Do Microgreens Need Drainage? – Find Out!

Microgreens are getting more attention than ever before, thanks to their nutritious content and the lucrative commercial aspect. More and more people are now interested in trying their hand at growing microgreens. Once you start farming microgreens indoors, you really can’t help but ask this question.

Do microgreens need drainage? No, microgreens do not require drainage of any kind. The root system of microgreens is shallow, and they don’t interact with the water at the bottom of the tray. Most microgreens are grown hydroponically means that excess water is not going to do any damage to your microgreens and that eliminates the need for drainage.

Traditional Thinking

Microgreens are only around for a decade or so. Most people who come from a traditional gardening background would think that the same rules apply here as well, but they don’t.

Traditionally, we are taught to have holes in our planters so that the excess water in the pot can drain out. If you don’t drain the excess water, it can cause the root to rot and can eventually lead to the plant’s death. This is the reason why we have holes in containers meant for growing plants.

The fact that you don’t need a drainage system surprises a lot of people who were gardeners and new to the world of microgreens. It might even take a few batches of microgreens to relieve them of this stress (true story, trust me).

Why Drainage Is Not Necessary For Microgreens

We’ve already briefly discussed why you don’t need a drainage system for microgreen farms. Let’s discuss them in a bit more detail.

Microgreens are quick growers. Most microgreens are grown and harvested in just 7 to 12 days. Even the slowest ones can complete their life cycle in around 50 days. This is very fast when you compare it with the same fully grown mature plant.

The roots of the microgreens do not stay in contact with water for a long time to facilitate the rotting of your greens’ roots.

Microgreens have shallow roots. Most fully grown plants have a deep and complex root system underneath. This is not the case with microgreens. Microgreen roots are very shallow and they will not get deep enough to make prolonged contact with the water at the bottom of the tray.

Microgreens don’t always use a soil-based medium. A long list of microgreens is grown hydroponically where you can’t have holes. People also use hydroponic grow mats where there is a lot of moisture and effective drainage to prevent excess water from stagnating. Since these mats take care of drainage, there is no need for an additional drainage system.

Do Microgreen Trays Need Holes? Why?

Your microgreen tray doesn’t need holes for drainage, but having them will serve you in several ways.

One of the main reasons people get a tray with holes is to water from your microgreens from the bottom. You can keep your tray on top of another tray with water. Water will enter the soil and then go to the roots via capillary action.

Bottom watering doesn’t mean you can stop watering from above. You should regularly drizzle water on your microgreens to keep your top layer of the soil moist. A wet bottom and a dried out top won’t give you a good result in any way.

If you’re new to microgreens, then you might learn the hard way that watering your tray from above can sometimes result in your greens falling, thanks to water pressure. Trays with holes can help in avoiding this situation as well.

Wrapping Up

If you’re new to indoor microgreen farming, then you are bound to make some mistakes that can take you back a few days. The tips we’ve shared above can help in avoiding those common mistakes. 

To answer the most important question, you do not need drainage for your microgreens. They can take good care of them naturally without the need for external drainage. 

However, having holes on your microgreen trays can surely help in other ways than draining. You can water your microgreens more effectively and also avoid accidental uprooting of your microgreens.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Just shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.

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