What exactly is a Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium? And why should you care?? - complete guide
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 a grow medium that can be used time and time again, if you take care of it. 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 and starting again.
What to expect from our RMGM:
In 2021 we introduced our second product to the market the “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium” alongside our first patent-pending product the “Microgreen Tray Clips”. Today we want to talk more in depth about the grow medium to help you understand more about this type of medium. Keep in mind, there are other Reusable Grow Mediums out there – but most are made from plastics such as nylon, polypropylene, or HDPE, and usually you must cut them to size yourself.
Our Reusable Grow Medium differs from others as it’s 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.
The density of our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 1mm – which means that most Microgreen seeds will sit nicely on top of this medium without falling through the holes. That’s not to say that ALL seeds will stay on top… crops such as Amaranth and Sorrel do fall through when seeded directly onto the mesh – however we are doing experiments around this currently and have found that slightly sprouting the Amaranth microgreen seeds prior to seeding the mesh seems to stop them from falling through. Luckily, there aren’t many tiny seed varieties out there like amaranth.
Which seeds will & will not grow using the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium?
Below we have a short Instagram Reel / YouTube Short that we created, demonstrating a few of the Microgreen seed varieties that will and will not work when using the Reusable Grow Medium.
How to grow Microgreens using the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium (resources)
We are working on a series of Full Walk-through grow videos for various crops to get you growing with success using the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium! So far, we have a couple videos available, along with a Case Study Blog that also shows in detail how we grow Black Oil Sunflower Microgreens on the Reusable Grow Medium.
- How to Grow Radish Microgreens on Reusable Grow Medium (Click here)
- How to Grow Basil Microgreens on Reusable Grow Medium (Click here)
- Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium Video Playlist (Click here)
- Case Study + How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens on Reusable Grow Medium blog (Click here)
More resources will be available via our Tik Tok, Instagram Reels feed and / or our YouTube channel! Be sure to follow both to stay updated. We also have more info on how to use this product 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 grow medium to be used & how to use it… then we’ll talk pros & cons – along with answering some of the common questions we’ve received!
Whenever you order the 10x20 Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium from us, you’ll have the option of buying a set of (2) 10x20 sheets OR (10) 10x20 sheets OR (30) 10x20 sheets and we package up the orders ourselves and ship them to you.
As well as now offering the Reusable Grow Medium in 10x10 size (9x9 actual) that come fully flat packed and ready to grow! Available in 2 sheets or 10 sheet options.
Semi - Flat 10x20 Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium:
Don't like having to manually unroll the Reusable Grow Medium yourself? Well, you’re in luck because we stopped selling the rolled version of this product, and now offer the 10x20 RMGM in a "semi-flat" option!
Upon arrival, this product option will come mostly flat packed. Though sometimes with a slight curve depending on how it was packed. This makes it super quick and easy to prep for use, as you may only have to work out a kink or two - if any at all. The mesh is cut to 9.625 in x 19.25 in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x20 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BSF trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for those trays. Keep in mind that BSF inner tray dimensions have changed as of late 2022/2023 and are a bit more narrow than they use to be, so you may have to lightly push the long edges down or trim a small amount off if the sheets do not lay flat.
Flat 10x10 Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium:
Upon arrival, the 10x10 Reusable Grow Medium comes fully flat packed and ready to use. The mesh is cut to 9.25in x 9.5in, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x10 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh Bootstrap Farmer trays, and this product will not fit it properly - as it is cut to fit the Bootstrap Farmer 1" deep 10x10 trays.
You may also experience that the 10x10 mesh - when two are used inside of a 10x20 tray - will create a gab in the center or at the edges of the tray, because the 10x10's actual size is 9.25in x 9.5in as mentioned above. However, when seeded properly, you can still use the 10x10s in a 10x20 tray successfully.
More on How To use the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium – Quick overview
Once you have prepped your “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium” you are ready to start using it. In this section of the blog, we’ll give you the gist of what has worked best for us - from the view of using a 10x20 mesh. First, you’ll want to use the 3-tray method like we do whenever we grow Microgreens. In this case you’ll want to use 2 no holed 1" deep 10x20 trays and 1 mesh or slotted 1" deep 10x20 tray. If growing sunflower microgreens, or crops that get really rooted – we’ve found that mesh trays work better than slotted trays for this grow medium. The mesh is 9.625 in x 19.25 in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x20 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BSF trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for those trays.
Place your slotted or mesh 1020 tray into one of the no holed trays, then simply seat the reusable grow medium into the slotted or mesh tray – now it’s time to seed it! Weigh out whichever seed you desire, we’ve found that basically anything in the brassica family (broccoli, cabbages, purple kohlrabi, radishes) work very well with this medium. Some other good contestants are Sunflower Microgreens, Basil Microgreens and other seeds that are similar to how most brassica seeds look. Seed the mesh as normal or if you want, you can generally increase the seeding density by about 25-50% with this medium.
TIP – to keep the seeds from bouncing on the medium while seeding – give the steel mesh a super light & quick mist with water. The water droplets will help the seeds stick to the wire mesh.
After you have finished seeding, give it a few light passes with water. Just like with coco coir, you don’t want to over water it – but be mindful that this medium doesn’t have the same water retention as soil, coco coir or fibrous grow mats. Once you have watered, place the last no holed 1020 on top and add your weight – the tray on top is very important as it will help trap in the moisture and keep your seeds germinating.
We personally only water once a day with this grow medium during germination and have gotten great results. But we still check it twice a day just to make sure that it isn’t drying out. If it looks dry at the 2nd check-in, lightly mist the seeds again. Basically, the goal is to keep them moist, and you’ll end up having a wonderful tray of Microgreens by the end of your grow!
This is just the gist of how to use the reusable microgreen grow medium and we will have full walk-through grow videos coming to our YouTube for various crops soon!
Do you have the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium fit for Sprouting Trays?
Currently we DO NOT offer pre-cut Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium sized for our Large Sprouting Trays & Small Sprouting Trays. However, that does not mean that you cannot use this grow medium when using the sprouting trays.
You will have to manually cut the grow medium to size using a pair of tin / metal cutting scissors. We have found that a single 10x10 Reusable Grow Medium will cut to size (2) sheets for a Small Sprouting Tray. As for large sprouting trays - you will need to cut a 10x20 Reusable Grow Medium sheet, as the 10x10s won't fit properly once cut. Just make sure to wear gloves when doing so and realize that once you cut into it, it's no longer eligible for our 1-year guarantee and you cannot return it to us since it will no longer be the original product. (Click here for the tool we suggest to use)
Below is our quick video guide:
Pros & Cons of “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.
- Good for environment
- 316 grade stainless steel has many benefits like corrosion resistance & durability.
- Pre-cut to fit most 1020 trays.
- Pre-cut to fit most 10x10 trays.
- Easy to setup
- Sanitizes easily.
- Easy to clean for reuse.
- Easy to harvest.
- 1 mm mesh - Works with most Microgreens seeds
- Higher initial investment
- Moisture retention is challenging.
- Edges are sharp
- Small seeds like Sorrell & Amaranth are challenging to keep on top of the mesh.
Isn’t it hard to remove the Microgreen roots from this grow medium?
Surprisingly, it’s really quick and easy as long as you have this magical tool. This is our "Microgreen Medium Scraper/Cleaner" tool. It glides right through the leftovers from after harvesting. Sometimes you’ll have a little bit of debris left over after using the tool, but if you set the Reusable grow medium out in the sun to dry anything remaining on it, then take a dry scrubbing brush to it – it will remove anything remaining. You can even power wash off the Reusable Grow Medium to quickly clean it prior to sanitizing the grow medium for re-use, like the video below.
How to sanitize the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium after each use?
Once you have removed all the roots, you have a few sanitizing options! You can put the mesh into your dish washer and use the steam sanitize setting or you can even give it a wash with dish soap. Our personal favorite is doing a sanitize soak with either a light bleach mixture (like you do with microgreen trays), using H202 or simply sterilizing them in the UV from the sun on a sunny day.
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 Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium has an upper hand that 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 do when using coco coir or soils, by spot treating areas with an H202 spray or basic garden Anti-Fungal spray.
Check out our Case Study blog we did comparing the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium to Coco - Coir in a high seed density grow (click here to read)
My Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium won't flatten even with weight on top?
The Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium will NOT flatten out by simply putting a heavy amount of weight on top of them - even if you use 80+ pounds. You have to work them into shape by using your hands, and during the process we suggest being cautious and wearing protective gloves as the edges are sharp.
We highly suggest either watching our YouTube video where we show how we like to flatten our RMGM or check out the comment section on our Facebook post (click here) to watch the video that one of our customers made where she shows you how she quickly flattens them. Her process is faster and easier than ours!
The 10x20 reusable grow medium is too big for my tray
Our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 9.625 in x 19.25 in in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x20 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BootStrap Farmer trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for that tray.
The 10x20 reusable grow medium is too small for my brand new 2022/2023 Bootstrap farmer trays?
Our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 9.625 in x 19.25 in in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Recently BSF switched their tray molds and the internal dimensions of their newest trays have changed to a smaller size than previous trays from early 2022 - later dates.
The 10x10 reusable grow medium is too small for my tray
Our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 9.25in x 9.5in in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x10 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BootStrap Farmer trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for that tray, and you will experience a slight gap when using two side by side in a 10x20 trays.
Is there a way for me to cut mine to a different size?
While we currently do not offer other sizes outside of 10x20 & 10x10s - there are tools that make it really easy! Just make sure to wear gloves when doing so and realize that once you cut into it, it's no longer eligible for our 1-year warranty and 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 Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium from bending 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 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 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
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Written by: Mandi Warbington
Edited by: CJ Vaughn
Published: November 3, 2021
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