Knowledge base for microgreens growers

Ideal Environmental Conditions for Growing Microgreens

  • By: admin61
  • Date: June 4, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.


Microgreens have gained popularity in recent years due to their high nutritional value and versatility in culinary applications. These young and tender greens are packed with flavor and nutrients, making them a favorite among health-conscious individuals and chefs alike. While growing microgreens is relatively straightforward, providing them with the ideal environmental conditions is crucial for their successful cultivation. In this article, we will explore the optimal conditions required for growing microgreens and provide useful tips to help you achieve a bountiful harvest.

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are the young, edible seedlings of various vegetables and herbs. They are harvested at an early stage of growth, typically when the first true leaves appear. These tiny greens come in a range of vibrant colors and flavors, adding both visual appeal and taste to dishes. Common microgreen varieties include kale, radish, sunflower, basil, and pea shoots.

Benefits of Microgreens

Microgreens offer a plethora of health benefits. Despite their small size, they are densely packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating microgreens into your diet can help boost your immune system, support digestion, and provide anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrient-dense greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron.

Importance of Environmental Conditions

Creating an optimal environment for microgreens is crucial to ensure their healthy growth and development. Paying attention to factors such as temperature, light, air circulation, humidity, and growing medium will significantly impact the success of your microgreen venture.

Ideal Temperature for Growing Microgreens

Microgreens thrive in a temperature-controlled environment. Generally, a temperature range of 60-75°F (15-24°C) is ideal for their growth. Temperatures that are too high can lead to leggy growth and increased susceptibility to diseases, while low temperatures can hinder germination and slow down growth. Maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the growing period is essential for the proper development of microgreens.

Optimal Light Conditions

Proper lighting is crucial for microgreens as they require sufficient light to perform photosynthesis and develop vibrant colors. Natural sunlight is ideal, but if you’re growing microgreens indoors, you can use fluorescent or LED grow lights. Position the lights about 2-4 inches above the trays to provide uniform coverage. Keep the lights on for 12-16 hours a day to ensure healthy growth.

Adequate Air Circulation

Good air circulation is essential for preventing the buildup of moisture and reducing the risk of fungal diseases. Proper ventilation helps strengthen the microgreens’ stems and promotes transpiration, allowing them to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Use a small fan to circulate the air gently, ensuring a steady airflow around the growing trays.

Proper Humidity Levels

Maintaining optimal humidity levels is crucial for microgreen growth. Aim for a humidity range of 40-60%. High humidity can lead to mold and damping-off, while low humidity can cause wilting and stunted growth. To regulate humidity, you can use a humidifier or place trays on top of a shallow tray filled with water, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the growing medium.

Choosing the Right Growing Medium

Selecting the appropriate growing medium is vital for microgreen cultivation. Common options include soil, coconut coir, peat moss, and hydroponic mats. Each medium has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that suits your preferences and availability. Ensure that the growing medium is sterile to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens that can damage your microgreens.

Watering and Drainage

Proper watering and drainage are essential for healthy microgreen growth. Overwatering can lead to root rot and mold formation, while underwatering can cause the greens to dry out and wither. Water the microgreens gently, ensuring the soil or growing medium remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Proper drainage is crucial to prevent water from accumulating and causing root-related issues.

Avoiding Pests and Diseases

Microgreens, like any plants, are susceptible to pests and diseases. To prevent infestations, regularly inspect your trays for any signs of pests such as aphids or fungus gnats. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene in your growing area, and if necessary, use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soaps. Proper air circulation and avoiding overwatering can help prevent fungal diseases.

Harvesting Microgreens

Knowing when and how to harvest microgreens is crucial to ensure optimal flavor and texture. Most microgreens are ready for harvest when they have developed their first true leaves, typically around 10-14 days after sowing. Use clean scissors or a sharp knife to cut the greens just above the soil or growing medium. Harvesting is a continuous process, as you can cut the greens and allow them to regrow for subsequent harvests.

Storing and Using Microgreens

To maximize the shelf life of your freshly harvested microgreens, store them properly. Gently rinse them in cool water, pat them dry with a paper towel, and store them in a sealed container lined with a damp paper towel. Place the container in the refrigerator, where they can stay fresh for up to a week. Microgreens add flavor and nutritional value to salads, sandwiches, soups, and various other dishes. Experiment with different combinations to enhance your meals with these vibrant greens.


Providing the ideal environmental conditions is key to successfully growing microgreens. By maintaining optimal temperature, light, air circulation, humidity, and choosing the right growing medium, you can ensure healthy and flavorful microgreens. Remember to water appropriately, prevent pests and diseases, and harvest the greens at the right time. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy the satisfaction of cultivating your own fresh and nutritious microgreens.


Q: Can I grow microgreens outdoors? A: Yes, microgreens can be grown outdoors as long as you provide them with the right environmental conditions and protection from extreme weather.

Q: How often should I water my microgreens? A: Water your microgreens when the growing medium feels dry to the touch. Aim for consistent moisture without overwatering.

Q: Can I reuse the growing medium for multiple batches of microgreens? A: It’s best to start with fresh growing medium for each batch to minimize the risk of diseases and ensure optimal growth.

Q: Are all microgreens edible? A: While most microgreens are edible, it’s important to research and ensure that the specific variety you choose is safe for consumption.

Q: Can I grow microgreens without using artificial lights? A: Yes, you can grow microgreens near a sunny window, but using artificial lights can provide more control over the lighting conditions and promote better growth.

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