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Have a few empty planting pots laying around? Grow Microgreens in them!

Have a few empty planting pots laying around? Grow Microgreens in them!

If you’re a plant lover, then you more than likely have a few extra planting pots laying around that aren’t being used. You can EASILY turn those pots into decorative microgreen production centers that can blend in or stand out in your windows for a beautiful Kitchen garden that matches your personality!

One night while we were doing some late-night online shopping, we ended up stumbling across a set of these cute pots with anime faces. We had to purchase them because of how fun they would’ve looked with microgreens growing out of their heads as hair! Let’s just say, we were not disappointed, because we could quickly change the personality of our pots by swapping out what crop they were growing 😊—highly recommended if you can find some food-safe, cute, and fun-looking planter pots!

So, what is the best way to start growing microgreens with something like this? Well, it is surprisingly easy to use pots to grow microgreens, and we do have a trick to save you from using a ton of soil with an additional benefit. Let’s get into it!


First, use a pot / planter of your choice but make sure you get non-toxic pots, we recommend you make sure it is a food-safe material (some plastics are NOT food safe) as you will be growing edible produce with them.

Adding Leca or Clay Pebbles to a pot for growing Microgreens

Now that you have picked your pot or planter, it’s time for us to teach you this soil saving trick! Take your pot / planter and fill it halfway up with clay pebbles aka lecca (that have been cleaned and sanitized first). This is so that you don’t have to use so much soil. Using clay pebbles to fill the void will save you from using a ton of grow medium since microgreens don’t need a lot of soil to grow. Plus, a great benefit of using the clay pebbles is it will help create aeration for your Microgreens roots thus equaling healthier roots! And another benefit is, you can wash, sanitize, and reuse the clay pebbles every time after harvesting! If you don’t have clay pebbles, don’t worry, just skip straight to filling the pot with soil, or even grab some rocks from your yard!


Adding soil potting mix to a pot for growing microgreens in

Once you have your clay pebbles in place, it’s time to add your soil to the pot, and you can do this by pouring the soil on top of the pebbles. The goal is to fill in the rest of the way but leaving about 1 to 2 inches of room at the top of the pot. We recommend using a seed starting mix for growing microgreens, and if there are any large clumps or twigs, break down the clumps and remove the large twigs.


Mandi of On The Grow adding Purple kohlrabi microgreen seeds on top of soiled pot

Add your Microgreen seeds of choice to the top of the soil! Great beginning microgreen seed varieties are Broccoli, Cabbage, Radish, Collards, Kales and even Peas or Beans are great to start with.

Try to spread the seeds as evenly as you can so they aren’t too grouped. You can seed fairly dense in these little pots because they get a lot of air around them. Just don’t go too crazy, or you’ll end up with some microgreens suffocating in the middle.


Covering microgreen seeds with a thin layer of soil for germination

At this point, you can either cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or place a damp paper towel over the seeds to trap in the moisture. You will need something on top to help keep the seeds moist between watering. If you leave the seeds exposed to the air, the germination (how many seeds start) will likely be slower or worse than if you had some soil or a wet paper towel on top.


Misting the microgreen seeds with water

The last steps to get your Microgreen seedlings germinating is to mist the seeds / medium / paper towel generously with water. You can use regular tap water, filtered water, or even distilled water. Whenever you water them, remember you don’t want to get the soil too wet (over-saturated), but make sure it is nice and wet.

After you have finished misting everything, place the pot out of your way. If you have something on top of the seeds, like a layer of soil, you can leave the pot on your countertop or windowsill. If you decided to not have anything covering your seeds or you used a damp paper towel, you can place the pots in a dark place, such as a cabinet so that they are less likely to dry out from the air moving in the room.

From this point forward to water them twice a day to keep them moist, or as needed. You want to keep the seeds nice and moist throughout the germination process or they will not grow. A strong start usually makes for the best grows. We will sometimes mist our planters 5 to 6 times during the first few days just to make sure the soil stays damp but not overly wet or over-saturated.

In a few days (typically 3–5 days), once the seeds are germinated (remove the paper towel if you used this method) or help knock off any loose soil (very gently) that has been pushed up by the microgreen sprouts, then place the pot in a well-lit area. If you can get a few hours of direct sunlight on your microgreens, that would be great. Otherwise, you can add some light with artificial lighting or try to capture as much indirect light as you can for them throughout the day.

Continue to water twice a day or as needed using either a misting bottle or something that can carefully pour water into the pot without pushing down / disturbing the growing microgreens. We want to keep the microgreens alive and remember that as they grow, they will be drinking more and more water. You will likely have to increase your watering quantity or frequency as they grow bigger and bigger.

Purple Kohlrabi Microgreens and Broccoli Microgreens growing in Anime Pots

If you follow these steps, in a few days, your microgreens will be ready to harvest and use! For most varieties, it should be around the 8–12-day mark that they should be ready for harvest! Harvesting is very easy, simply use some scissors or a sharp knife to cut the stems of the microgreens about half an inch above the soil level!

After you have harvested them, separate the soil/microgreens roots from the clay pebbles (if you’ve used them) and give them a good rinse and sanitize soak with hydrogen peroxide & water. This way you can reuse them in the future for more microgreen grows, or save them like we do, to be used in our Dutch bucket systems, Kratky systems, and more hydroponic growing systems!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this step-by-step guide / tutorial for how to grow microgreens at home in a cute pot!


Blog Reference - How to grow microgreens in pots:


Written by: Mandi Warbington
Edited by: CJ Vaughn
Published: : January 27, 2022
All content shown is Property of On The Grow®, LLC

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