If you want to grow more greens without spending a lot of money on trays right away, sprouting trays are fantastic for cost savings. That, and the fact that they are smaller, saves you some space. But don’t be fooled by the tray size. Here are the steps.
How To Grow Microgreens In Tray
STEP 1: To begin, select your growing medium
With these trays, we recommend using seed starting soil, coco coir, or reusable mesh. After you’ve decided on your grow medium, place the white mesh tray inside / on top of the solid green tray.
Fill the white mesh tray with the grow medium until it is about 34 full if using soil or soil-like medium.
Per sprouting tray, we typically use 3 cups of soil or coco coir. However, if you’re using reusable grow medium (like ours), simply place it on the white tray and proceed with the seeding steps.
Once the medium is in the tray, break up any clumps that you may find, and remove any larger twigs if you’re using soil with twigs (Microgreens don’t like growing on sticks).
STEP 2: Planting microgreen seeds in a sprouting tray
Then, using a scale with a cup attached, calculate the amount of seed required. Depending on the seed, we recommend 1-3 tablespoons per tray.
For the sprouting trays, divide the amount on the guide (which is the seed amount for a 10×20 tray) in half to get the amount needed for these sprouting trays. Because these sprouting trays are smaller than the 10×20 trays, you won’t over seed.
STEP 3: After seeding, generously water the seeds and grow medium with a spray bottle (we recommend these types) until wet but not over-watered! Too much water can lead to a variety of problems, including mold, damping off, and slow growth.
STEP 4: On The Grow’s Mandi Stacking microgreen seeds on a green bottom tray
After watering your seedlings, remove the green tray from beneath the mesh tray, discard any grow medium that fell into this tray, and then lay the green tray on the edge of the seeds, so that the tray relaxes on the seeds.
STEP 5: During germination, place weight on top of microgreen seeds
At this point, you can add some weight to the top, such as a 5lb to 7lb brick on top of the green tray, OR you can leave the tray alone, and the tray will act as the “added weight.”
The weight required varies depending on the crop variety, and we have this information listed on our grow guide for easy understanding,
along with our recommended amount of time you should use the W= Weight or ET = Empty Tray. When it comes to even seed germination and seed hull removal, weight can be very beneficial.
STEP 6: Once the weight and tray have been removed, mist your microgreens as usual, then take the green tray, flip it over to create a dome, and place it on top of your mesh tray for Black-Out.
You will then place your tray on a dark (no light) shelf for 1 to 2 days (depending on the crop) until the weight is no longer required.
STEP 7: When the crop is ready to come out of blackout, place the green tray back underneath the mesh tray to act as a reservoir, and then expose your microgreens to light for the first time so they can begin to green up.
This was also the first time we started bottom-watering and/or introducing hydroponic nutrients.
STEP 8: When filling the green tray with bottom water, make sure your mesh tray is
barely touching the water! Fill it slightly, then allow the white mesh tray to sit normally for a moment, then slightly invert the mesh tray to check for any water droplets.
When it comes to using these sprouting trays to grow microgreens, watering is crucial.
It’s important to remember that with these trays, you’ll need to check every 2 to 3 days to see if there’s water in the green tray from previous waterings.
If you over-water, you can empty the container and refill it with fresh water. This avoids stagnant water, which can smell bad and invite disease.
There are different ways to grow microgreens. You can grow them using soilless farming. Learn how to grow microgreens without soil here.
- Quality Evaluation of Indoor-Grown Microgreens Cultivated on Three Different Substrates
- Innovative Farming of Edible Micro Greens at Home and their Nutritional Composition
- Advances and emerging trends in cultivation substrates for growing sprouts and microgreens toward safe and sustainable agriculture