Whether you’re just getting into gardening or you want to try something different this year, planting microgreens is a fun and easy way to boost your green thumb.
You only need a few components to get started with microgreen growing, including seeds, good quality soil, and growing trays. While it’s easy to think that all growing trays might be the same, that isn’t the case. The vessel you choose can have a huge impact on the success of your greens’ growth.
But, if you’ve never grown microgreens before, how can you tell which growing trays are better than others? What should you look for and are certain brands better?
If you’re still on the fence as to whether you should grow microgreens this year, let’s talk more about some of the benefits. Once you’re convinced, we’ll dive into how you can choose the best possible growing trays for your project.
Microgreens are edible seedlings of plants. They’re greens that are harvested just after the leaves have started to develop. While many people use them as visual enhancements to their favorite dishes, there are plenty of benefits to eating microgreens.
First, they contain quite a few nutrients. Most microgreens have high levels of:
They’re also great sources of antioxidants and contribute to a balanced diet. This can help to prevent early signs of aging, work with your weight loss goals or just allow you to easily live a healthier, nutrient-rich lifestyle.
In addition to being good for you, microgreens are quite easy to grow. That makes them perfect for beginner gardeners, especially since you’ll start them inside and can monitor them closely. Because the greens can be delicate, you’ll have to focus on things like pH balance, making sure you’re giving them high-quality water that won’t end up killing the roots and contributing to poor flavor. But, with a little time, care, and the right supplies, you can enjoy microgreens all spring and summer.
Speaking of supplies, how can you get started to make sure you’re choosing the right growing trays?
If you’ve done any research online, especially on DIY sites like Pinterest, you’ve probably seen people coming up with different solutions for their own growing trays. These have included everything from eggshells to toilet paper rolls to a newspaper that has been shaped and molded.
Those DIY solutions might be aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-worthy. But, they aren’t that practical when it comes to effectively growing greens.
Microgreen trays should technically consist of two pieces – a planting tray and a watering tray.
The watering tray should be larger than the planting tray. It needs to be tall enough to hold a significant amount of water without that water overflowing or spilling out and not getting to the plants. The most practical watering trays have ridges that keep the planting tray slightly elevated.
When you’re looking for a planting tray, the most important thing is to make sure it has holes. The holes will allow any extra water to drain out so your greens get just the right amount. Look for holes that are evenly spaced and large enough for some of the soil media to come in contact with the water.
Finally, look for dark trays. Microgreens tend to grow faster and stronger in trays that don’t allow light to permeate to the roots. This is an especially good tip if it’s your first time growing microgreens and need a little bit of “insurance.”
When you choose the right trays and take care of them properly, you’ll be able to reuse them for many years to come. That alone makes them a more practical choice than something like eggshells.
As you might expect, there are different microgreen growing trays to choose from. When you know what to look for, you can feel more confident in choosing a tray that works for you. But, as with everything else, different brands have different features.
Many times, what you choose will end up being a personal preference. The trays you’ll need will depend on how often you plan on using them, and if you need any extra “help” in getting started.
This tray is perfect for beginners. The nice thing about this tray is that you can use it with or without soil. Its dome lid preserves heat and moisture, which can help your greens to grow faster.
Perfect for more experienced growers who need more durability and plan on consistently growing microgreens for years to come, a Bootstrap Farmer tray features:
This is another fantastic tray that is perfect for use as a drip tray and seed starting. If you’re looking for a high-quality tray without water drainage, this is a great choice. It features:
Growing your Microgreens is a fun and easy way to not only save money on produce but also get healthier. As a generally easy food to grow, all you need is a good tray to start your microgreen growing adventure.
Remember to analyze the space you are working with, your experience level growing vegetables, as well as the light levels in your home. Since microgreens are grown indoors, they’re one of the few veggies you can enjoy all year long. They can provide a wonderful sense of liveliness to your living space, they’re easy to grow, and they’re fun to use in a variety of ways.
Don’t hesitate to do your research when it comes to microgreen growing trays, and consider the basics of what those trays should have before deciding on the right one to fit your needs.