Knowing how often to water microgreens is as easy as remembering three key things. Watering at the right time with the right amount in a specific manner is all it takes!
A Simple Method
Microgreen gardeners have varying opinions on how these tiny plants should be watered. However, I rely on a method professional horticulturalists, and researchers recommend based on years of studies and research.
Can you overwater microgreens? Yes, microgreens (like any other plant) can be overwatered and develop root rot. To prevent this, I use a three-key method approach to watering.
- When I need to water the microgreens.
- Amount of water I disperse to the microgreens.
- How I deliver water to the microgreens.
When, Amount, How: Microgreens Watering Schedule For Each Phase
By applying the “when, amount, how” principle, anyone can be a pro at watering microgreens. Each phase of microgreens has unique watering needs.
- When? Microgreens should be watered based on the specific phase/day.
- Amount? The quantity of water microgreens need on any given phase/day.
- How? A specific way to deliver water to the microgreens (i.e. water tray, misting, etc.)
Phase 1: Soaking (Day 1)
- When: Day 1
- Amount: Enough water to soak seeds
- How: Soaking in a bowl
Before planting my microgreen seeds, I soak them overnight in a bowl filled with room temperature water.
Phase 2: Seeding (Day 2)
- When: Day 2
- Amount: Enough to slightly moisten the planting medium (seed starter mix, coconut coir, or jar) and the specified amount for a water tray based on the size of the seed tray.
- How: Misting with a misting bottle and water tray.
Seeded trays should be placed in a water tray, according to California State University, San Marcos. A growing analysis by Cal State University advises that microgreens should be watered from below rather than above. This is where some microgreen gardeners disagree because some swear by the “watering from above” method; however, I stick with what the experts recommend with using a water tray.
- ½ cup to 9 tablespoons of water for a 7 ½ x 5″ seeded tray
- 1 cup of water for a 1010 seeded tray (9 ½ x 9 ½”)
- 2 cups of water for a 1020 seeded tray (9 ½ x 19 ¾”)
Before covering the seeded tray for the blackout phase, thoroughly mist the inside of the empty tray that will be placed on top of the seeded tray. This creates a dark, humid environment that encourages germination.
Phase 3: Blackout, Germination (Day 3-4)
- When: Day 3 and 4, once a day
- Amount: Just enough to moisten the seeds.
- How: Using a misting bottle.
Do you water microgreens during a blackout? Yes, I continue to follow the recommended watering guidelines by California University by misting my seeded trays every 12 hours (once daily) with water. During this time, I did not disturb the water tray below. Each time after misting, I placed the cover tray back on.
Phase 4: Growing (Day 5-10)
When: Day 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10
Amount: Enough to maintain a continuity in the amount of water in the water tray.
How: By simply adding water to the water tray if necessary.
On day 5, the blackout cover tray comes off to allow the microgreens to “stretch their legs” and continue to grow either in the sun or under a grow light. My readers often ask, “Should you mist microgreens?” Once germinated, I no longer mist.
The microgreens will now rely on the water tray as a source of water. By doing so, the greens are watered in a more efficient manner. Misting the tender greens from above can cause them to wilt from the weight of the water.
Phase 4: Harvest (Day 10)
- When: Day 10
- Amount: Just enough to moisten.
- How: Using a misting bottle.
I like to give my greens a good misting just before harvesting. A good pre-harvest mist keeps them from wilting.
Water Like A Pro
I use this three-key method (when, amount, how) with every batch of microgreens, and they turn out perfect every time. Indoor gardeners who adopt my method will definitely know how often to water microgreens, just like the pros!