Paper Towel Microgreens: An Affordable and Convenient Growing Method

Paper Towel Microgreens: An Affordable and Convenient Growing Method

Microgreens have gained significant popularity in recent years due to their vibrant colors, intense flavors, and high nutritional value. These tiny edible greens are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to any diet. While there are various methods available to grow microgreens, one approach that stands out for its affordability and convenience is using paper towels as a growing medium. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of growing microgreens on paper towels and provide you with a step-by-step guide to get started.

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are young vegetable or herb plants harvested at an early stage, typically 7-14 days after germination. They are known for their concentrated essential nutrients, intense flavors, and vibrant colors. They are more nutritious than their mature counterparts. 

Methods of growing microgreens

Growing microgreens can be done using soil-based, hydroponic, or paper towel methods, with each approach offering its own advantages. Regardless of the method chosen, microgreens require consistent moisture, proper airflow, and adequate lighting. With regular care, they can be harvested in just a few weeks, providing a fresh and nutrient-dense addition to meals. Growing microgreens is a rewarding and accessible way to enjoy these flavorful and nutritious greens.

Can You Grow Microgreens Without Soil?

Yes, microgreens can be grown without soil using hydroponics or the paper towel method. The hydroponic method involves growing microgreens in a soilless medium, such as coconut coir or Rockwool, and providing them with a nutrient-rich water solution. The paper towel method uses moistened paper towels as a growing medium for germination and growth. Both methods offer advantages such as controlled environments and efficient nutrient absorption, making them accessible and convenient options for soilless microgreen cultivation without getting your hands dirty.


Why Choose Paper Towel Microgreens?

1. Cost-effective:

Paper towels are readily available in most households, making them a cost-effective alternative to traditional growing mediums such as soil or hydroponic setups. By utilizing paper towels, you eliminate the need to invest in additional supplies, saving you money while still enjoying the benefits of homegrown microgreens.

2. Accessibility:

Not everyone has access to outdoor garden spaces or the necessary equipment for hydroponic systems. Paper towel microgreens offer a solution to grow their own fresh greens even in the indoor garden or on a sunny windowsill.

3. Convenience:

Paper towel microgreens are incredibly convenient, as they require minimal setup and maintenance. You can grow them on your kitchen countertop, in a windowsill, or even in a small corner of your home. Additionally, since paper towels are disposable, cleaning up after the harvest is a breeze.

Getting Started: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Gather Supplies

To begin your paper towel microgreen project, you will need the following items:

  • Sheet of paper towel (choose a brand without any added chemicals or dyes)
  • Organic Seeds of your preferred microgreen variety
  • A shallow tray or container (with drainage holes)
  • Water spray bottle
  • Plastic wrap or a transparent lid (optional but recommended)

Step 2: Prepare the seed Tray

Place a thick layer of paper towel in the plastic tray, ensuring that it covers the entire bottom surface. Moisten the paper towel thoroughly with water. It should be damp but not dripping wet.

Step 3: Sow the Seeds

Sprinkle the microgreen seeds evenly across the moist paper towel. Make sure the seeds are not overcrowded to allow sufficient space for growth. Gently press the seeds into the paper towel to ensure good contact.

Step 4: Provide Moisture

Mist the seeds with clean water using a spray bottle to keep the seeds moist. Ensure the paper towel remains consistently moist throughout the germination process. Be careful not to oversaturate, as excess water can lead to mold growth.

Step 5: Create a Greenhouse Effect (Optional)

Cover the tray with plastic wrap or a transparent lid to create a greenhouse effect. This helps retain moisture and accelerates germination. If using plastic wrap, poke a few small holes to allow for airflow.

Step 6: Germination and Growth

Place the tray in a warm location away from direct sunlight. Check the moisture level daily and mist if necessary. Within a few days, you will notice the seeds sprouting. At this stage, remove the plastic wrap/lid and place the tray in a well-lit area or under grow lights/fluorescent lights.

Step 7: Care and Harvesting microgreens

Continue misting the microgreens as needed to maintain moisture. In around 1-2 weeks, depending on the variety, your microgreens should be ready for harvest. Use a pair of clean pair of scissors to snip the greens just above the paper towel line. Rinse and pat them dry before enjoying them in salads, sandwiches, or garnish.

Some of the popular microgreens to grow:

When it comes to choosing the best microgreens to grow, there is a wide variety of options available, each with its unique flavors, colors, and nutritional benefits. Here are some popular microgreens that you can consider growing:

  1. Pea Shoots: These microgreens have a fresh and sweet flavor, resembling the taste of freshly picked peas. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and fiber.

  2. Sunflower Shoots: Sunflower microgreens have a delicious flavor and a delightful crunch. They are packed with nutrients like vitamins E, B, and C, as well as essential minerals like magnesium and selenium.

  3. Radish Microgreens: Radish microgreens add a spicy and peppery kick to dishes. They are high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice.

  4. Broccoli Microgreens: Broccoli microgreens have a delicate flavor and slightly bitter taste similar to mature broccoli. They are known for their high levels of vitamins A, C, and K, along with essential minerals like iron and calcium.
  5. Basil microgreens: Basil microgreen is an excellent microgreen variety that provides an intense aromatic flavor and aroma. They are commonly used in Italian dishes, pesto, and as a garnish.
  6. Beet Microgreens: Beet microgreens have a slightly earthy flavor. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and minerals such as potassium and manganese.

In conclusion, paper towel microgreens offer an affordable and convenient growing method for cultivating vibrant green, and healthy baby plants. With their concentrated nutrient content, these tiny greens provide a nutritional boost to any diet. Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner with a green thumb, the paper towel method allows you to easily grow your own microgreens without the need for elaborate setups or expensive equipment. By utilizing common household items like paper towels and a shallow tray, you can embark on a rewarding journey of nurturing these miniature powerhouses of nutrition. Start growing your own paper towel microgreens today and enjoy the satisfaction of harvesting fresh, flavorful greens right from your kitchen.


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Extra reading

Complete guide to microgreens

Green Leafy vegetables for a Quick harvest

How to grow microgreens at home| Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Microgreens at Home

Microgreens: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and How to Grow Them at Home

Herbs that you can grow at home


Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.