Meet our NEW Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium: Silicone
Before we dive into the topic of this new medium, lets first cover what a reusable grow medium is. Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, reusable (shocker right?) and the good thing about reusable items is it helps you cut back on cost over time by making a one-time initial investment into the reusable item. In this case, we aren’t talking about reusable cups, reusable straws, or reusable bags – We’re instead discussing grow mediums that can be used time and time again, if you take care of them. These reusable grow mediums act as lattice for the plant seeds to sit on top of and eventually act as anchors for the root structures that develop from the plants.
These reusable grow mediums can be more environmentally friendly because you aren’t buying bags of soil, coco-coir or other hydroponic grow mats that generally come wrapped in plastic, shipped all around the country and needed in large quantities to only be used once per grow. You could compost your coco coir or soil after growing microgreens on it and reuse it again, but the sterilization and composting process can be quite tedious when compared to simply cleaning off the steel mesh or silicone medium and starting again.
What to expect from our Silicone Reusable Grow Medium:
If you have followed us, in 2021 we introduced a product to the market called the “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium”. This medium is made from 316 grade stainless steel, which is much more corrosion resistant then other types of steel and makes it perfect for using with Hydroponic Nutrients that tend to be acidic. Another benefit to stainless steel is the durability. If you care for it properly, it should last you hundreds of grows, and whenever you go to harvest your Microgreens, you won’t need to worry about knives cutting through the mesh or your mesh cleaning tool tearing through like they can with plastic meshes.
However, the issue with the stainless-steel reusable grow medium is that it can be harder for some to bend it back to a flat shape if it gets messed up, or if it’s slightly too big for the tray, it’s a bit harder to cut to size. Not to mention that the edges are quite sharp. Regardless of the minor issues with the stainless-steel reusable grow medium, many people, including ourselves, love it, and still continue to use it daily!
But! These minor issues still sparked us to look for a more user-friendly reusable grow medium. This is why we went with silicone and have been testing it out for a year now for growing microgreens!
Today we want to talk more in depth about the silicone grow medium, like we have with our stainless-steel grow medium, to help you understand more about this type of medium.
Our Silicone Reusable Grow Medium is made from Food-Grade silicone. If you care for it properly, it should last you years! We’ll dive more into the benefits of silicone later in this blog!
The hole density of our Silicone Reusable Grow Medium is 1.2mm – which means that most Microgreen seeds will sit nicely on top of this medium without falling through the holes. Just like with the Stainless-Steel Medium, that’s not to say that ALL seeds will stay on top… tiny seed crops such as Amaranth and Sorrel do fall through when seeded directly. Luckily, there aren’t many tiny seed varieties out there like amaranth and you could try pre-germinating the seeds to expand them before placing them on the silicone.
How to grow Microgreens using the Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium (resources)
At this exact time, we do not have any YouTube videos available for growing specifically on the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium. However, we do have a few Full Walk-through grow videos using the Stainless-Steel Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium! Along with a Case Study Blog that also shows in detail how we grow Black Oil Sunflower Microgreens on the Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium. Luckily, these can still be used to reference growing on the silicone medium, as you would use the same grow methods! We will be working to put out videos specifically for the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium very soon! And this section will be updated once this happens.
- How to Grow Radish Microgreens on Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium (Click here)
- How to Grow Basil Microgreens on Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium (Click here)
- Stainless-Steel Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium Video Playlist (Click here)
- Case Study + How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens on Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium blog (Click here)
More resources will also be available via our Tik Tok, Instagram Reels feed as well as our YouTube channel! Be sure to follow them to stay updated. We also have more info on how to use the Silicone product in the 2 sections below.
How it arrives to you:
Now that we’ve covered the main information about this product, lets dive into how we ship it and what it’s like to prepare this silicone grow medium to be used & how to use it… then we’ll talk pros & cons in comparison to the stainless-steel medium– along with answering some of the common questions we’ve received / thought of!
Whenever you order the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium, it will either be laid flat, lightly folded, or rolled with a twine tie for shipping, depending on what else you have ordered from our website.
The beautiful thing with the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium in comparison to the Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium is that it is extremely easy to flatten upon arrival. If it arrives lightly folded or rolled, this may cause creases during shipping, however, washing the product with warm water and laying it flat will typically flatten it after it sits for a bit! Regardless, the creases have not effected our growth when using the silicone grow medium!
We offer the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium in (4) various pre-cut sizes, as listed below. However, if you need to cut them to size further, simply use scissors!
Size 1) 10x20 – With our 10x20 Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium, you’ll have the option of buying a set of (2) 10x20 sheets OR (10) 10x20 sheets and we package up the orders ourselves and ship them to you.
Size 2) 10x10 – With our 10x10 Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium, you’ll have the option of buying a set of (2) 10x10 sheets OR (10) 10x10 sheets and we package up the orders ourselves and ship them to you.
Size 3) Large Sprouting Tray – With our Large Sprouting Tray sized Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium, you’ll have the option of buying a set of (2) Large Sprouting Tray sized sheets OR (10) Large Sprouting Tray sized sheets and we package up the orders ourselves and ship them to you.
Size 4) Small Sprouting Tray – With our Small Sprouting Tray sized Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium, you’ll have the option of buying a set of (2) Small Sprouting Tray sized sheets OR (10) Small Sprouting Tray sized sheets.
Harvesting Microgreens on the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium:
Harvesting your microgreens grown on the Silicone Reusable Grow Medium is extremely easy! You can either A) gently grab a bunch and pull them from the grow medium – roots & all! Or B) us a harvesting knife to harvest your microgreens, as you would normally. However, one thing to keep in mind when using a knife, avoid cutting too close to the medium or you risk cutting the silicone.
Pros & Cons of “Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium”
Below are some of the pros and cons of this grow medium that we’ve found so far…
- Reusable – saves money over time if used efficiently.
- Pre-cut to fit most all trays on the market.
- Very easy to handle.
- Very easy to cut to other sizes.
- Easy to flatten.
- Easy to setup.
- Great seeding visibility.
- Sanitizes easily.
- Easy to clean for reuse.
- Easy to harvest.
- 1.2 mm mesh - Works with most Microgreens seeds
- Higher initial investment compared to soil
- Moisture retention can be challenging at first
- Small seeds like Sorrell & Amaranth are challenging to keep on top of the mesh
- Can tear if cut with knife or other sharp objects
Isn’t it hard to remove the Microgreen roots from this grow medium?
Surprisingly, it’s really quick, in fact… it takes way less time than the Stainless-Steel Reusable Grow Medium. You can either use this magical tool we sell, as seen above, or Simply use your hands and gently wipe everything off. Sometimes you’ll have a little bit of debris left over after using the tool or your hands, but if you run some water over the medium and use your hands to lather it, everything should come off very quickly!
How to Clean and Sanitize the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium after each use?
Once you have removed all the roots, you have a few cleaning options! The silicone can be washed by first using a food-safe soap & hot-warm water to lather and rinse using your hands. You can also clean it by making a paste with 1/4 cup of baking soda & warm water. Dip the silicone into the paste and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. We also suggest following up your wash with a Natural Silicone Safe Sanitizing before reuse, such as:
Option 1) Sink filled with Hot water & Dish-soap, soak for 20 mins.
Option 2) Boil in water for 2-3 minutes.
Option 3) Equal parts Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide to Water soak for 5 mins - 24hours.
**Do not use scouring pads or other abrasive scrubbers as this may damage the silicone or create micro cuts that hold harbor bacteria.**
Is mold an issue with this medium?
Just like with other Microgreen Grow Mediums, mold and other pathogens can occur – generally due to the seeds decaying or problems with your crops health. This is where the Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium has an upper hand that most other mediums don’t! Once your crops are rooted into the grow medium, you can take a spray nozzle and spray / rinse off any seed hulls that are decaying on your tray. You can also stop mold like we do when using coco coir or soils, by spot treating areas with an H202 spray or basic garden Anti-Fungal spray.
Is there a way for me to cut mine to a different size?
If you find your Silicone grow medium being a bit too big, or you’re wanting to cut to custom sizes that we do not offer, you can easily do so with a simple pair of scissors at home! However, realize that once you cut into it, you cannot return it to us since it will no longer be the original product.
How to store your Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium
To keep your Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium from creasing or folding, store them in a FLAT area… An extra 10x20 or 10x10 tray dedicated to holding them would work well! Keeping them flat will help you get the most out of its durability over time, plus it will save you from having to re-flatten out spots!
Where do you ship currently?
Currently we only ship this product in the US, Canada and Internationally through our website. We have a 1 Year Warranty on all Mesh Screens! 😊
Well, y’all, we believe we covered everything we could think of for our Silicone Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium but if there is something we missed please let us know and we’ll add it in! We want to make sure that you get the best possible experience when purchasing OTG products, as we really do care about what we put out to our community, and we strive to make growing and handling Microgreens as easy as we can. Hence why we also created our patent pending product "Microgreen Tray Clips" to assist with making bottom watering your Microgreen crops faster and easier!!
Keep an eye out for even more great things that we have coming to our site soon and sign up for our email list! Our email list always gets first dibs on products, information, flash sales, and they even get it before our huge social media crowds will!
We hope to make you a be-leafer if you aren’t already!
-CJ & Mandi
Written by: Mandi Warbington
Edited by: CJ Vaughn
Published: May 26, 2023
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