Growing microgreens involves protecting delicate young seedlings from several things, including temperature variations, excess moisture, and garden pests. Typically, microgreen gardeners find that growing microgreens indoors is much easier because they can control the growing conditions better. When growing conditions are controlled, the harvest will be larger. Furthermore, the microgreens will be more tender as well as more flavorful. This is one of the main reasons that microgreen growers prefer growing indoors.
There are several things that should be considered when deciding whether you should grow microgreens indoors or outdoors. You must consider your indoor space, outdoor temperature and humidity levels, lighting requirements, and much more.
You will need to consider the area you have to grow your microgreens. Although a planter's rack allows you to utilize the vertical space in your home, you must have a location where the rack can be placed. If planting outdoors, you must have a space dedicated to microgreen gardening or install a microgreen greenhouse.
The optimal growing temperature for microgreens is 65° to 80°. Oftentimes outdoor temperatures are not within this range; however, indoor temperatures are typically ideal. The level of humidity can also impact your microgreen crop. Too much humidity and not enough airflow can increase the risk of mold and other soilborne diseases.
Microgreens require an ample amount of light once germinated. Indoors, you will use grow lights to mimic sunlight. However, unlike outdoors, this light is consistent and results in even growth and development. Outdoors, the light isn't consistent and many times the plants will receive too little or too much light, which can result in either stunted growth or long, leggy plants.
Soil is another important consideration on whether you should grow microgreens indoors or outdoors. When grown indoors, you can control the soil content. If grown outdoors, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Yes, you can compost and amend the soil; however, amended soil is still not as good as the soil sold for indoor microgreen growing.
Pests like ants, caterpillars, worms, and flies can plague microgreens, resulting in a smaller and damaged crop. Although there are effective pest control formulas on the market, microgreens are revered for their health benefits, which means no pesticides should be used. Indoors, these pests are typically not found, and therefore, no pesticides are needed. If you must grow microgreens outdoors, control the pests with an organic formula designed for gardens.
There may be times when growing microgreens outdoors is the only option. If you choose to grow outdoors, there are certain rules that should be followed to ensure a healthy, full harvest.
Microgreens require sunlight to grow properly. Each type of microgreen requires a different amount of sunlight. Some like to be grown in full sun while some like partial shade. Read growing guides about the type of microgreens you will be growing.
Microgreens require fine-grained soil that drains well. Most people who attempt to grow microgreens outdoors find that they need to amend their soil. Amending the garden soil with coconut coir, sand, and peat moss. These soil amendments help to loosen soil, improve drainage, and enhance nutrient content in the garden.
Whether you decide to grow microgreens outdoors or indoors, you will need high-quality seeds like the ones found at True Leaf Market. The microgreen seeds offered here have high germination rates to help you have a bountiful crop.
In addition to seeds, there are several pieces of equipment required for indoor microgreen gardening, including a growing medium, a misting bottle, and grow trays. You may also wish to purchase circulation fans, full spectrum grow lights, a heat mat, and a planting rack. On average, you can expect to spend between one hundred dollars and two hundred dollars on microgreen supplies; however, once these items have been purchased, you will only need to purchase growing medium and seeds. Everything else can be reused.
If you decide to grow microgreens outside, you will need soil amending supplies, including a tiller, soil amendments like peat moss, and pesticides. You can also purchase a greenhouse to extend the growing season and improve crop sizes.
Microgreens are easy to grow when you have the right supplies and knowledge. They don't require a lot of time or expense. Once you learn the basic tenets of growing microgreens, you can grow microgreens throughout the year indoors. Although you can grow microgreens outdoors, the harvest is usually smaller and the flavor and texture can be impacted. If you are limited on space indoors and want to grow microgreens, gather your supplies, and plant your microgreen outdoors.