Growing your own produce can be fun and rewarding, but it can also seem overwhelming and super complicated. Just because “hydroponics” is typically associated with ~ fancy ~ systems with lots of different parts, it doesn’t have to be as complex as it seems. The Cfhydroponics MicroGreens Grow Tray Kit is the perfect example: it’s simple, low-maintenance, and the best part is, it works! No, really. I promise.
After hearing how easy it was to grow microgreens this way, I had to try it out for myself (because if I can do it, really anyone can). Here, I’ll be walking you through the process.
Day 1 - October 6th
The first day was strictly dedicated to setting up my little “system.” First, I made sure I had everything I needed: micro greens seed pack, one coco mat, one burlap mat, a flood tray and dome, and a pH test kit (to make sure my water is properly balanced). Luckily, if you purchase the Grow Tray Kit from Cfhyroponics.com, everything you need is included.
This specific grow kit comes with a tester but you can also purchase a more advanced pH test kit separately. It’s a smart (and small) investment, especially if you are planning on working more with hydroponics in the future.
After I put the coco mat in the tray, I had to test my water before filling the tray. Because the water from my faucet has a higher pH (8), I added a little bit of FoxFarm’s pH Down to bring it to a 6.5.
As soon as I got my water balanced, I poured it into the tray, holding down the coco mat to fully submerge and soak it. From there, I placed the burlap on top of the coco mat. Don’t forget to soak the burlap too!
The next step was to add the seeds. This part was a little bit tricky. Make sure your tray is set up on a flat surface so your water is always level and you can spread the seeds evenly.
You want to distribute the seeds across the burlap equally as possible. When the seeds are clustered together they don’t grow as well and you won’t get as many sprouts.
As you can see from the picture above, I still had a bit of uneven seed distribution because of an uneven surface, but hopefully it won’t mess up the growth too much.
When I was done spreading the microgreen seeds all that was left to do was to put the dome on top and wait for germination!
I’ll be checking back every day to watch its progress!
Day 3 - October 8th
I decided to skip on a report for Day 2 because my little seedlings were basically still sitting in their water on their way to their germination destination.
Which they arrived to (well, started to) on the third day!
By Day 3, you should see progress in the growth of your microgreens. Germination typically takes 3-7 days. If not by the third day, don’t panic just yet. Your sprouts might just need a little bit more time.
Day 4 - October 9th
This day was not much different than the one before. My microgreens looked basically the same, just a little bit bigger.
When your greens start to show their first couple of leaves, you know that they’ve germinated. On this day, I took the dome off the tray for the remainder of the growing process. This is to avoid the greens from stretching out too far and overheating due to the humidity under the dome. It will allow them to grow more freely.
Day 7 - October 12th
Nearly a week after set up, there was M A J O R growth in the microgreens. By removing the dome, my sprouts had more room to grow taller and more lush.
And of course made it more clear how bad of a job I did spreading out the seeds when setting it up by the way they were all clustered together. Hopefully it’ll fill up more soon...
Still, the microgreens are growing strong, healthy, and will be close to harvest-ready soon!
Day 12 - October 18th
While I didn’t originally spread the seeds around the burlap as evenly as I should have, by day 12, the whole tray looked completely full. Maybe full enough that you would believe me that I didn’t do an even job if I hadn’t already told you.
At this point, my microgreens were almost ready to be harvested but I wanted to give them a few more days.
Day 14 - October 20th
Happy harvest day! By now, my microgreens had been growing for 2 weeks straight and while you can give your own seedlings more time to grow, I decided to finally harvest mine.
To do this, I first ~slowly~ peeled the burlap mat from the tray to separate it from the coco mat underneath to also separate the roots from the bottom mat.
As soon as I separated the two mats, I took a regular pair of scissors and cut the microgreens directly at the base of the burlap mat. I cut directly above the roots of the microgreens. This let me utilize as much of the plant as possible while only discarding the roots.
As someone who has never really paid much attention to microgreens, I was excited to see how this experience was going to go and to taste greens that I grew all on my own. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
The greens themselves were so fresh, full of flavor, and the perfect little addition to any dish for a subtle, little spice kick. With the kit, they were super easy and low maintenance to grow AND it only took 14 days from seeding until they were ready to be harvested and savoured.
A quick, easy, and healthy way to get your greens? What could be better?!
Any guesses to what we’re growing next? Check back in soon to see!