Choosing the best microgreen tray for your garden is an important decision that should involve careful thought and consideration. Microgreens, also known as arches or boots, are very small, but they are very resilient and drought tolerant plants that can tolerate some sand and heat. The best microgreen tray for a bootstrap farmer is one which is not only aesthetically pleasing but which provides adequate drainage to facilitate healthy root growth.
It is common for most new gardeners to choose pots that have holes drilled at the bottom. This is perfectly acceptable provided that the pots are large enough and that provision has been made for drainage. However, new and experienced gardeners often prefer to select growing microgreens in containers which do not have any bottom watering holes. There is no disadvantage in growing microgreens in containers with no bottom watering holes. They will just need to be provided with adequate drainage.
An excellent way of growing microgreens without holes in the bottom of the container is called a trough planter. The planter can be made from a variety of materials such as cardboard and wicker. One very attractive, lightweight planter is constructed from a single piece of wooden Styrofoam and covered with an attractive glass fibre paper. This type of planter is so lightweight that it can easily be moved around without causing any damage. Even a light breeze can cause it to move.
The best way to provide drainage without holes in the bottom of the planting tray is by planting your microgreens on a tray which has large, flat drainage holes cut into the tray bottom. These should be placed at least 2 inches above the surface of the soil and slanting towards the drainage holes. When choosing your tray, consider what plants you want to grow. Some plants need larger roots than others and may require deeper, larger roots. In addition, some micro green plants, such as alfalfa, do not grow well in water alone and must have an additional source of water or they will die. You should also check the list of ingredients to make sure that the microgreen product you choose will not contain any harmful chemicals.
After selecting your tray and planting your microgreens, remember to keep them watered. If you are using a trough planter, you should check regularly to ensure that there are no holes in the bottom. If holes appear, add a plastic bag to the soil beneath the holes to collect any excess rainwater until you are ready to remove it. Check the ten inches below the top of the growing trays for any sign of moisture. It is best to check frequently so that you don’t discover the problem too late. Some of these problems can be corrected quite easily without having to change the plant’s soil.
A problem with some of the smaller growing trays without holes at the bottom water level is that the plants can over-wilting or they can get root rot if there is inadequate air circulation around the roots. To solve this problem, you can add a small amount of white vinegar to the soil. Other solutions that can be used are perlite or coconut coir.
Many gardeners who are growing root crops in shallow trays or pots use bark to protect the plants from pests and fungi that attack the roots. While this may work to keep your plants healthy, it can also cause your plants to become dependent on the bark to survive. In order to avoid this, make sure that you don’t introduce bark to your plants’ soil. As an alternative, you can simply prune your young roots to create more open space in your garden.
Be sure to add plenty of sun to your microgreen plants to keep them healthy and to encourage blooming. While most seeds will do well in partial shade, you should consider planting them in the deeper, more direct sunlight provided by full sun. Microgreens do best when they are planted in the spring, but you can plant them any time throughout the year. Keep in mind that they enjoy some shade during the hotter months of summer; however, full sun is essential for healthy growing conditions.