Yes, you can! Growing microgreens on a paper towel are easy and straightforward.
However, if you have the option of growing them in soil, it should be the first choice.
Paper towels are ideal for people who live in flats and cannot handle the stress of growing plants in soil. In short, they are perfect for your indoor garden.
If you want to grow microgreens on a paper towel, you should follow the right steps to receive higher yields.
Also, not all microgreens can be grown on paper towels. For instance, cabbage throws deeper roots than other microgreens, which makes it harder to flourish in such conditions.
Microgreens are very convenient to grow and can be grown in a variety of locations. That’s why growing them on paper towels is okay. They have an intense aromatic flavor and concentrated nutrient content.
As a result, they make a great addition to salads and sandwiches. People love their delicious flavor and vibrant colors. They are also rich in nutrients, which are vital for our bodies.
How To Grow Microgreens On A Paper Towel
Growing microgreens on a paper towel are simple. All you need is to have the right items and exercise the right techniques. You need paper towels, seed trays, drip tray, and seeds.
Here are the steps that you should follow to grow microgreens on paper towel properly:
The first step is to tear a paper towel into half and put it in a container.
Make sure that the container is of the right height for the plant to grow properly. The container should have holes in the bottom. You can put another container below for holding water.
Moist the paper towel and put the seeds on them. If the seeds are entangled, separate them so that they are not close to one another.
Pour water on the seeds and cover them with a sheet of paper towel.
Next, fold the remaining half paper towel over the container. This is important as it shields the seeds from sunlight at this stage.
After the second day, you can uncover the top of the container so that the seedlings can receive sunlight.
The sunlight helps in the germination of the microgreens.
Always ensure that your seeds are moist throughout their growth. So, you will have to continually check the moisture level so that you can add water as needed. This is crucial, more so in the early stages of growth when the seeds have not sprouted.
If the seeds feel dry before sprouting, always add water to ensure that they are moist throughout.
On the fourth day, you should see some germination taking place.
However, some microgreen seeds take longer to sprout than others. Some take 3 days, such as broccoli, while others take even 4 days to sprout.
After sprouting, you may notice white fuzz attached to the germinating plant. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as it is not mold but the roots.
Some plants can be harvested at this time if the gardener wishes to. But most people wait till they get to the microgreen stage before harvesting them.
If you want your microgreens to grow tall and fast, cover them up in the container. This forces them to look for light, which in turn makes them grow tall.
After six days, most plants should start to turn green.
At this stage, you should not cover them so that they can get enough sunlight. The light helps in the process of photosynthesis and for the leaves to change to green.
Apart from allowing them to have light, you can also provide them with a hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unlike plain water, a nutrient-rich solution will ensure that your microgreens grow faster and healthier.
After 8 days, the microgreens should be ready for harvest.
Broccoli microgreen grows faster than many microgreens. If you want to harvest higher yields, then you can leave your plant to grow for another 2 to 3 days.
Overall, you should be able to harvest your microgreens within two weeks after planting them.
And since you’ve grown microgreens on paper towels, harvesting them is straightforward as you don’t need to uproot them from the soil or cut them.
Microgreens grown on paper towels can be eaten whole or cut slightly above the roots.
Advantages Of Growing Microgreens On A Paper Towel
It Is Cleaner Than Growing In Soil
Using a paper towel to grow your microgreen plants is cleaner than using soil. So, you can uproot the whole plant without having to worry about the soil messing your floor.
This is not the same case with microgreens grown in soil as they are usually cut just above the soil.
Since microgreens grown on paper towel don’t need a thorough washing, the quality of the produce is maintained. Soil, dust, and other contaminants affect the quality of harvested microgreens from the soil.
Another reason why you should grow microgreens on paper towels instead of soil is that they are pathogen-free.
Unlike paper towels, microgreens harvested from soil have to be cleaned thoroughly as they might contain pathogens. These are not only dangerous to the microgreen plant but as well as to humans if consumed.
Some of the common pathogens include strains of bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and much more.
Eat The Whole Plant
Microgreens planted in paper towels can be eaten whole (leaves, stems, & roots). This is usually not the same case with microgreens grown in soil as they are normally cut slightly above the soil.
Simple To Monitor
Growing microgreens on paper towel make monitoring easy. This is because you can see the seeds germinate and develop roots, unlike when you have planted your seeds in the soil.
Therefore, you can attend to them as needed and even get rid of the ones that have attacked in a good time.
Microgreens Grow Faster
Microgreens grow faster on paper towels than in soil. This is thanks to the controlled light and moisture in the container.
The plants receive the right amount of water throughout. This is from the time the seed is placed on the paper towel to harvesting.
Also, the germinating plant is exposed to light at the right time.
Easy To Control Moisture
It is easier to control moisture for your microgreen plants when grown on paper towels than in soil. However, this will mean constant monitoring of the plant.
Disadvantages Of Growing Microgreens On A Paper Towel
Very Challenging To Transfer To Soil Or Vermiculite
One of the difficulties of using paper towels to grow microgreens is that transferring the plants is not easy.
This is because the roots of the microgreens are usually weak and should not be handled directly; unless you want them to break or damage the plant.
However, you can use tweezers to transfer the plant.
Quite Cumbersome To Monitor
Unlike soil that keeps moisture for long, you will have to ensure that seedlings on the paper towel are moist, more so in the early stages of their growth.
Tips For Successful Growing Of Microgreens
- Choose the right microgreens to plant on paper towels.
- Use paper towels where it is not possible or convenient to use soil; otherwise, the soil is the best for growing your plants.
- Put your seeds in a tall container that they will not outgrow quickly. You don’t want to expose your sprouts to sunlight before they start turning green.
- Always keep the seeds moist so that they have conducive conditions to grow.
- Grow the right microgreens in the right seasons. Some flourish in cold conditions, while others in warm conditions.
- Nutrient content varies according to the type of microgreen. However, most of them are rich in iron, potassium, copper, zinc, antioxidants, and magnesium.
- Don’t confuse microgreens with sprouts. Sprouts grow within a week, while microgreens take more than a week to shoot.
Why Is Growing Microgreens On Paper Towels Or Indoors Becoming Popular?
Recently, many people have posted on social media and other online platforms about growing microgreens and other vegetables indoors. Here are some of the reasons:
- Microgreens grown on paper towels can be eaten whole or cut at the stem.
- Microgreens have more concentrated nutrient content than their mature greens. For instance, broccoli has 50 times more nutrients than its mature green. This means that harvesting microgreens are healthier than harvesting their mature green.
- It is easier to plant microgreens on paper towels than in soil.
During this stay at home period, growing your own plants at home is not only convenient but as well as cheap. If you don’t have soil, you can grow your microgreen plants on paper towels.
Whether it is broccoli, lettuce, or radish, you can grow them in the convenience of your home.
Growing microgreens on a paper towel are easy but slightly cumbersome. This is because you have to constantly check the moisture level of the seeds and young plant.
Also, plants grow slightly slower in microgreens than in soil.
Nonetheless, microgreens are pathogen-free and allow harvesting of clean plants. Also, they can be consumed whole or cut.
If you want to grow your microgreens on a paper towel, make sure to acquire the right tools, and follow the right steps.