You may have heard of microgreens in the health food industry. But are they all they’re made out to be? The answer is yes! They’re easy to grow and packed with both nutrients and flavor.

They’re the perfect health supplement and flavorings in a salad, among many other things. Luckily, hydroponic microgreens are one of the most straightforward and rewarding growing crops.

Let’s dig into it so you can grow your own microgreens in no time!

What Are Hydroponic Microgreens?

Put simply, hydroponics is a method by which you grow plants without soil. They absorb all of their oxygen and nutrients from the fertilizer you put in their water. Your plants are suspended in the hydroponic system in a growing substrate.

Some common substrates include hemp mats, coco coir, rockwool, and vermiculite. 

Microgreens, on the other hand, are seedlings of edible plants, typically herbs and vegetables. They tend to be grown in high density and are harvested early on in their life cycle. 

Microgreens are incredibly high in nutrients and pack a punch of flavor! They’re also great decorative finishes. Innovative chefs worldwide are finding unique ways of using microgreens in their dishes.

Pros of Microgreens Hydroponic growing?

Now let’s talk about what’s so great about microgreens hydroponic growing!

More space options to grow.

If you live in an apartment or in the city- or even just in a house with a small backyard- you may not have enough room to grow microgreens in soil.

But with hydroponic microgreens you can grow them on your kitchen counter!

More nutrient control

When you’re growing microgreens in soil, you don’t have complete control over the nutrients they’re receiving. 

But when you grow hydroponic microgreens, the only nutrients they’re receiving are from your hydroponic fertilizer- giving you complete control!

Cleaner growth

You don’t have to worry about soil-borne diseases when growing hydroponically. In addition, there is no soil involved, hydroponic systems are very efficient and use only the necessary resources to grow, which results in clean growth.

Better growth (for some)

Some microgreens do much better in a hydroponic environment. That is because you can build a system that is more efficient and controlled to the point of micro-measuring the nutrients you provide to your plants.

What is the best growing medium for hydroponic microgreens?

The best growing medium for hydroponic microgreens include vermiculite coco coir, burlap, and hemp mats.

Jute fiber, aka burlap, is a cheap and sustainable option- although it isn’t as great at water retention as other grow mats.

Hemp mats are compostable and biodegradable, making them an environmentally-conscious choice. They give a great structure for your microgreens to grow from and are good at water absorption.

Coco coir is a byproduct of coconut fibers. It thrives at drainage, aeration, and absorption. However, it can be quite messy to use. 

Which Systems Are Best For Growing Microgreens Hydroponically?

hydroponic microgreen system

Let’s discuss two common systems that people use to grow hydroponic microgreens.

Hydroponic Microgardens

Microgardens are the perfect hydroponic system for beginners and hobbyists.

Microgrardens are small hydroponic systems designed for small crops such as microgreens.

Microgardens typically come with a grow light as well, so the only thing you need to do is add the water and nutrient solution.

Microgardens tend to use a wick system in order to provide nutrients to your plants.

They’re so small that they can add a lot of liveliness to any room or surface in your house. If you have a workspace, microgardens are a great way to add some greenery!

Ebb & Flow Systems (Best For Commercial Growers)

Ebb and flow hydroponic systems are most commonly used by commercial scale and larger scale growers of microgreens.

Also called flood and drain systems, ebb and flow gardens periodically flood your microgreens with nutrients throughout the day using a water pump. The nutrient solution then drips back into the reservoir below.

Do hydroponic microgreens need fertilizer?

Hydroponic microgreens don’t technically need fertilizer, but they typically grow better with it.

This is due to the fact that growing medium doesn’t contain any nutrients. So when you add a nutrient-rich solution to the water, you’ll end up with taller, more nutritious, happier plants.

But you can still scatter some seeds on coco coir or a hemp mat and end up with a great crop of hydroponic microgreens without any fertilizer.

What microgreens grow best hydroponically?

Most kinds of microgreens do well hydroponically. But of course, some perform better than others.

Some high-yield microgreens include sunflower, pea, radish, mustard, broccoli, and wheatgrass microgreens.

The Basics of Growing Hydroponic Microgreens

It’s pretty easy to grow hydroponic microgreens. Let’s go over the process step-by-step!

1. Place a grow tray with holes on top of a grow tray with no holes. The top grow tray will hold your medium while the bottom one will hold water.

2. Adjust your water to a pH of 6 by using a pH test and using a pH-Up or pH-Down solution.

3. Soak your grow pad in plain water until it’s fully saturated. Let some water drip out of it for a couple seconds and then put it in the top tray.

4. Sprinkle your hydroponic microgreen seeds evenly on your growing medium. Use about 2 tablespoons of seeds, or 30g. You don’t have to pre-soak the seeds.

5. Use a spray bottle to spray the seeds with your pH-balanced water until they’re coated. They need moisture for germination. 

6. Take another holeless tray and put it upside own on top of your growing tray. This will keep the seeds dark while they germinate.

7. Water your seeds twice a day with a light mist of pH-balanced water until roots begin to grow through the holes of your middle tray.

8. Once the seeds have germinated, take off the cover tray, put the tray under the grow lights, and start bottom-watering.

9. Add diluted fertilizer.

10. Continue for about a week and you should have a batch of microgreens that are ready to harvest!

Is it better to grow microgreens in soil or water?

Regardless of what anyone tells you, growing delicious microgreens in soil or water is completely up to you. Each method has its pros and cons.

Soil-grown microgreens usually have a residue of soil on them after harvest. You need to be extra careful to wash this dirt off. However, microgreens are fragile so it’s a delicate process.

Even worse, if you’re going to store your microgreens, excess moisture can quickly lead to mold.

Hydroponic microgreens don’t require such a careful harvest, there is no soil contamination, and they don’t need to be washed.

Why Do People Love Microgreens So Much?

Microgreens have a myriad of benefits. 

Something people love most about microgreens is how flavorful they are! You can pack a bunch of flavor into a tiny finish on your meal.

Microgreens are also very healthy, even in small portions.

You can also grow hydroponic microgreens all year long, and it doesn’t cost much. They’re more simple to grow than other hydroponic crops because there aren’t many moving parts to the setup.

Lastly, microgreens take very little time to grow- usually between one and two weeks. 

Do microgreens regrow after cutting?

Microgreens don’t regrow after cutting, contrary to popular belief.


Microgreens deserve all the hype they receive. They’re both incredibly healthy and easy to grow. You also have a large variety of plants to choose from when growing your greens. Relish in some spicy greens with a range of flavors. Don’t sleep on this easy, rewarding crop!

Check out some of our other blog posts for more guides on how to grow your favorite plants.