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Best Nutrients for growing Microgreens


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Seeing as we’ve done hundreds of Microgreen grow trials now, we figured it was time to put out our “Best Nutes” list! We will start with our favorite soil additives and then favorite hydroponic nutrients.


Please keep in mind that while we have tested a lot of nutrients, we haven’t tried them all 😊 We will periodically update this list if we find new favorites!


TL;DR

Favorite Soil Additive Nutrients

Favorite Hydroponic Nutrients


 

Best Soil Additives for growing Microgreens

 

Vermis Terra Premium Worm Castings

Vermisterra Worm Castings

This is a product from the company “Vermis Terra” and is a great soil or coco coir additive for giving your microgreens growth a boost. It’s NPK levels are 0.6 - 0.7 - 0.2 if your curious. Best part is it’s OMRI listed for Organic use, has the CDFA registered organic input material label and their products are made in the USA. Since this is an additive rather than hydroponic nutrient, you only need to add it once to your grow medium prior to seeding to reap the benefits.


Our mixing ratio that we have been liking to use for growing microgreens is 1/4th cup of Vermis Terra Premium Worm Castings mixed with 6 cups of Coco Coir or Soil, per 1020 tray. Before seeding your trays, mix the grow medium and worm casting together until well combined, then evenly spread the mixture across your tray to give you a flat surface, and then seed as usual. You’ll want to water with regular pH balanced water for the entire grow.


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.18 per tray to add it in. This also depends on where you are buying it from and the size of the bag you bought. In our case we has a 10lb bag and it costs about $34 for the 10lb bag.


 

Happy Frog Jump Start

Foxfarm soil and fertlizer company, Happy frog jump start

This is a product from the company “FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company” and is another great soil or coco coir additive for giving your microgreens a boost. It’s NPK levels are 3-4-3 and it has active soil Microbes. This product also has the OMRI listing for Organic use, along with the CDFA registered organic input material label. Happy Frog Jump Start is comprised of ingredients like bat guano, kelp meal, alfalfa meal and fish meal. Since this is an additive or in other words, fertilizer rather than a hydroponic nutrient, you only need to add it once to your grow medium prior to seeding.


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 1 tablespoon of Fox Farms Happy Frog Jump Start mixed with 6 cups of Coco Coir or Soil, per 1020 tray. Before seeding your trays, mix the grow medium and Happy Frog Jump Start together until well combined, then evenly spread the mixture across your tray to give you a flat surface, and then seed as usual. You’ll want to water with regular pH balanced water for the entire grow.


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.19 per tray to add it in if you bought the 4lb bag at the cost of $23.00 and only us 1tbs of the product per tray.


 

Best Hydroponic Nutrients for growing Microgreens

 

Farmers Pride (Micro & Grow)

Farmers Pride hydroponic nutrients

The Farmers Pride Hydroponic nutrient comes in a 3-part set from a company called “Blue Planet Nutrients” and we’ve found that bottom watering our microgreens using a blend of the “Micro” and “Grow” does provided use with a boost. It’s NPK levels for the “grow” are 4-0-1 and you do not need to use the “bloom” if you’re growing microgreens. They do claim that the Grow is Organic, and the Micro is all Natural, though they do not seem to have any OMRI or other certifications showing on the label. Farmers Pride is a product that we have used for a few years now for growing Microgreens, Edible Flowers, and Adult Crops.


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 2.5ml of Grow mixed with 2.5ml of Micro in a 3-gallon bucket of water, which we then pH balance to the 5.5-6.0 range


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.30 to use the grow & micro together per tray.



 

Master Blend 4-18-38

Masterblend 4-18-38 for tomatos

We’ve really been enjoying how the Masterblend 4-18-38 Tomato & Vegetable Formula has been growing microgreens for us. With this particular nutrient, you will either have to buy Calcium Nitrate and Epsom Salt separately along with the Masterblend since the directions have you mix all three together in water or they also offer a kit that has all three items together. It’s NPK levels for just the Masterblend is 4-18-38 and comes in a water-soluble form which tends to give you more uses out of a single bag, compared to liquid nutrients. As far as natural or organic claims – they do not have anything on the label or their website that say this product is natural or organic, so it may not be suitable if you are an organic or natural grower. Just like the Farmers Pride nutrient, Masterblend 4-18-38 is a product that we have used for a years now for growing Microgreens, Edible Flowers, and Adult Crops. In fact, this is our absolute favorite to use when growing Edible Flowers and Adult Crops specifically, because it has always provide the plants with great coloration!


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 1 teaspoon of Masterblend 4-18-38, 1 teaspoon Calcium Nitrate and ½ teaspoon of Epsom Salt in a 3-gallon bucket of water, which we then pH balance to the 5.5-6.0 range.


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.15 per tray.


 

MaxiGro 10-5-14

Genreal Hydroponics Maxigro 10-5-24

MaxiGro is a water-soluble nutrient from a company called General Hydroponics that has been around for quite some time now, and this product is another nutrient that we have used for a few years for growing microgreens and have enjoyed the growth it provides. It’s NPK levels are 10-5-14.


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 1 teaspoon of Maxigro per 1 gallon of water, so in a 3-gallon bucket of water you would add 3 teaspoons of Maxigro, which we then pH balance to the 5.5-6.0 range.


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.22 per tray.



 

Vermis Terra Vitality Tea

Vermis Terra Vitality Tea

This is another product from the company Vermis Terra, and it’s called Vitality Tea, which is basically just worm casting tea aka worm poop with water. This is a great product is you want to go the worm route but still do hydroponics when growing your microgreens. The only down sides that we have noticed is because it is brown it will stain trays, which means you will have to scrub a little more when washing them, and if your using an automated system to grow your microgreens, this could potentially clog it… so keep that in mind. However, even with those two draw backs – this is a very well preforming nutrient as far a growth boosting. It’s NPK levels are 0.1 - 0 -0.1. The Vitality Tea is OMRI listed for Organic use, has the CDFA registered organic input material label and their products are made in the USA


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 0.5ozs of Vitality Tea per 1 gallon of water, which we then pH balance to the 5.5-6.0 range.


We currently do not have a cost per tray for this product, as we have not run the numbers yet.

 

Ocean Solution 2-0-3 - OUR FAVORITE

Ocean Solution 2-0-3 with Microgreens Both Front_edited

Ocean Solution 2-0-3 is a Hydroponic Nutrient that’s derived from the Ocean by a company called Ocean Grown Inc. and is by far our favorite nutrient overall nutrients for growing microgreens specifically and has been for quite some time now. The reason being is this nutrient has always out preformed other nutrients that we have put it against… to the point where we actually want something to beat it haha. It’s NPK levels are 2-0-3, and Ocean Solution is OMRI listed for Organic use, many other certifications and their products are made in the USA.


Our mixing ratio that we like to use for growing microgreens is 0.5ozs of Ocean Solution 2-0-3 per 1 gallon of water, which we then pH balance to the 5.5-6.0 range.


If your curious what the cost is to add this product to your grows, we’ve found that it adds about $0.39 per tray.




 

When using ANY hydroponic nutrient, we do not give it to the microgreens during the germination stage. We first start our Microgreens off by misting with regular filtered tap water during the first few days, then on the same day we introduce them into the light for the first– that is when we begin to bottom water with this hydroponic nutrient. We do not suggest using this nutrient when using a Soil as your grow medium, as soil already has enough nutrients for microgreens and may cause issues such a tip burn, yellowing or die off. Though it is perfect for use with Coco coir, our Reusable grow medium or other hydroponic grow mats. We’ll bottom water with the hydroponic nutrient twice a day, or as needed – generally starting off with around ¼ to 2/3 cup per watering and bumping it up to 2 cups over the growth time for most microgreen crops.


 

Want to learn EVERYTHING we learned from all our years of growing and experimenting with microgreens? Or maybe even learn some new recipes to use your Microgreens in?? Then check out our Books below!


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Co Owner of On The Grow, LLC Mandi Warbington

Written by: Mandi Warbington

Published: January 20, 2022

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