How To Grow Lettuce Microgreens

<a href=''>Jon Smith</a>Jon Smith
December 23, 2021

Do you love a delicious salad? Would you like to be able to grow nutrient dense salad greens quickly and easily? Our growing instructions for lettuce microgreens are easy to understand and follow. You can be enjoying a delicious microgreen salad within two weeks.

Almost any plant can be harvested as a microgreen. Microgreens are typically harvested between eight and twenty days after the seeds are planted, which means they are one of the quickest crops you can grow.

Microgreen Profile

Our lettuce microgreen profile provides you with the information you need to plant, grow, and harvest tasty lettuce microgreens. You will learn how to plant lettuce seeds, the germination timeline, and when it's time to harvest your lettuce microgreens at a glance.

Flavor The flavor of your lettuce microgreens depends on the specific mix. Some lettuce microgreens will have a fresh, mild flavor while others will be potent and spicy.
Pre-Soak (Yes/No)   No – Lettuce microgreen seeds do not require presoaking.
Color   The color of your lettuce microgreens can range from pale green to red, depending on the type of lettuce microgreens planted.
Germination Time   Your lettuce seeds should germinate in one to two days.
Harvest Time   The ideal harvest time for lettuce microgreens is between eight and twelve days.
Green Thumb Level (1-5)  1 – Lettuce microgreens are some of the easiest microgreens to grow, especially when our step by step instructions are followed.

Our lettuce microgreen growing guide will provide you with all of the information that you need to successfully grow your own lettuce microgreens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you have grown microgreens in the past or this is the first time you have ever grown microgreens, you may have questions about lettuce microgreens. Our frequently asked questions section will seek to answer all of your questions.

What Is the Difference between Baby Salad Greens, Lettuce Sprouts, and Microgreens?

Sprouts are eaten right after germination, which is the first stage of development. Microgreens are harvested after the first set of leaves appear or after the first true leaves appear, depending on the microgreen. Finally, baby salad greens are young plants that are harvested after true leaves have developed.

Do Lettuce Microgreens Regrow After Harvesting?

No, like other types of microgreens, lettuce microgreens should be composted after harvesting.

How Fast Do Lettuce Microgreens Grow?

Lettice microgreens are extremely fast growing. Once planted, you should expect a bountiful harvest within two weeks.

Equipment Needed to Grow Lettuce Microgreens

You can grow lettuce microgreens in a variety of ways; however, we recommend growing microgreens in coconut coir in growing trays. The following equipment will help ensure a bountiful crop of lettuce microgreens.

Lettuce Microgreen Starter Kit

A starter kit will provide you with the essential pieces of equipment needed to grow your lettuce microgreens. We recommend the Deluxe Starter Kit from True Leaf Market. The kit includes a variety of microgreen seeds, grow trays, pH strips, hydroponic grow pads, a growing medium, and a misting bottle.

Specific Equipment Needed for Lettuce Microgreens                

Many people prefer to purchase each piece of equipment separately. Here is the list of essential equipment as well as optional equipment to help ensure a bountiful crop of lettuce microgreens.

Lettuce Microgreen Growing Medium

There are many different growing mediums that can be used to grow lettuce microgreens, including coconut coir and seed starting soil.

Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is a renewable resource made from the husks of coconuts. Coconut coir holds the appropriate amount of moisture while helping to minimize root rot, mildew, and other soilborne diseases, which is why we recommend this microgreen growing medium.

MOTHER EARTH Coco Plus Perlite Mix - For Indoor and Outdoor Container Gardens, Provides Strong Aeration & Drainage, 70% Coconut Coir, Resists Compaction, 50 Liter
  • Mother Earth Coco + Perlite is a great alternative to potting soil as it enables gardeners to aggressively feed and not worry about over-watering
  • Use Mother Earth Coco + Perlite with indoor and outdoor container gardens
  • Achieve better aeration and drainage with a mix that incorporates 70% of the finest coconut coir and 30% perlite
  • Plant directly in Mother Earth Coco + Perlite
  • Coconut coir resists compaction and last longer in a container (vs traditional growing media)

Seed Starting Soil

Seed starting soil is packed full of nutrients plants need to reach full maturity. When growing microgreens, these added nutrients aren't needed, which is why we recommend coconut coir for microgreen gardening.

FoxFarm Ocean Forest FX14000 -1.5 Cubic Foot Organic Potting Soil
  • SIZE: 38.6 quarts of FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil for your hungry plants
  • APPLICATION: Ultimate potting soil that has everything your plants need in one bag
  • CONTENTS: Blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss & more
  • PH LEVELS: Ocean Forest is pH adjusted at 6.3 to 6.8 to allow for optimum fertilizer uptake
  • BENEFITS: Encourages strong branching and a sturdy, healthy growth habit and is ideal for containerized plantings

Lettuce Microgreen Growing Trays

You will need two growing trays without drainage holes and one growing tray with drainage holes. We recommend using 10 inch by 20 inch microgreen growing trays. This size tray will provide you with a plethora of lettuce microgreens to enjoy.

Growing Tray with Drainage Holes

A growing tray with drainage holes will be used to hold your growing medium and seeds. This tray allows you to water your lettuce microgreens from the bottom to reduce the risk of soilborne disease.

10 Plant Growing Trays (with Drain Holes) - 20" x 10" - Perfect Garden Seed Starter Grow Trays: for Seedlings, Indoor Gardening, Growing Microgreens, Wheatgrass & More - Soil or Hydroponic
  • Quantity 10 - Durable Plastic - WITH Drain Holes
  • Perfect for hydroponic growing and seed starting
  • Approx: 21" by 11" (top measurement). 20" by 10" bottom of tray - See product description below for precise measurments
  • Accomodates 20" x 10" Sure to Grow Hydroponic Grow Pads and Micro-Mats Perfectly
  • Reusable - Great for Greenhouse, Seedlings, wheatgrass, microgreens and more.

Growing Tray without Drainage Holes

One of the growing trays without drainage holes will be used as a blackout dome. The other grow tray without drainage holes will hold the tray with drainage holes and allow you to water from the bottom.

10 Plant Growing Trays (No Drain Holes) - 20" x 10" - Perfect Garden Seed Starter Grow Trays: for Seedlings, Indoor Gardening, Growing Microgreens, Wheatgrass & More - Soil or Hydroponic
  • Quantity 10 - Durable Plastic - NO Drain Holes
  • Perfect for use as a drip tray, hydroponic growing and seed starting
  • Approx: 21" by 11" (top measurement). 20" by 10" bottom of tray - See product description below for precise measurments
  • Accomodates 20" x 10" Sure to Grow Hydroponic Grow Pads and Micro-Mats Perfectly
  • Reusable - Great for Greenhouse, Seedlings, wheatgrass, microgreens and more.

Lettuce Microgreens Misting Bottle

A misting bottle delivers a fine mist, which allows you to water your microgreen seeds without disturbing the seeds or the soil.

GETTON 2.0L Garden Sprayer, Hand-held Pressure Pump Sprayer Plant Mister Spray Bottle with Adjustable Nozzle and Detachable Wand for Indoor Outdoor Household Cleaning Garden Lawn Watering
  • 【Safe Pressure Valve】The garden spraying bottle equipped with a safety pressure release valve, which allows you to control the pressure of water and automatically releases the excess pressure. The pump holds a good amount of pressure while offers a place reducing fatigue while operating the equipment.
  • 【Adjustable Nozzle】The premium adjustable nozzle of this garden sprayer can be easily adjusted the intensity of the water from direct injection to fine mist spray as desired. Greater even coverage for a better performance.
  • 【Durable & Easy to Clean】The pump sprayer is manufactured from PP material for excellent durability. 2L Translucent water tank can clearly show the liquid level inside so you can add more in time. It is also convenient for cleaning.
  • 【Wide Application】This universal pressure sprayer can accommodate your daily cleaning and watering needs both indoors and outdoors . Ideal for household cleaning, watering plants and flowers, misting veggies, pet bathing, and moisturizing flowers.
  • 【Ergonomic Handle】The pump pressure sprayer comes with an ergonomic 4-finger handle that is non-slip for effortless use and convenient to be carried anywhere. A removable long wand is good to help spray more spaces or hard-to-reach places.

Lettuce Microgreens Grow Light

A grow light provides your lettuce microgreens with consistent light to ensure the healthy growth and development of your microgreens.

Barrina LED Grow Light, 144W( 6 x 24W, 800W Equivalent), 2ft T8, Full Spectrum, High Output, Linkable Design, T8 Integrated Bulb+Fixture, Plant Lights for Indoor Plants, 6-Pack
  • Full Spectrum - Barrina grow light is a great option for plants that in seedling, vegetative and flowering cycle. It provides light that plants need, especially blue and red light
  • Integrated Plant Light Chips- Compare with the lamp consisting of only "blue chips" + "red chips", integrated plant light chips have more efficiency and better color layout
  • Super Bright - Consume only 144W with 576 LEDS totally, replacing 800W general plant lights. These grow light provid a higher PPFD
  • Easy Installation - Plug and play. And could link up to 6 grow lights in a series by 48 inches connecting cords. Also, you could mount to ceiling or hang up for shelf. Saving your installation cost and time
  • Quality Assurance - 2-year unlimited warranty, easy and fast replacement is offered if any quality issue

(Optional) Lettuce Microgreens Heating Mat

A heating mat provides your microgreens with consistent temperature to help improve the germination rate of your microgreen seeds.

HYDGOOHO Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat for Seed Starting Propagation and Increase Germination Success 10 Inch x 20.75 Inch MET Safety Standard Certified
  • Makes a differeance in germination time, leafy greens in about 2 days and tomatoes 3-4 days for sprouts.
  • Try to use the seedling heat mat and heat mat thermostat to heat water in the seed container to increase humidity in your grow tent.
  • Using to keep a batch of fermenting beer wort at 72F is also available
  • Great affordable heating solution to starting plants from seed.
  • If you’re doing home gardening for your seasonings, go find this seedling heat mat sets.

(Optional) Lettuce Microgreen Planting Rack

A planter's rack allows you to grow microgreens vertically. You can grow several trays of microgreens without sacrificing floor space when a microgreen planting rack is utilized.

Storage Shelves 2100Lbs Capacity, 6-Shelf on Casters 48" L×18" W×82" H Wire Shelving Unit Adjustable Layer Metal Rack Strong Steel for Restaurant Garage Pantry Kitchen,Black
  • IMPRESSIVE STORAGE CAPACITY - With six tiers of shelving, this unit boasts an enormous amount of space and shelving. It’s able to provide a great deal of additional storage without taking up too much space itself.
  • STURDY AND DURABLE - Constructed from heavy-duty steel wire, this shelf is durable and resistant to dirt buildup and corrosion. Each shelf has a capacity of up to 220 lbs when properly assembled, with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs total.
  • ADJUSTABILITY - You can adjust the height of the storage shelves in one-inch increments, creating a customized unit best suited for your specific storage needs.
  • MULTIFUNCTIONALITY - This metal shelving unit can be used virtually anywhere, in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage, outdoor shed, and more. It’s perfect for storing tools, clothes, books, and whatever else is taking up space in your home or office. Equipped with wheels, you can transport this unit smoothly and efficiently room to room.
  • FAST, EASY ASSEMBLY: The shelving unit comes packaged ready to assemble, and doesn’t require any tools for installation. In just 15 minutes, your unit can be installed and ready to save space.

(Optional) Circulation Fans

Circulation fans provide a gentle breeze to help increase airflow and minimize the risk of soilborne diseases like mildew, mold, and root rot.

Active Air HORF6 6-Inch Clip-On 360-Degree 5W Brushless Motor Hydroponic Grow Fan with Spring-Loaded Plastic Clip for Gardens, Black, 2 Pack
  • LONG LASTING: Fan features a 5W brushless motor that lasts longer and can be hooked up to fan speed controllers; Features a smooth and quiet operation (2 Pack)
  • CLIP-ON DESIGN: Clip-on portable fan is convenient and effective for small spaces; Can be used to help grow healthy plants or for cooling, in your garden, flood tables for airflow under foliage, small spaces, or on your office desk with a spring-loaded plastic clip that won't mar surfaces
  • AIR-FLOW: With the 6-inch adjustable-angle head that rotates 360 degrees you can direct airflow where you need it and it can also be wall-mounted to free up space
  • DURABLE: The cooling fan features 3 durable plastic blades and the easily-removable safety grills make cleaning a breeze; The motor outlasts traditional fans that use oil to lubricate rotation
  • SPECIFICATIONS: The product has a 6-foot power cord and is powered by DC 5V/5W making it energy efficient; Weight: 1 pound; Dimensions of (L x W x H): 6 x 8 x 8 inches; Quantity: 2

Lettuce Microgreen Seed Options

There are many different options for lettuce microgreens. Here are the top lettuce microgreen seeds offered at True Leaf Market.

Crisphead Great Lakes 118 Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Great Lakes 118 Crisphead is a non-GOM heirloom lettuce also known as head lettuce or Great Lakes lettuce. This lettuce microgreen is easy to grow and ready for harvest in about two weeks. This lettuce microgreen is a perfect option for beginners.

Crisphead Hanson Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Hanson Improved Crisphead is a non-GMO heirloom lettuce that grows uniformly. The cool season microgreen has a delicious mild flavor and is ready for harvest in about two weeks.

Freckles Romaine Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Freckles Romaine is a non-GMO, heirloom cool weather romaine lettuce that is ready in two weeks. The red and green stems and leaves look beautiful in a microgreen salad.

Grand Rapids Leaf Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Grand Rapids is a non-GMO, heirloom leaf lettuce ready for harvest in a little over two weeks. The pale white to light green stems and deep green leaves add visual interest and delicious flavor to your dishes.

Little Gem Romaine Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Little Gem is a non-GMO, heirloom lettuce, featuring green stems and leaves. From planting to harvest takes a little over two weeks. This microgreen is sensitive to high humidity and heat levels; therefore, it is essential that you utilize circulation fans during the growing cycle.

Lollo Rosso Leaf Lettuce

Sustainable Seed Company's Lollo Rosso is a non-GMO, organic, heirloom head lettuce ready for harvest in about two weeks. The pale white stems and dark green cotyledons offer the same great flavor as the full grown counterpart.

Mesclun Lettuce Mix

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Mesclun Mix is a non-GMO, heirloom mix of arugula, endive, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard. This mix contains a plethora of flavors and textures to help you create the perfect microgreen salad blend.

Organic Gourmet Lettuce Mix

Sustainable Seed Company's organic gourmet mix of lettuce is a non-GMO blend of heirloom lettuce. The mixture contains lettuce varieties over the entire spectrum of lettuce types, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to grow a microgreen salad blend.

Salad Bowl Green Leaf Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Salad Bowl Green features a blend of non-GMO, heirloom lettuces. The blend includes frilled leaf lettuce, deeply notched leaf lettuce, and large leaf lettuce. The salad blend provides you with some of the best flavored lettuce microgreens.

Salad Bowl Red Leaf Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Salad Bowl Red gives you a delicious blend of non-GMO, heirloom red lettuces. The blend features green leaves on beautiful red and green stems. Salad Bowl Red leaf lettuce will create a beautiful, nutritious, and tasty microgreen salad.

Waldmann's Green Lettuce

Mountain Valley Seed Company's Waldmann's Green lettuce is a wonderful choice for beginner microgreen gardeners. The non-GMO head lettuce features dark green cotyledons on pale white stems. Waldmann's lettuce provides the perfect base for your microgreen salad thanks to its mild flavor.

Step by Step Growing Guide for Lettuce Microgreens

Growing lettuce microgreens is quite easy when you follow our step by step growing guide. The first step is to purchase the equipment listed above and your option of lettuce microgreen seeds. Once you have gathered the necessary supplies, it is time to plant your lettuce microgreens.

Step 1 Prepare Your Growing Trays

The first thing you must do is prepare your microgreen growing trays. Fill your tray with your growing medium and then gently pat down to level the soil. Add more growing medium until it is slightly below the lip of your growing tray.

Once you have filled your growing trays with your preferred growing medium, you will need to ensure the growing medium is thoroughly moistened. There are two different ways to ensure your growing medium is moistened and ready for planting your lettuce microgreen seeds.

 You can do this by placing your grow tray in a sink. Fill the sink with about an inch of water and allow to growing medium to soak up the water for at least 30 minutes.

If you prefer, you can use your misting bottle to moisten the soil. Spray the entire surface of the growing medium (about 10 full sprays) and allow the water to soak into the soil for 15 minutes. Repeat this process four times, waiting 15 minutes between each watering session.

Step 2 Plant Your Lettuce Microgreen Seeds

Once your growing medium is moistened, it is time to plant your lettuce microgreen seeds. You will need approximately one ounce of lettuce seeds for each 10 inch by 20 inch microgreen growing tray.

Sprinkle the seeds evenly across the entire surface of the tray. One of the easiest ways to ensure even distribution is to use a shaker jar like this one. Avoid clumping the seeds together as this can cause poor growth.

After your seeds are sewn, you want to sprinkle a small amount of soil on top of the seeds. Lightly press the soil and seeds. Then, water using your misting bottle. You should use four or five sprays across the surface of the growing tray.

Step 3 Understand the Germination Process

In nature, seeds germinate deep within the ground and are subject to darkness and pressure. You can create this same effect by inverting the final grow tray and placing it on top of your seeds.

Then, place a heavy book, a stone, or a weight atop the inverted tray. Don't worry, the weight will not harm your lettuce; it will actually help ensure a healthy crop.

The optimal soil temperature for germination is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn on your heating mat and set the temperature. Then, place the growing tray atop the heating mat.

It will take a couple of days for the germination process. Check the moisture level of the soil a couple of times a day and water using your misting bottle as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Overwatering can cause mold growth; therefore, the soil should just be slightly damp.

Step 4 Place Your Lettuce Microgreens Under Grow Lights

When 90 percent of your lettuce microgreen seeds have germinated, it is time to remove the inverted tray and allow photosynthesis to occur. Begin by placing your grow tray back on your planting rack. Then, place a grow light approximately 12 inches above your microgreens.

Your grow lights will ensure your microgreens grow strong and straight. The grow lights should be turned on for approximately 18 hours each day. One of the best ways to ensure your lettuce microgreens are getting enough light each day is to use a timer like this one.

Step 5 Turn on Your Circulation Fans

Once you have set up your grow lights, it is time to set up your circulation fans. The air should blow across the tops of your microgreens. Avoid pointing the fans downward or diagonal as this will push the air toward the surface and cause the soil to dry out prematurely.

In the beginning, check the moisture level of your soil two to three times a day. If your soil is drying out too quickly, adjust your fans so they blow slightly higher.

Step 6 Know When to Harvest Lettuce Microgreens

Lettuce microgreens are typically ready for harvest in about two weeks. To ensure you harvest at the height of freshness, you will need to begin checking as soon as the cotyledons are fully open, and the first true leaves develop.

Once you begin seeing the first true leaves, snip a small amount of lettuce microgreens and taste them each day until they are tasty. When they develop an optimal flavor profile, withhold watering for 12 hours before harvesting to ensure crispness.

Harvesting Lettuce Microgreens

All you need to harvest your microgreens are a couple of clean paper towels and pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife. You want to cut the microgreens without bruising them.

Hold the microgreens gently in your non-dominant hand and cut the microgreens slightly above the soil level. As you cut the microgreens, place them on your paper towel.

Storing Lettuce Microgreens

Moisture is your worst enemy when it comes to storing microgreens. Avoid washing or exposing your microgreens to any moisture as it can decrease the storage life of your lettuce microgreens by approximately 30 percent.

Air exposure also shortens the life expectancy of your lettuce microgreens; therefore, it is essential that you work quickly and get your micro lettuce in storage containers as quickly as possible.

Harvest one tray of microgreens at a time. As soon as you have cut the tray of microgreens wrap them loosely in a clean, dry paper towel and place them in an airtight storage container or storage bag.

Cleanup is simple when it comes to lettuce microgreens. The roots and growing medium can be placed in your compost pile. Scrub each grow tray in hot, soapy water with a small amount of bleach. Then, rinse well and allow to completely air dry.

Final Thoughts

Lettuce microgreens are delicious and very easy to incorporate into your favorite dishes. This microgreen is filled with vital nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.

Micro lettuce is a great microgreen for beginners. The germination time is 2 to 3 days, and the microgreens will be ready for harvest in about two weeks.

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How To Grow Lettuce Microgreens
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About The Author
I have been growing microgreens for myself and others for quite some time now and I absolutely love the process.

Even more I love spreading awareness of an amazing crop that has so many nutritional benefits for our bodies which improve our overall health and wellbeing.

Jon Smith

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.