I very recently started growing microgreens and absolutely love it! I learned a lot from growing my first crop, and I wanted to share some of those things so you can learn from my mistakes! Here’s 10 things that I did wrong growing microgreens:
Not enough soil
I put maybe an inch of soil down in the planting trays. I was assured that microgreens didn’t need very much soil to grow, and they definitely don’t! BUT, I did notice that alot of the microgreens had a hard time staying upright as time went on, and I can’t help but wonder if more soil would have helped. I’ll try this in my next batch.
Not enough seeds
I was told that I should use a TON of seeds and plant them very close together. This turned out to be truer than I realized. I bought some packs of seeds that were 100 seeds - that was definitely NOT enough for a whole tray or even half a tray. I would recommend planting at least 500 in a tray, and sticking with seeds that you can buy in bulk, like basil or beets.
I bought some planter trays specifically to grow microgreens, thinking that I would need the expansiveness for all of my seeds. Given how many seeds you can fit in a tray, I think you could probably do the same thing with any containers that have a good amount of surface area - pyrex cooking pans, ‘clamshell’ plastic takeout containers, tupperware. That said, if you expect to plant a lot of microgreens, the planter trays will give you the most plants per inch.
Waiting too long / Not waiting long enough
I expected to be able to harvest my microgreens at 14 days or so - I actually ended up harvesting at 4 weeks!
Buying the wrong amount seeds
I bought a ton of seeds - but a lot of them were only a 100 seeds per packet, so not too conducive to using for microgreens. Next time I would focus on buying seeds in bulk and sticking with those.
Worrying about not having a recipe for them
I needn’t have worried - microgreens are a great addition to almost everything! Just today I used microgreens for brunch and it was delicious!
Trying to use them in cooking
I tried to use some of the microgreens on a pizza. Looks pretty delicious, right? It was, but the microgreens, being exposed on the top of the pizza cooked way faster than the pizza itself, leaving them flavorless and crispy. If I were to do it again, I would either put microgreens below the cheese layer or add them afterward.
Watering from above
This was a tough one. If you are able to put your plants in a container that has holes in the bottom, I highly recommend it, since you would be to water from below. My trays had no holes, so I had to water from the top, meaning that sometimes my microgreens would fall over from the water pressure.
Buying seeds for their color
I bought a lot of Bright Lights Chard, which are known for their beautiful red, orange and yellow stems colors. However, as microgreens, the stem colors just weren’t as impressive. What WAS impressive was the Detroit Red Beets that I got at an incredible discount! Lesson learned - not everything that’s colorful as an adult is going to be as vibrant as a microgreen.
Not doing this earlier!