What Is The Best Soil For Microgreens? Surprising Answer

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What Is The Best Soil For Microgreens? Roots in coco grow mat

If you are thinking about growing microgreens at home you will probably have some questions like what is the best soil for microgreens?

Best Microgreen Soil Key Takeaways:

  • The best soil for microgreens is actually not soil, but rather soilless grow mats made from materials such as coco coir, hemp, or jute.
  • These grow mats provide a clean, easy-to-use alternative to traditional soil, ensuring a flat, even surface for sowing seeds.
  • They also make harvest a breeze and are easy to store, marking them as a superior choice for growing microgreens, especially in indoor settings.

People who grow microgreens use a variety of soil mixes to grow them. Peat moss and coco coir are popular grow mediums and sometimes perlite is added to the mix.

What Is The Best Soil For Microgreens?

The best soil to grow microgreens is not soil at all! The best growing media for microgreens are coco, hemp or jute grow mats.

Avoid Using Peat Or Peat Based Soil Mixes

If you care at all about the environment avoid peat-based products. Harvesting peat destroys wetlands that can take thousands of years to regrow.

Peat bogs hold many times more  CO2 than the Amazon rainforest and harvesting them releases this greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere.

Edward Struzik: Peatlands represent just 3 percent of the world’s terrestrial surface, but store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined. Canada’s Hudson Bay Lowlands, the largest intact peatland in the world, stores as much as five times more carbon than the equivalent area in the Amazon rainforest. https://www.nytimes.com/explain/2022/05/05/headway/peatlands-wetlands-bogs-swamps-fen#peatlands-carbon-climate-change

So use coco coir or other renewable resources. You can grow excellent microgreens in coco coir or coco grow mats.

You will also find grow mats made of jute or hemp. They all are better alternatives to sphagnum peat moss.

Why Are Grow Mats Better Than Soil?

Grow Mats Are Cleaner And Easier To use

Anyone who has tried to use soil indoors knows it can be messy. It can get all over an apartment even if you are careful using it.

Disposing of it can also be a problem because you should not try to reuse it for microgreens.

You can compost it or use it for potting houseplants but it should not be used to grow microgreens again.

A grow mat does not come with loose particles so it does not make a mess. When you are done with it you can simply roll it up and compost it.

Grow mats are used with seedling trays. Some are precut to fit in a standard 1020 seedling tray and some can be cut to size for other tray sizes.Alfalfa microgreens in coco grow mat
With grow mats, you don’t need to bury your seeds. You can simply sow on top of the moist grow mat and mist them twice a day until they germinate.

If you don’t want to mist them every day you can give them a good misting and cover them with a plastic dome.

If your house is cold using a heat mat can help improve germination. I like the included light on this seedling starter tray.


Super Sprouter Premium Propagation Kit with Heat Mat, 10" x 20" Tray, 7" Dome & T5 Light, 5 Piece, Black/ClearGrow Mats Can Make Harvest Easier And Help Microgreens Last Longer

Another advantage of using grow mats for microgreens comes at harvest time. Rather than cut the microgreens off with scissors many commercial growers cut the mat and fit it in a container.

This helps keep the microgreens fresher for longer. There is no reason why you can’t do the same thing in your home.

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

Grow Mats Make Sowing Seeds Easier

Because grow mats offer a flat even surface it is easier to sow seeds on top of them. You can easily see if they are evenly spread out.

You also don’t need to bury your seeds to get them to sprout. All you need to do is keep the mat moist and mist your seeds.

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

Grow Mats Are Easier To Store

Grow mats are much easier to store and handle. Bags of soil or bales of peat moss can take up valuable space, especially in a small apartment.

Because they are flat, grow mats are much easier to store on a shelf. You won’t have to lug bags of soil into or around your apartment either.

What Grow Mats Are Best?

Microgreen grow mats are made from jute, hemp, or coco. I have never used jute or hemp grow mats but I am sure they work just fine.

Personally, I love coco coir for growing plants so I naturally gravitated towards coco grow mats.

The mats I use are precut to fit inside a 1020 seed starter tray. They are also available in other sizes. They are made from long fiber coco, not coir.

10 Pads Jute Plant Grow Mat- Hemp Mats for Microgreens Growing, 10" X 20" Hydroponic Grow Pads for 1020 Growing Trays,Indoor Sprouting kit for Microgreens, Wheatgrass, Sprouts, Organic Production
If you want to try jute grow mats they are a bit cheaper. They come precut in a variety of sizes and are also available in rolls for larger growers.

I may try them next time when I use up my coco mats.

Best Soil FAQs:

Embarking on the microgreens journey can be filled with anticipation and a dash of uncertainty.

How do you ensure these petite greens flourish? What growing medium should you use?

And how do you tackle the harvesting? Here’s a list of common queries to guide you through the process, from sowing the seeds to relishing the harvest.

Dive into the following questions and answers to unveil the secrets of nurturing microgreens to their fullest potential.

Q. What are the benefits of using grow mats instead of traditional soil for microgreens?

A. Grow mats are cleaner, easier to use, make sowing seeds and harvesting simpler, and are easier to store compared to traditional soil.

They also provide a uniform surface for seed sowing and can be composted after use, making them an eco-friendly choice.

Q. Are all grow mats suitable for microgreens?

A. While most grow mats are suitable for microgreens, the best ones are made from coco coir, hemp, or jute due to their excellent water retention and ease of use.

They provide a suitable environment for the seeds to germinate and the microgreens to grow.

Q. Can grow mats be reused for growing microgreens?

A. It’s not advisable to reuse grow mats for microgreens as this could lead to the spread of diseases or pests from the previous batch.

It’s always better to start with a fresh grow mat for each new batch of microgreens to ensure healthy, vigorous growth.

Q. How do I keep the grow mat moist for microgreens?

A. Keeping the grow mat moist is crucial for seed germination and the growth of microgreens.

Mist the mat twice a day or as needed to keep it moist, especially until the seeds germinate.

Covering the mat with a plastic dome can also help retain moisture during the early stages of growth.

Best Soil For Microgreens Final Thoughts

My final thoughts are that a soil mix can be cheaper to use than grow mats. If you use sphagnum peat or peat-based potting soil you are harming the environment.

If you want a loose mix use coco coir it will give better results than peat and coco coir is a reusable and sustainable resource. You don’t need to add perlite either.

But I feel the convenience of using grow mats is worth it. They are easier to store than bags of soil, less messy, and much easier to use.