Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium
Updated: Jan 6
What exactly is a Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium? And why should you care??
Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like, reusable (shocker right?) and the good thing about reusable items is it helps you cut back on cost over time by making a one-time initial investment into the reusable item. In this case, we aren’t talking about reusable cups, straws, or bags – We’re instead discussing a grow medium that can be used time and time again, if you take care of it. These reusable grow mediums act as lattice for the plant seeds to sit on top of and eventually act as anchors for the root structures that develop from the plants.
These reusable grow mediums can be more environmentally friendly because you aren’t buying bags of soil, coco-coir or other hydroponic grow mats that generally come wrapped in plastic, shipped all around the country and needed in large quantities to only be used once per grow. You could compost your coco coir or soil after growing microgreens on it and reuse it again, but the sterilization and composting process can be quite tedious when compared to simply cleaning off the steel mesh and starting again.
What to expect from our RMGM:
Recently we introduced our second product to the market the “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium” alongside our first patent-pending product “Microgreen Tray Clips”. Today we want to talk more in depth about the grow medium to help you understand more about this type of medium. Keep in mind, there are other Reusable Grow Mediums out there – but most are made from plastics such as nylon, polypropylene, or HDPE, and usually you must cut them to size yourself.
Our Reusable Grow Medium differs from others as it’s made from 316 grade stainless steel, which is much more corrosion resistant then other types of steel and makes it perfect for using with Hydroponic Nutrients that tend to be acidic. Another benefit to stainless steel is the durability. If you care for it properly, it should last you hundreds of grows, and whenever you go to harvest your Microgreens, you won’t need to worry about knives cutting through the mesh or your mesh cleaning tool tearing through like they can with plastic meshes.
The density of our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 1mm – which means that most Microgreen seeds will sit nicely on top of this medium without falling through the holes. That’s not to say that ALL seeds will stay on top… crops such as Amaranth and Sorrel do fall through when seeded directly onto the mesh – however we are doing experiments around this currently and have found that slightly sprouting the Amaranth microgreen seeds prior to seeding the mesh seems to stop them from falling through. Luckily, there aren’t many tiny seed varieties out there like amaranth and we are working on a series of Full Walk-through grow videos for various crops to get you growing with success!
How it arrives to you:
Now that we’ve covered the main information about this product, lets dive into how we ship it and what it’s like to prepare this grow medium to be used & how to use it… then we’ll talk pros & cons – along with answering some of the common questions we’ve received!
Whenever you order the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium from us, you’ll have the option of buying a set of 2 (1 box) OR buying a set of 10 (5 boxes) and we package up the orders ourselves and ship them to you.
Once your order arrives, if you ordered a smaller amount then they will come in a “OTG” box that has each set rolled up inside it – or if you ordered a larger amount, you may just receive the rolls that have already been unboxed, plus we sometimes tidy up the edges some for you prior to shipping (VIP experience). Every roll is going to have 2-3 zip ties securing the grow mediums together, and each roll has 2 sheets of the 10x20 reusable grow medium.
When handling the grow medium be careful / mindful that the edges can be sharp and sometimes they will have little pieces sticking out from where they were cut to size by our manufacturer. Remove the zip ties and pull/cut any stragglers that you may have.
Now you’ll need to slightly work them one at a time into being flat. Luckily with this process we do have a video (click here to view or check out the video below) where we show you how to do it OR check out the video demonstration below that one of our customers, Sheila made showing her method for flatting them! It takes about 5 mins to get a sheet nice and flat. Sounds like a lot, but once you get it flat – you usually don’t have to do it ever again if you store & treat them properly. After you have flattened them out the sheet will fit perfectly into your 1020 trays and you can sanitize them, and they are ready for use right away! So, as you can see, the setup really isn’t too bad but it does take a little time. Also be mindful that they will NOT flatten out by simply putting a heavy amount of weight on top of them, you have to work them into shape by using your hands and we highly suggest wearing gloves as the edges are sharp/pointy. We do not flat ship them because the shipping costs would more then double for you.
This video was made by a customer who has bought 30 packs of our RMGM so far and loves them. We really like her method for flatting them out and believe that it is easier then our method. Thank you Shelia!
How To use the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium – Quick overview
Once you have prepped your “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium” you are ready to start using it. In this section of the blog, we’ll give you the gist of what has worked best for us. First, you’ll want to use the 3-tray method like we do whenever we grow Microgreens. In this case you’ll want to use 2 no holed 1" deep 10x20 trays and 1 mesh or slotted 1" deep 10x20 tray. If growing sunflower microgreens, or crops that get really rooted – we’ve found that mesh trays work better than slotted trays for this grow medium. The mesh is 19.65in x 9.5in in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x20 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BSF trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for those trays.
Place your slotted or mesh 1020 tray into one of the no holed trays, then simply seat the reusable grow medium into the slotted or mesh tray – now it’s time to seed it! Weigh out whichever seed you desire, we’ve found that basically anything in the brassica family (broccoli, cabbages, purple kohlrabi, radishes) work very well with this medium. Some other good contestants are Sunflower Microgreens, Basil Microgreens and other seeds that are similar to how most brassica seeds look. Seed the mesh as normal or if you want, you can generally increase the seeding density by about 25-50% with this medium.
TIP – to keep the seeds from bouncing on the medium while seeding – give the steel mesh a super light & quick mist with water. The water droplets will help the seeds stick to the wire mesh.
After you have finished seeding, give it a few light passes with water. Just like with coco coir, you don’t want to over water it – but be mindful that this medium doesn’t have the same water retention as soil, coco coir or fibrous grow mats. Once you have watered, place the last no holed 1020 on top and add your weight – the tray on top is very important as it will help trap in the moisture and keep your seeds germinating.
We personally only water once a day with this grow medium during germination and have gotten great results. But we still check it twice a day just to make sure that it isn’t drying out. If it looks dry at the 2nd check-in, lightly mist the seeds again. Basically, the goal is to keep them moist and you’ll end up having a wonderful tray of Microgreens by the end of your grow!
This is just the gist of how to use the reusable microgreen grow medium and we will have full walk-through grow videos coming to our YouTube for various crops soon!
Pros & Cons of “Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium”
Below are some of the pros and cons of this grow medium that we’ve found so far…
Reusable – saves money over time if used efficiently
Good for environment
316 grade stainless steel has many benefits like corrosion resistance & durability
Pre-cut to fit 1020 trays
Easy to setup
Easy to clean for reuse
Easy to harvest
1mm mesh - Works with most Microgreens seeds
Higher initial investment
Must flatten out steel mesh when it first arrives to prepare for first grows
Moisture retention is challenging
Small seeds like Sorrell & Amaranth are challenging to keep on top of the mesh
Isn’t it hard to remove the Microgreen roots from this grow medium?
Surprisingly, it’s really quick and easy as long as you have this magical tool. This is called a “pastry or pizza” cutter and we have found that it makes cleaning the Reusable Grow Medium pretty effortless. The RMGM cleaning tool is made from stainless steel which means it’s durable, sturdy, and easy to clean/sanitize. You can find it for fairly cheap (click here) and thanks to it’s beveled edges it just glides right through the leftovers from after harvesting. Sometimes you’ll have a little bit of debris leftover after using the tool, but if you set the Reusable grow medium out in the sun to dry anything remaining on it, then take a dry scrubbing brush to it – it will remove anything remaining.
How to sanitize the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium after each use?
Once you have removed all the roots, you have a few sanitizing options! You can put the mesh into your dish washer and use the steam sanitize setting or you can even give it a wash with dish soap. Our personal favorite is doing a sanitize soak with either a light bleach mixture (like you do with microgreen trays), using H202 or simply sterilizing them in the UV from the sun on a sunny day.
Is mold an issue with this medium?
Just like with other Microgreen grow Mediums, mold and other pathogens can occur – generally due to the seeds decaying or problems with your crops health. This is where the Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium has an upper hand that other mediums don’t! Once your crops are rooted into the grow medium, you can take a spray nozzle and spray / rinse off any seed hulls that are decaying on your tray. You can also stop mold like do when using coco coir or soils, by spot treating areas with an H202 spray or basic garden Anti-Fungal spray.
My Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium won't flatten even with weight on top?
The Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium will NOT flatten out by simply putting a heavy amount of weight on top of them - even if you use 80+ pounds. You have to work them into shape by using your hands, and during the process we suggest being cautious and wearing protective gloves as the edges are sharp.
We highly suggest either watching our YouTube video where we show how we like to flatten our RMGM or check out the comment section on our Facebook post (click here) to watch the video that one of our customers made where she shows you how she quickly flattens them. Her process is faster and easier then ours!
The reusable grow medium is to big for my tray
Our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium is 19.65in x 9.5in in size, so check your tray internal dimensions if you are unsure whether the mesh will fit. Some 10x20 trays are smaller than others, such as the 2" deep mesh BootStrap Farmer trays and the RMGM is not cut to size for that tray.
Is there a way for me to cut mine to a different size?
While we currently do not offer other sizes outside of 10x20 - there are tools that make it really easy! Just make sure to wear gloves when doing so and realize that once you cut into it, it's not longer eligible for our 1-year guarantee and you cannot return it to us since it will no longer be the original product. (Click here for the tool we suggest to use)
How to store your Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium
To keep your Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium from bending or folding, store them in a FLAT area… An extra 10x20 tray dedicated to holding them would work well! Keeping them flat will help you get the most out of its durability over time, plus it will save you from having to re-flatten out spots!
Why don't you flat ship them?
The reason why we do not flat ship the Reusable Grow Medium is we want to keep the shipping cost down for our customers. If we were to flat ship this product, then the shipping costs would more than double for you..
Where do you ship currently?
Currently we only ship this product in the US & Canada, and we have a 30-day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or your money back offer, as well as a 1 Year Warranty on all Mesh Screens! 😊
Well, y’all, we believe we covered everything we could think of for our Reusable Microgreen Grow Medium but if there is something we missed please let us know and we’ll add it in! We want to make sure that you get the best possible experience when purchasing OTG products, as we really do care about what we put out to our community, and we strive to make growing and handling Microgreens as easy as we can. Hence why we also created our patent pending product “Agricultural Tray Clips” to assist with making bottom watering your Microgreen crops faster and easier!!
Keep an eye out for even more great things that we have coming to our site soon and sign up for our email list! Our email list always gets first dibs on products, information, flash sales, and they even get it before our huge social media crowds will!
We hope to make you a be-leafer if you aren’t already!
-CJ & Mandi
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Written by: Mandi Warbington
Edited by: CJ Vaughn
Published: November 3, 2021
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