5 Microgreen Hacks: Everyday tools that will better your Microgreen growing experience
If you’re new to growing Microgreens or are an experienced grower, you may have noticed some things that can be time consuming or just flat out annoying when it comes to various steps of the microgreens process…. And let’s face it, the more efficient you can be – the better. Especially if you’re someone who has a TON of trays growing at once for selling at your market.
Along with making things more efficient, if you can make it easier on yourself and/or your workers… that’s a whole other win in itself! Who doesn’t LOVE easy hacks to improve efficiency!?
We have been growing Microgreens as a full-time job now for almost 3-years straight alongside testing out and experimenting with MANY different factors, methods and products on YouTube… and along the way, we tend to have random curious thoughts like “hmm... I wonder if this would work to make this process easier?”.
Most of the time when we have followed these thoughts, or more so known as instincts (thank you Mel Robbins for your book “The 5 Second Rule” where you talk about these kinds of thoughts!) … They have helped us come up with hacks that take generally time consuming and/or tedious tasks and turn them into quick and easy hacks! Today, we are going to share with you a few of the random tools that have really been game changers for us, and how we use them!!
Microgreen Hack #1
Paper Cutter – For Cutting Bulk Hydroponic Grow Mat rolls to size.
If you are someone who likes to buy your hydroponic grow mats in bulk rolls to lower the costs, then you already know that it can be very time consuming and hard on the hands to cut each piece one by one with a pair of scissors. This is how we started with cutting our grow mats and we don’t know about y’all, but our cuts were uneven most of the time, in addition to being time-consuming. Then one day we had an AH-HA moment and decided to try out this exact paper cutter to see if it would work.
Not only did it work, but it reduced the time needed to cut them dramatically! Now our cuts were fast and super straight… Instead of us only cutting what we needed for the day – we effortlessly cut large sections of the roll to size and were able to have a ready-to-go stack. The best part is the paper cutter only cost us $36.49 on Amazon. So worth it. If you are looking to save money by buying the bulk rolls, this is definitely the way to go! Of course, if you don’t want the hassle, you can always purchase pre-cut sheets, but we’ve found they aren’t always a perfect fit… This cutter has worked for burlap, hemp and Biostrate grow mediums!
Our Affiliate link to the Paper Cutter: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016LDV41S?ref=exp_onthegrowfarms_dp_vv_d
Microgreen Hack #2
Pump Sprayer – For watering your Seedlings & Microgreens
Need to mist your seedlings to get them germinating? Well… of course you do… otherwise they wouldn’t grow right!? In some cases, you can get away with bottom watering during germination, but we prefer top watering so we can inspect the crops daily!
The easiest and quickest way we have found to top-water our seedlings is by using a 2-gal Pump Sprayer. All you have to do is fill it up with water, pump it a couple times, and then us the wand with a simple button that pushes the water out for you thanks to good ‘ole air compression! Just make sure you pick a good pump sprayer! We have tried out a couple from various places, and so far, this 2-gal Pump Sprayer made by Scotts from Home Depot for $25.97 has been our absolute favorite for 3 years now! No more hand cramps and manual spray bottles, please 😊
Our Affiliate link to the 2-Gallon Pump Sprayer: homedepot.sjv.io/Z9NQ0
Microgreen Hack #3
For this hack, we have an entire video on our YouTube channel and below showing exactly our process and how we use this wonderful little machine combined with the mesh produce bags to dry out microgreens!! Basically, this little washer is a LIFE SAVER, especially if you are selling your microgreens at farmers markets.
Now the upfront cost is higher with the washer being $248.81 and the mesh bags costing $11.99 for a set of 15 – but it will save you an insane amount of time, while keeping your microgreens in top shape / appearance, so it’s well worth the price tag. Just don’t use it for anything other than drying your microgreens to keep it clean and food-safe! If you’re curious, we also use a Star San spray to sanitize our spinner after using it!
Our Affiliate link to the Baggies - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G9T9JLK?ref=exp_onthegrowfarms_dp_vv_d
Our Affiliate link to the Washer - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0799Q45TT?linkCode=ssc&tag=onamzonthegro-20&creativeASIN=B0799Q45TT&asc_item-id=amzn1.ideas.3BKKKY609NE18&ref_=aip_sf_list_spv_ons_mixed_d_asin
Microgreen Hack #4
Stainless Steel Dough Pastry Cutter– For Removing pesky Microgreen roots from Trays & Reusable Mesh after harvesting
Let’s face it, removing microgreen roots from your mesh trays and/or reusable grow mediums can be a pain in the butt, time consuming or just flat out dangerous if you’re use a knife. But what if it didn’t have to be that way?? What if you could make it quick and easy on your wrists / hands??? Well, you can. And this tool is very affordable, costing only $7.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this article.
Best part is, it’s easy to sanitize and will last you for years… Just make sure to wash and sanitize it between uses. So, what is it, and how do you use it??
This is a stainless-steel pastry cutter, and thanks to the easy hand grip and slightly beveled edge it makes it super easy to glide it across the trays and mesh to remove the roots by slightly cutting them off. Below we have a video showing how we use it with microgreen trays!!
Our Affiliate link to the Pastry Cutter:
Microgreen Hack #5
Power Washer – For washing trays quickly.
If you’ve read our other blog “How to Clean and Sanitize Microgreens Trays with 6 EASY methods that work” then you’ve read Method 6 – which is using a power washer to clean off your trays. We use this method basically every time now because it is super-fast, especially if you work in a team of two.
The main caveats are: Do not use power washer soap (as it is not food-safe) … we only use water for washing our trays. Be careful of your hands and other people when the power washer is spraying, as it is strong enough to tear through your skin (we use rubber gloves). Lastly it may not be the best method during the colder seasons, so we are looking for new potential options here – However, its great in the spring and summertime when a little splash back won’t turn you into an icicle. You can find them on amazon for $169.99 like the one we have linked, or search for one that fits your budget or preference – Just be sure to buy one brand new and not use one that’s been previously filled with random soaps… as that keeps it from being food-safe for washing microgreen trays.
Our Affiliate link to the Power washer: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CPGMUXW?ref=exp_onthegrowfarms_dp_vv_d
Curious about our power washer process? Check out our blog on Sanitizing!
We hope that these 5 Microgreen tool hacks will save you a lot of time and frustration like they have for us, so that you can continue to grow your microgreens with ease while being efficient!! See if you have any of these or something similar lying around if you want to avoid buying new!
Until next time,
On The Grow®
Written by: Mandi Warbington
Published: August 29, 2021
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