Sunflower microgreens – day 12

From today, I want to document my journey with the microgreens. I started experimenting a few months ago with these little plants, and I have gone a long way already. However, I still need to learn and experiment with so much more, and in the meantime, I want to share with you how it all goes week by week with small updates about my progress.


The current microgreens setup

The microgreens setup I currently have is a simple Ikea rack that holds up to eight 10×20 trays. However, not all levels of my rack were ready to grow microgreens. To grow microgreens per level on the rack, I need light and a fan per level. I only had one level ready with lights and a fan, though.

I went ahead and bought some new lights and got an annoying surprise that they were purple and not whitish as I was expecting. Another problem was that I wanted T5 Led lamps, which consume less energy for the amount of light they produce, but the provider didn’t specify the type of led light, and they were T8 instead of T5. T8 lights are an older model of led lights which consumes more energy in comparison to a T5. Not very efficient.

I am keeping the T8 light for the lowest level of my rack for now. However, I went ahead and bought the same model of the previous T5 lamps I had and got two more levels ready to grow microgreens. I also bought the three missing ventilators I needed, so now the setup is complete!

Simple microgreens rack
Simple rack with the microgreens

The last thing I needed was a more efficient way to water the trays, so I got a full water hose set up to be more efficient with the watering. I reused an old water hose we had, but the rest I had to buy new. So this is what I bought new for the watering system:

  • Four Gardena water hose connectors.
  • One Gardena tap connector.
  • One Gardena water hose reel.
  • One Gardena pistol.

This is how the setup looks like:

Hose on a Gardena reel with Gardena accessories
Hose system to water the microgreens


Microgreens I started

On Monday evening, I started red cabbage and watercress microgreens. I plan to start two new trays every week to keep testing new things and experimenting.

Red cabbage

The red cabbage has been relatively slow to sprout, and I only started seeing the roots coming out after two/three days. I sprayed water every day in the morning and the evening. These slow growers will produce purple stems in no time!

Red cabbage microgreen seeds sprouting on coconut coir
Red cabbage seeds sprouting – day 3


Watercress grew like crazy in no time. No wonder is a Belgian favorite for microgreens. I had some trouble initially because the coconut coir got attached to the top tray, but that didn’t matter after a couple of days. The stems started growing well and rooted nicely in the coconut coir.

Watercress microgreens on day 3 from sowing
Watercress microgreens – day 3


Microgreens that were already there


The sunflower microgreens were very difficult for me to start the first three times I tried. After that, I failed repeatedly, and only after doing a lot of research did I get it right for the first time. The trick is in the sprouting! Yes, by sprouting the seeds for a couple of days and then placing the seeds on the tray, you avoid the mold I got the first time I tried. In any case, the sunflowers are growing tremendously well, and I am thrilled with the results.

Sunflower microgreens on day 12 from sowing
Sunflower microgreens – day 12

Radish mix

Radish is relatively easy to grow. Indeed this is my third time trying, and it has been quite easy. I had a little trouble initially because they seemed to have given up on pushing the top tray that covered them. I decided to remove the weight of the top tray, and they recovered without a problem. I wonder if the weight is too much for them.

Radish microgreens on day 12 from sowing
Radish microgreens – day 12


Next microgreens

This weekend I started a 10×20 tray of arugula and red clover I got at a local bio grocery store. I have done arugula before on a small scale, so I am excited to test with the regular 10×20 tray!

Red clover microgreen seeds on coconut coir medium
Red clover microgeen


Thank you for your time, and see you next week!