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Microgreens
Published August 23, 2022 by Nicole Burke

How Much Does It Cost to Grow Microgreens at Home?

Filed Under:
microgreens
Garden projects
indoor gardening
How much does it cost to grow your own microgreens?

Microgreens at the Store Are Expensive

Last summer, I was working on pictures for my second book project, when I realized with horror that I'd forgotten to start microgreens seeds the week before. I had an entire chapter on microgreens to fill with photos, I had a photographer ready to go, but I had nothing for him to capture. Panicked, I ran to the nearest farmers' market desperately searching for someone selling microgreens.

I managed to find a couple of small trays being sold for $10. Each! You'll find that the microgreens price is regularly $5, $8, even $10 at farmers' markets and grocery stores. You probably won't buy a pound of microgreens at once, but if you did, it would set you back between $25 and $50. To compare, a pound of spinach typically costs about $6. Microgreens may be tinier than normal produce, but their price tag is not!

I had no choice but to pull out my wallet and pay the piper $30 for three trays, all while chiding myself for not growing my own. I could have easily produced my own trays of microgreens under grow lights in my basement in just five or six days—and for a fraction of the cost.

I can tell you with good authority that growing your own microgreens will cost you way less than buying them at the store. Let's take a look at how much it will actually cost to grow your own.

microgreens how much

How to Grow Microgreens on a Budget

If it's your first time growing microgreens or if you're sticking to a tight budget, you can keep it simple with a setup of seeds, soil, water, and a little bit of light. You can even use many materials you probably already have hanging out in a cabinet or junk drawer.

For light, you can use the free energy source in the sky: the sun. You'll place your microgreens next to a bright window (it's best to grow microgreens indoors unless you have the perfect mild weather) and rotate the tray frequently. Just know that this method won't produce as consistent or reliable of results as an artificial light source. Microgreens want the light very close to them and tend to grow leggier when the light is further away.

growing microgreens on a budget

Repurpose these items that you probably already have in your home:

  • Two simple plastic containers - Find two old Tupperware-type containers that are about 2 inches deep and stackable. You'll poke holes in the bottom of one and place it inside the other to hold the water that will drain from the holes you've made.
  • A simple pitcher, watering can, or spray bottle - Keep your designated watering source filled with room-temperature water.
  • Popsicle sticks and a permanent marker - Make your own plant tags to remind you which type of seed you planted where, especially if you're growing multiple varieties. You could alternatively label painter's tape and stick it to the side of the tray.
  • A clean pair of kitchen scissors - You'll use scissors to harvest your baby greens.
  • A small fan - If you're growing your microgreens in a close space, place a small fan nearby to increase air flow and prevent rot.
growing microgreens in window

Spend your budget on these items:

  • An organic seed starting mix - Don't skimp here. Prioritize organic so that there's nothing synthetic in the seed starting mix that will get into your microgreens and then into you. Rather than regular potting soil, you need seed starting mix because it's made for baby plants to push tender roots into. This is a bit of an investment because you should start over with fresh seed starting mix for each batch of microgreens. Your spent soil can go into your compost and be used later as nutrient-dense organic matter for your salad greens or vegetable garden.
  • Seeds - There are many big companies that sell packets labeled to be grown as microgreens. These are the same seeds you would buy to grow into a full-size plant, but you'll need to purchase a large quantity of them since they won't be turning into full-size plants. You'll be really disappointed in the results if you buy a packet with only 15 seeds inside. Many different leafy greens and vegetables can be grown as microgreens. (Here are our favorites.) Experiment with different seeds for flavor or look for packs with a variety mix of seeds. Prioritize seeds that are organic and non-GMO. Seeds can cost anywhere from about $0.60 to $8.50 per ounce, depending on the variety, the source, and whether you're buying in bulk (your best option once you know your favorite varieties).
grow microgreens on a budget

Some of the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the link and purchase the item. The links to stores outside of Amazon are not affiliated—they're just products I really like. All opinions remain my own.

Total Expenses

Here's a breakdown of potential expenses to grow microgreens on a budget:

Total for your first trays of fresh, organic microgreens: $25.07.

That's about the same as it would cost to purchase three very small packs of microgreens at the farmers's market. You can grow about two and a half full-size trays (about 22" x 11") per ounce of seeds, so you could potentially be able to grow one tray each week for a month or so, depending on the size of your growing container. Your bags of seed starting mix will cover several trays once they're rehydrated with water; again, exact numbers will depend on the size of your growing containers.

How to Improve Your Indoor-Gardening Setup

Once you've fallen in love with microgreens and determined to grow them every week, it's worth it to invest in some supplies that you can reuse over and over again and that will help you increase your yield.

The recommended supplies include:

  • Trays designed for microgreens - Often called flats, trays with holes and the reservoir to go underneath them are typically sold separately. Wash these trays with white vinegar and water between uses, and you'll be able to grow batch after nutritious batch in them. Each tray will cost about $5, or you can buy in sets of five if you're feeling ambitious.
  • An artificial light source - The best lighting situation for your microgreens includes artificial lights that can be raised higher or lowered toward the trays. You can either hang a full-spectrum light from a shelving unit or hooks, or clip wand lights on wire coils to the edge of your table or shelf for easy maneuverability over the growing trays.
  • Mycorrhizae - Adding mycorrhizae to your organic seed starting mix is optional. The fungal hyphae inside mycorrhizae aid the growing plant's ability to obtain water and nutrients from the surrounding soil.

These additional supplies will run you about $55, but the trays and lights can be used repeatedly, and a little bit of mycorrhizae goes a long way.

best microgreens grow lights

You could always look for a microgreens growing kit to simplify your shopping process. We've rounded up our favorite supplies and put it in one convenient kit for you. You can shop our Microgreens Magic Kit here.

Even if you spend about $50 to $75 on your full microgreens setup and seeds, you'll still spend so much less money than you would buying tray after tray of microgreens at the grocery store (if you can even find them) or the farmers' market. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy them fresh, at their peak of flavor and nutrition, and explore whichever and as many different varieties you want.

Get Everything you need to grow your own microgreens in one kit

Microgreens Magic Kits by Gardenary

Our Microgreens Magic Kit includes my favorite shallow trays, two coco coir blocks, my favorite microgreens seeds, and a simple grow light.

harvested microgreens

Compare the Cost of Growing Your Own Microgreens to the Best Vitamins Money Can Buy

When you consume a microgreen, you get all the nutrition of the mature plant in one bite. Just a portion of one tray of mixed microgreens is like the most powerful daily vitamin you can take. It's pretty amazing then if you think of how little setup and work is actually required to grow such incredibly nutritious food.

Plus, you can grow microgreens just about anywhere and any time of year, and they're also the easiest way for each of us to become a gardener. Once you've purchased your supplies, these tiny plants only require a couple minutes of your attention each day.

Happy gardening from my indoor kitchen garden to yours!

Get Everything you need to grow your own microgreens in one kit

Microgreens Magic Kits by Gardenary

Our Microgreens Magic Kit includes my favorite shallow trays, two coco coir blocks, my favorite microgreens seeds, and a simple grow light.

How Much Does It Cost to Grow Microgreens at Home?