Let there be LIGHT!
It’s time to give your growing greens some light! You are one-third of the way to getting your first crop of micro-greens or wheatgrass, so don’t stop now! If you are following the instructions presented Part 1 , then your greens will look something like this:
Now let’s talk about light! There are many options for giving your plants light.
- Grow lights – there are so many options here that I still get confused what means what (green light, red light, white light…what the heck do these mean!!!). But here’s what I have learned. If you are growing something as simple as microgreens or wheatgrass, then the cheap grow lights from your local home building or nursery store will work. Just be sure to place your plants 1-2 inches away from these lights. They have to be super close to benefit from these weak lights. Just follow the instructions and they will work. Another option is to invest in a more expensive grow light. The benefit is that you can grow a variety of plants. Your grow light should not be an impulsive purchase, otherwise you will regret it later when you find out that your grow light doesn’t do what you want. The light you select should meet the needs of the plants you would like to grow. For example, when I purchased cheap grow lights years back, I discover that they were not strong enough to grow my tomato seedlings. So I learned from that expensive mistake (I purchased a lot of these lights), and then purchased a grow that would allow me to grow sun-loving plants like tomatoes from seed. And that’s how I designed my indoor greenhouse. Here are several grow lights that have received good reviews on Amazon (click on image to see more info on each grow light):
I have the two grow lights on the right in my greenhouse! And just know that the 2nd one from the right does not include the bulb, so if you order this grow light, you will need to buy the bulb separately.
- The other option is to use the sun! The fantastic FREE sun! You can put your microgreens by a very sunny windowsill or you can place them on your patio. If you are putting them outside on your patio be careful to keep the soil well watered. Not soaked…but well watered so that the soil does not dry out. Also know the needs of your greens before sitting them outside. Some plants like arugula and mustard greens don’t like as much sun as basil and sunflower sprouts. If your plants require less sun, then put them in a place where they will only receive 4-5 hours of sun or indirect sun.
Also, be sure to be regular and consistent with your lighting. Light your plants at the same time everyday. Maybe you turn on your grow lights before you leave for work and and turn them off after you return home for the day. Or you can invest $10-30 in a timer. These turn your lights on and off based on the time you set. It’s a more economical use of electricity, plus it’s one less thing to keep track of. You can find many basic timers for $10 at places like Lowe’s or Home Depot in the lighting section; just be sure to make sure it fits the voltage of your grow light.
Now that you have your lighting needs met, consider giving your growing greens a little liquid fertilizer. My favorite is seaweed fertilizer because it is so gentle on seedlings. Here’s one of the brands that I have used in the past (click on the image to view more information):
You have many options to choose from in terms of liquid fertilizer, but I would recommend getting some from a friend who gardens. A little goes a long way! And honestly, if this is your first time growing microgreens, you can skip the liquid fertilizer. It’s optional. However, if you want to regrow your wheatgrass from the same seeds, you will need to feed your plants. They need food too!
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