How Long Does It Take to Grow Microgreens?
Microgreens have soared in popularity in recent years for a number of reasons: They’re tasty, packed with nutrients, require very little room to grow, and thanks to their diminutive size, they can be grown very quickly.
While all microgreens can be harvested relatively fast compared to their larger counterparts, exactly how long they take to grow depends on the exact variety.
Most microgreens can be harvested in about two weeks. The majority of vegetable varieties grown as microgreens are ready for harvest in about 2 weeks, with types like radish microgreens growing faster and micro-herbs taking a bit longer to mature.
When calculating the total harvest time for a particular variety of microgreens, you’ll need to take into consideration both germination time and growing time. You also want to consider whether or not that variety requires pre-soaking of the seeds. If you fail to pre-soak certain types, they’ll take weeks longer to finally sprout, and that could double or triple your total harvest time. Each microgreen variety has unique needs, so use our handy microgreens chart to get familiar with harvest times for various types. (Note that the data in the chart is simply a general guideline and can be affected by your local climate, growing medium, planting method, etc.)
Which Microgreens Grow the Fastest?
As you’ll see in the chart, the fastest-growing microgreens are arugula and wheatgrass, which can be harvested in as little as eight days. These are followed closely by types in the brassica family like broccoli and cauliflower, which are ready for harvest in around 12 days. The slower-growing types of microgreens include celery and herb varieties like cilantro, which take nearly a month to harvest.
So when choosing what types of microgreens to grow, keep in mind your personal timetable. If you’re impatient to harvest your first crop, choose something like arugula.
Do I Need to Presoak My Microgreen Seeds?
Some varieties of microgreen seeds should be presoaked before being planted in your growing medium of choice. Presoaking softens the hard shell that surrounds the seed and makes the sprouting process easier. Presoaking microgreen seeds couldn’t be easier: Simply soak them in water overnight. Presoaking your seeds certainly isn’t required, but presoaking will speed the germination process along, therefore shortening your total harvest time.
Presoaking also has another benefit besides just speeding up the harvest. By presoaking your seeds, you can ensure that the seeds you’re about to plant are viable and will produce healthy microgreens. If you have seeds that float to the top of the water, this indicates they will not sprout and you shouldn’t waste time or space on planting them.
How Long Do Microgreens Take to Germinate?
Germination time refers to how long it takes a seed to sprout once it’s been planted. As you can see in the chart, different microgreens germinate at different speeds. Again, you’ll notice that arugula will sprout the fastest, followed quickly by microgreens in the brassica family like cauliflower and cabbage.
How Long Until I Can Harvest My Microgreens?
Refer to the chart to determine how long you’ll need to wait before harvesting microgreens of a particular variety. Note that you won’t want to wait too long to harvest your microgreens, as letting them grow too large will impact their flavor and tenderness. The longer they grow, the more intense the flavor will become and the less tender they’ll be. In general, you’ll want to harvest microgreens when they’re at least three inches long and no longer than seven inches, but it depends on the type you’re growing.
Which Growing Medium Should I Use For My Microgreens?
One important thing to keep in mind when growing microgreens is choosing the right growing medium. Using a high-quality material to grow your microgreens in will ensure they grow up fast and strong. While a good sterile potting soil is the most popular choice for microgreens, you can grow them in tons of different materials, from coconut coir to mesh screens. But if you decide to simply use some dirt from your backyard, be sure to sterilize it first to ensure your microgreens stay healthy.
Now that you’re up to speed on microgreen germination and harvest times, you can choose a lineup of microgreens to suit your particular wants and needs. If you’re new to the microgreens game, consider trying a fast-growing variety like arugula so you can get quick results. After your first microgreen harvest, you might just find yourself addicted to growing these tiny little plants.
|Microgreen||Germination Time||Blackout Time||Harvest Time||Presoak||Growing Medium|
|Alfalfa||- days||- days||10 - 25 days||No Presoak|
|Amaranth||2 - 3 days||2 - 3 days||8 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Arugula||1 - 2 days||1 - 2 days||6 - 8 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Basil||5 - 7 days||4 - 7 days||12 - 16 days||No Presoak||hydroponic|
|Beet||3 - 4 days||2 - 5 days||11 - 21 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Broccoli||2 - 3 days||2 - 4 days||8 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Brussels||- days||- days||9 - 13 days||No Presoak|
|Buckwheat||- days||- days||7 - 14 days||No Presoak|
|Cabbage||2 - 3 days||2 - 4 days||6 - 14 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Carrot||4 - 7 days||4 - 7 days||14 - 20 days||No Presoak||soil|
|Cauliflower||2 - 3 days||4 - 6 days||8 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil|
|Celery||10 - 14 days||10 - 14 days||21 - 28 days||No Presoak||hydroponic|
|Chard||2 - 5 days||4 - 7 days||8 - 12 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Chive||7 - 14 days||1 - 2 days||14 - 21 days||No Presoak||soil|
|Cilantro||7 - 10 days||6 - 7 days||21 - 28 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Cress||- days||- days||7 - 14 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Dill||4 - 5 days||4 - 5 days||12 - 15 days||Presoak Required||soil, hydroponic|
|Endive||2 - 3 days||- days||8 - 15 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Fennel||2 - 3 days||3 - 4 days||10 - 14 days||No Presoak||soil|
|Kale||2 - 3 days||1 - 2 days||8 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Leek||3 - 4 days||4 - 6 days||10 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Lettuce||2 - 3 days||2 - 3 days||14 - 16 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Mustard||2 - 3 days||2 - 3 days||8 - 12 days||No Presoak||soil, hydroponic|
|Onion||1 - 2 days||- days||14 - 21 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Peas||2 - 3 days||3 - 5 days||8 - 14 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Radicchio||- days||- days||- days||No Presoak|
|Radishes||2 - 3 days||2 - 3 days||6 - 10 days||Presoak Required||soil, hydroponic|
|Sorrel||5 - 10 days||- days||17 - 28 days||No Presoak||soil|
|Spinach||- days||- days||- days||No Presoak|
|Sunflower||2 - 3 days||2 - 4 days||7 - 10 days||Presoak Required||soil|
|Wheatgrass||- days||- days||7 - 10 days||Presoak Required||soil|