Best Microgreen Trays (Growing Microgreens At Home)

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Best microgreen trays - growing lettuce microgreens in trays with coco grow mats

If you want to try growing microgreens at home you will want to know what the best microgreen trays are. You can use recycled food containers but they are not your best option.

Key Microgreen Trays Takeaway:

  • The best microgreen trays for home growing are the standard 1020 trays, available in 10″ x 20″ or 10″ x 10″ sizes.
  • Utilize a tray with drainage holes for the growing medium and another without holes for bottom watering.
  • For strength, double up the trays.
  • Avoid using a dome as it can lead to mold or fungus issues.
  • For a soil-free option, coco grow mats are excellent. For continuous growth, invest in an  LED grow light, ensuring 12-16 hours of light daily.

Because they vary in size watering becomes more difficult. You want to use a uniform tray size for the best results.

A quick look on Amazon will yield all sorts of features, different sizes, and bells and whistles, many of which are not needed and simply add to the price.

You will not find them featured here. Instead, we recommend buying the most common plastic tray which is a 1020 seed flat. Let’s keep it simple.

Best Microgreen Trays

There are many microgreens trays on the market. The best trays for growing microgreens are still your basic 1020 trays.

These are the common black plastic trays you see at most garden centers filled with smaller individual potted plants. They measure about 10″ x 20″ inches.

Bootstrap Farmer 1020 Trays - Extra Strength No Holes, 5 Pack, for Propagation Seed Starter, Plant Germination, Seedling Flat, Fodder, Microgreens If you have only small spaces available or want to start with a smaller project they also come in a 10″ by 10″ size.

5-Pack 1010 Garden Growing Trays Without Drain Holes - 10" x 10" Plastic Plant Trays No Holes - Wheatgrass Sprouting Tray, Microgreens Seed Tray, Hydroponic Trays, Nursery Flats, Greenhouse Supplies

Do You Need Drainage Holes?

To properly use these trays you will want a tray with drainage holes and one without any holes.

The tray with the drainage holes will hold your growing medium and the tray without holes will be used to bottom water your plants.

Meanwhile, the tray with the bottom holes will allow for excess water to drain.

It helps to have a bottom tray to water with and a second tray to use as a drip tray after watering. But this is not absolutely necessary.

If you can’t find trays with holes you can either drill small holes yourself or top water instead. Bottom watering is preferred because it keeps the foliage dry.

You don’t absolutely need drainage holes if you are careful not to overwater but it is better to use a tray that has them.

Skip The Dome

I still like to double up trays for added strength. But I never use a dome. They do more harm than good and a dome is totally unnecessary.

Cutting off airflow can result in mold or fungus problems and seeds can germinate just fine without one.

You can give them a light misting every day until germination begins. Then switch over to bottom watering your microgreen trays.

Seeds don’t need to be kept in the dark to germinate either.

Deep Or Shallow Trays – You Get What You Pay For

Bootstrap farmer trays are great quality and they have a variety of trays including some shallow trays that are about 1 inch deep. I don’t recommend them.

The deep trays are the ones you want and are about 2.25 inches deep. So really even they are not that deep.

Their durable trays cost a bit more than others, but they are heavy-duty and can last for years. Try to avoid buying flimsy trays that can crack or break easily.

A cheaper planting tray can be used but usually won’t last more than one season without cracking.

About Microgreen Seeds

Once you have your trays you will need microgreen seeds. These should be untreated, organic, and non-GMO. You will also need to decide on a grow media.

If you want to buy microgreen seeds for sprouting check out True Leaf Market they have a wide selection of seeds.

Powerhouse Veggies Refill for Hamama Home Microgreens Growing Kit - Grow Fresh Micro Greens Indoors Every Week, Just Add Water - Superfoods Microgreens Seeds - Grow Superfood Veggies and SupergeensAnother option is to buy seed quilts. Hamama Home Microgreens Growing Kit has seeds in a quilt-like holder. All you need to do is water them and watch them grow.

“These proprietary seed quilts combine microgreen seeds, growing medium, humidity dome, and sprouting tray all in one easy to plant package.

Simply add water to the microgreen growing tray ONCE and come back to harvest. That’s it!” Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit

If you are just starting out this might be the easiest and fastest way to try growing microgreens. All you need is the tray to start with.

Growing Medium

Microgreen growers can choose from a variety of growing mediums. There are different options but many just use potting mix.

Some others use sphagnum peat or a mix of peat and perlite.

I prefer coco coir for a growing medium. It is light so seeds germinate easily in it and it has good moisture-holding abilities.

You don’t need a specialized seed starting medium, just use coco coir. Coconut coir is also a renewable resource unlike peat and peat-based potting soils.

canna coco coir brick

Coco Grow Mats – How To Grow Microgreens Without Soil

Envelor Coco Grow Mat for Microgreen Seedlings Trays Hydroponic Growing Pads Sprouting Tray Coconut Fiber Seed Starter Planting Sheets Natural Coco Coir Liner - 10 x 20 Inches, 10 Pack Another easy way to grow baby plants is with coco grow mats. This is an excellent choice and a great way to grow because it is a lot less messy than loose soil.

So if you live in a space where you don’t want soil getting all over or don’t even want to store soil they are a great option.

Envelor Coco Grow Mat for Microgreen Seedlings Trays Hydroponic Growing Pads Sprouting Tray Coconut Fiber Seed Starter Planting Sheets Natural Coco Coir Liner - 10 x 20 Inches, 10 Pack

The grow mats work extremely well and many commercial growers use them. They can sell their microgreens attached to the mat instead of cutting them.

They stay much fresher this way for the fresh market. You can do the same by cutting the mat into squares and fitting them in a clamshell container.

This is the best way to grow microgreens without soil.


During the summer months, you can grow microgreens on a windowsill but if you want to grow microgreens year-round you will want to purchase a grow light.

Active Grow LED strip light is made in Seattle Wa. and was designed for growing microgreens. It is available in 2 and 4-foot lengths and lights can be daisy-chained together.
Active Grow Propagation 4FT LED Strip Light - 2X Integrated LED Lamp - Plant Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Propagation & Microgreens - 38W - Sun White Full Spectrum High CRI 95 - Linkable - 120-277V

LED grow lights are economical to use and long-lasting. They give your greens the best light to maximize growth. 

Active Grow Propagation 4FT LED Strip Light - 2X Integrated LED Lamp - Plant Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Propagation & Microgreens - 38W - Sun White Full Spectrum High CRI 95 - Linkable - 120-277V

Put them on a timer and run them for 12-16 hours daily for best results. Your results will be much better than using a fluorescent light or a windowsill.

Benefits Of Growing Microgreens In Trays

One of the best things about growing microgreens at home is that they don’t take a long time to be ready for harvest.

They also don’t take up a lot of space and it really does not cost much to get started either. This is square inch gardening at its best.

You will find different microgreens have different tastes so experiment until you find your favorite types of microgreens.

Growing Baby Greens

If you want you can thin out your baby plants or seedlings and grow your microgreens a bit longer and harvest baby greens.

I am going to grow lettuce this way and will also be growing pea shoots this way too. You will still use the same microgreen growing trays for this.

Microgreen Tray FAQs:

As you embark on your microgreen growing journey, a plethora of questions might arise, given the various methods and tools available.

In this FAQ section, we’ve compiled answers to some common queries that could pop up as you set up your microgreen growing station.

From the type of trays to use, to the need for drainage holes, to the kind of lighting required, we’ve got it all covered here to ensure your microgreen growing is both enjoyable and successful.

Q. Why are 1020 trays recommended for growing microgreens?

A. The 1020 trays are recommended due to their standard size which makes watering consistent, their availability in both larger and smaller sizes to suit different spaces, and their compatibility with common growing practices like bottom watering which helps in keeping the foliage dry and preventing over-watering.

Q. What is the significance of drainage holes in the trays?

A. Drainage holes in the trays allow excess water to escape, preventing waterlogging which could lead to root rot, mold, or fungal issues.

They are essential if you prefer bottom watering, a method that helps keep the foliage dry and reduces the chances of over-watering.

Q. Why is bottom watering preferred over top watering for microgreens?

A. Bottom watering is preferred as it keeps the foliage dry, reducing the likelihood of mold and fungal infections.

It also ensures that the roots receive adequate water, encouraging them to grow downwards and establish better, which in turn results in healthier, more robust microgreens.

Q. Why is LED lighting recommended for growing microgreens indoors?

A. LED lighting is recommended due to its energy efficiency and the ability to provide the specific light spectrum needed for photosynthesis.

Unlike traditional lighting, LED lights emit less heat, reducing the risk of scorching the plants. They also last longer and can be set on a timer to ensure the microgreens receive the required 12-16 hours of light daily for optimal growth.

Conclusion: Best Microgreen Trays For Growing Microgreens At Home

Growing microgreens at home is an easy, rewarding, and cost-effective way to enjoy nutritious greens year-round.

With the right tools such as 1020 trays, coco coir, or coco grow mats, you can easily get started with growing microgreens.

Plus, you don’t need a lot of space or money to begin – just purchase some trays, seeds, and growing medium of your choice and watch your microgreens flourish. So give it a try. You won’t regret it!