Make Money Growing Microgreens Indoors!
Microgreens are one of the most profitable crops you can grow. They can be grown in a small space and can sell for $50 per pound or more, making them an ideal crop for small farms and urban growers. I will show you how you can make money growing microgreens indoors in areas as small as a shelf in the living room, basement, garage or shipping container – earning potentially six figures in revenue per year! Check out the video above to see!
The setup cost is low and the growing cycle is super quick (usually around 10-14 days), meaning you can be harvesting and selling your first crop in just a couple of weeks. So, how do you start a microgreens business and start selling your produce?
1) Low startup cost
You can start your business with just one or two 10″ x 20″ trays of microgreens and scale up from there. Each tray only costs about $2 in terms of soil and seed You can start off just supplying one restaurant or producing enough microgreens to sell once a week at a farmer’s market and increase production as demand for your product grows.
2) Fast turnaround time
Unlike crops like corn or wheat, you don’t need to wait a whole season or more to harvest. Microgreens go from seed to harvest in as little as 1 week or 4 weeks at most although most average around 10-14 days. That fast turnaround time allows you to experiment and maximize the efficiency of your operation. You can also quickly scale production up or down should your sales fluctuate throughout the year.
3) Year-round growing
Unless you have greenhouses, microgreens are one of only a few ways you can produce food year-round as a small farmer or even if you live in a large city but have a little bit of space – even the size of a closet. Growing mushrooms is another way. This also means it’s a great source of consistent income. Or if you’re already a farmer, you can use microgreens to earn extra money over the winter and diversify your business.
4) Higher nutrition
Microgreens are superfoods. They’re packed full of vitamins and nutrients. They appeal both to restaurants as garnishes and high-end ingredients, as well as to health-conscious consumers. In fact, they have up to 4o times the nutrient impact as their mature plant counterparts.
5) High-value crop – This is how you make money growing microgreens indoors
Microgreens sell for high prices to top restaurants and food stores. Since they’re such a niche product at their best when fresh, as a local producer you can also charge a premium for them. Farmer’s markets are also great places to sell them. You can make quite a lot of money growing microgreens in any space indoors that you can find!
Because the crop cycle is so short, commercial growers can make a good income in a very small space. Most microgreen varieties are ready to harvest in about two weeks, so a capable grower can produce 20-25 crops per year. By stacking the growing channels or trays vertically, four times as much can be produced in the same space.
Using a four rack system, many growers are producing an average of 50 pounds of microgreens in a 60 square foot growing area per 2-week crop cycle. At $25 per pound, that’s a return that beats just about any other legal crop. Most growers report an average harvest of 5 to 6 ounces of microgreens per single tray ( 10″ x 20″ ) when grown on a single level, such as a tabletop. So, the amount you can grow, and the amount of money you can make growing microgreens, all depends on the amount of space you can devote to it.
How to Grow Microgreens Indoors
First off, watch the video! There are many other videos on YouTube as well that show you exactly how to grow these little veggies. Note that microgreens are different than sprouts. With sprouts, you eat the top (consisting of only cotyledons – not true leaves), seed casing and root. Microgreens are allowed to grow for longer until they have one or two sets of true leaves before being harvested. Only the leaves and stems are eaten.
Seeding and Germination
You can use either soil (buy a potting mix) or use the hemp or coconut coir mats (which make things a bit less messy). Dampen the soil. Spread 1/2 to 1 inch of it into your tray with drainage holes and make sure it is as level as you can. Break up any big lumps so that it is fairly consistent. Then sprinkle your seeds in quite thickly, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of space between each. Place this tray on another the same size with no holes in it.
Cover the seeds with vermiculite. This mineral-based material absorbs water and releases it slowly, keeping seeds damp but not too wet. Follow instructions for planting depth provided on the seed packet. Some seeds should be barely covered; others need thicker covering to germinate (sprout and grow) well. Label plantings.
Water the flats with a gentle shower or mist them with a squirt bottle, soaking the vermiculite without washing away the seeds. Also, put about 1/2 cup of water in the lower tray and ensure it is distributed around the bottom. Until the seeds germinate and green shoots sprout from them, water lightly as needed to keep the seed-starting mix damp. If the mix is too wet, seeds cannot root and fail to grow. Usually, misting them morning and evening works quite well.
Keep Growing Microgreens Moist but not Wet
Cover them with plastic to help keep the moisture in. You can also use the domed plastic lids available at Amazon. They do not need light or nutrients until they have germinated and you can see them starting to poke their heads up through the soil. They do, however, need to be kept warm at this stage. Set the trays on a heat mat designed for seed starting or on a heating pad.
When the seeds germinate at first leave the lids on and do not provide extra light. In fact, many growers keep another flat on top of them so that they will grow a bit leggy at this stage. This makes harvesting later MUCH easier as you have decently long stems to cut off. Once they are about an inch tall, remove the lid and the heat source. Place them un T5 florescent lights or LED light strips on the racks that you have ready for them. Many people use the very top of the rack for germination as it is dark up there and then move the trays when they need light.
Keep watering them from the bottom only now start adding nutrients as per the instructions on the bottle. Simply lift up the tray with the holes in it and add about 1 cup of water, twice per day, to the bottom tray. If at any time the edges or corners look or feel dry (just poke your finger in!) then start to slowly add more nutrient water each time you water. You do not want it soggy – just moist.
Once they have completely filled the tray and have true leaves growing on them and are about 3 inches tall, you need to harvest them. Simply start from one edge and start cutting them off by the handful. If this step is done carefully, you will not have to wash them at all. Their shelf life in the refrigerator is about one week. You can also take the flats to the farmer’s markets and harvest them there – people will be so impressed by the freshness!
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Check out the ads for all of the supplies that you will need at the top and bottom of this article. You will find this to be a very inexpensive enterprise to take on, work on part-time, and make decent money from growing microgreens, even in limited space, indoors!
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