Maven Gardening

How to grow microgreens indoors without soil.

Want to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals? Microgreens are the answer! These tiny greens are full of goodness, and growing them without soil using hydroponic methods is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly.

If you’ve been curious about microgreen gardening, hydroponic microgreens, or microgreen growing kits, this guide is your one-stop shop for growing microgreens without soil.

Introduction to Hydroponic Microgreens

Growing microgreens hydroponically means growing them in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. This has many advantages, such as faster growth, more control over nutrients, and less risk of soil-borne diseases.

Benefits of Growing Microgreens Hydroponically

Faster Growth: Microgreens grown hydroponically mature faster than those grown in soil.

Space-efficient: Hydroponic systems can be set up indoors, making them perfect for urban gardening.

Nutrient Control: You have full control over your plant’s nutrients for optimal growth.

Less Mess: No soil means no dirt; hydroponic gardening is cleaner and easier to manage.

How to grow microgreens without soil
How to grow microgreens without soil

Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Microgreens Without Soil


Step 1: Get Your Stuff

Before you start, you’ll need a few things:

  • Hydroponic Tray: A shallow tray to hold water and nutrients.
  • Growing Medium: Coconut coir, hemp mats, or hydroponic grow pads.
  • Microgreen Seeds: Radish, sunflower, or pea shoots.
  • Nutrient Solution: A hydroponic nutrient solution for leafy greens.
  • pH Testing Kit: To check that the water pH is within the optimal range (5.5–6.5).
  • Grow Lights: If indoors, quality LED grow lights are required.

Step 2: Choose the Right Growing Medium

Coconut Coir

  • Lightweight, retains moisture, and provides good aeration.
  • Soak the coir bricks in water, fluff them up, and fill your trays.
  • For beginners.

Hemp Mats

  • Biodegradable and has good water retention.
  • Place hemp mats in trays and sprinkle seeds on top.
  • For eco-friendly gardeners.

Step 3: Microgreen Seeds

  • Choose high-quality organic seeds.
  • Broccoli, radish, sunflower, and pea shoots are popular choices.
  • Soak seeds overnight for faster germination.

Step 4: Water-based Microgreen Germination

  • Pre-soak Seeds: Soak seeds in water for 8–12 hours.
  • Spread Seeds: Evenly spread seeds on your chosen medium.
  • Cover and Mist: Lightly cover with another layer of medium. Mist with water.
  • Darkness: Cover the tray with a lid or another tray to create darkness for 2-3 days.
  • Uncover and Light: Once sprouts appear, remove the cover and place it under grow lights.

Step 5: Add Water & Nutrients

  • Mix Nutrient Solution: Follow package instructions to mix the nutrient solution.
  • Fill Tray: Add the nutrient solution to the tray so the medium is moist but not soggy.

Step 6: Optimal Conditions for Soilless Microgreens

  • Light: Place under grow lights or in a sunny spot. Microgreens need 12–16 hours of light a day.
  • Temperature: Keep the environment at 65–75°F (18–24°C).

Step 7: Monitor & Maintain

  • Water Levels: Check daily and top up with a nutrient solution as needed.
  • pH Levels: Check and adjust the pH as needed to keep it in range.

Step 8: Harvest Soilless Microgreens

  • Harvest when the first true leaves appear (7–14 days).
  • Use scissors to cut just above the soil surface.
  • Rinse and enjoy the fresh flavors!
Growing microgreens hydroponically
Growing microgreens hydroponically

Hydroponic Microgreens: Common Problems

  • Leggy Seedlings: Not enough light. If they look stretched and weak, they may be reaching for more light.
  • Yellow Leaves: Nutrient deficiency. Check your nutrient solution and make sure it’s mixed correctly.
  • Mold: Good air circulation is key. Use a fan to keep air moving around your microgreens to prevent mold.

The cost of growing these cutting-edge microgreens

Microgreens can be grown in a hydroponic system at a reasonable price. Here’s a rough estimate:

  • Initial Setup: $50 – $100 (trays, grow lights, initial supplies)
  • Seeds and Nutrients: $10–$20/month
  • Electricity: $5 – $10/month (grow lights)

Environmental Impact

Hydroponic systems use much less water than soil-based gardening. They also reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides, making them a more sustainable way to grow microgreens.

Case Study: Success Story

Sarah, an urban gardener in New York, started growing hydroponic microgreens in her tiny apartment. Within weeks, she had a mini garden and harvested fresh microgreens for her salads and smoothies. She’s living proof that hydroponic gardening is easy and fun.

Growing microgreens without soil
Growing microgreens without soil


What microgreens can I grow hydroponically?

Radish, broccoli, arugula, pea shoots, and sunflowers are good choices. They grow fast and taste great.

How often should I change the nutrient solution?

Every 7–10 days.

Can I reuse the growing medium?

It depends on the medium. Coconut coir can be reused after sterilization; mats and pads are single-use.

Do I need to grow lights?

If you grow microgreens indoors and don’t have enough natural light, you’ll need to grow lights.

What if my microgreens get mold?

Improve air circulation and reduce humidity. A fan can help keep the air moving and prevent mold.

How do I adjust the pH of the nutrient solution?

Use a pH testing kit to check the water’s pH regularly and add or subtract pH as needed to keep it in the optimal range.

Can I grow microgreens hydroponically without a medium?

Yes, some methods, like the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), don’t require a growing medium but are more advanced and for experienced growers.

At the End

Growing microgreens without soil is a great way to have fresh greens all year round. With the right setup and care, you can grow microgreens hydroponically. Are you an urban gardener with limited space or just looking for a fun project? Hydroponic microgreens are the way to go.

Happy gardening!