgreens are larger than a sprout and smaller than a ‘baby” salad green, unlike sprouts they do need soil or a soil substitute. Microgreens also have a much stronger flavor than sprouts. There are numerous benefits to growing your own food.

Growing Microgreens

You will need:
Seeds
Containers
Soil or soil substitute
Covering, damp cloth
Water spray bottle
Location to grow
Scissors for harvesting
Storage

Indoor Seeds:

Adzuki
Amaranth
Arugula
Basil
Beetroot
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Celery
Celtuce
Chard
Chervil
Chia
Chicory
Chinese Mustard
Chinese Water Pepper
Chives
Cilantro
Coriander
Cress
Dandelion
Dill
Endive
Fennel
Fenugreek
Flax
Garlic Chives
Hong vit
Hon tsai tai
Italian Dandelion
Kale
Kohlrabi
Komatsuna
Lamb’s Lettuce
Leek
Lemon Balm
Lentil
Lettuce
Minutina
Mitsuba
Mizuna
Mustard
Mung Bean
Pac Choi
Par cel
Parsley
Pea
Perilla
Pepetual Spinach
Purple Passion Seeds
Purslane
Radicchio
Radish
Red Mustard Greens
Rocket
Sage
Savory
Shungiku
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring Onion
Sunflower
Tatsoi
Thyme
Turnip
Tokyo Bekana
Wheatgrass
Yukina

(Note: Experiment with different seeds!)

Indoor Gardening Containers

Containers should be shallow, lightweight and portable. You can have a variety of different designs or repurpose containers you have around your home. Make sure your containers have holes at the bottom for drainage. All Containers need drainage otherwise you may have mold, rot or undersized growth.

Suggested Grow Trays

Examples of repurposed items:


Save your pint and half pint fruit containers stack and clean
Mushroom containers stack and clean
Plastic food containers such as the ones you get from salads
Shallow baskets can be lined with plastic film such as polythene

Experiment with different containers to find the one right for you.

Indoor Gardening Soil:

Experiment with different soil types! We have had good luck with Epsoma Organic Potting Soil, Jiffy Seedling Mix and Organic Miracle-Gro.

Indoor Hydroponic Kits:

Hydroponics is the use of nutrient-enriched water instead of soil. Pumice stone is used in supporting the plants. We recommend the Hydrofarm CK64050 Germination Station with Heat Mat.

Sowing:

Some seed will take longer than others to grow. Fill your chosen container with soil make sure you do not overfill with soil. Leave about ½ inch of space. Lay the seeds evenly and sparsely on top of the soil allowing ample breathing room. Use a mist bottle to spray the seeds with water.

Covering:

After you water your seeds place a cover over them. You can use a damp cloth or if using plastic container with a top, put the lid on. At least once a day remove lid (cloth) and spray!

Different types of containers may cause the seeds to dry out, it is important you keep the seeds moist so spray away.

Location to Grow:

Once you have noticed the spouts and germination you may move your micro sprouts to a sunnier location. You are only going to germinate them to the first leaf. The best flavor is when they begin to display adult-size leaves.

Harvest and Storing:

The greens will remain in sun light for 7-14 days, depending on the type and remember they need to remain moist. It is best to harvest right before you need them and not during the heat of the day. Cut as much as you need and leave the rest to grow. Clean them gently in cool water and pat dry. As for storing, microgreens have a short shelf life, three to four days in the refrigerator.

Further Reading: