I use these foil pans that you can pick up at the grocery store. they are very functional for the soil garden, the drip tray and the black out dome. You can also use them for a water tray if you have small pots that you are growing microgreens in.
Here you can see I used a knife to poke holes for drainage. This will be my tray for the soil.
I use regular potting soil, not garden soil. You can add perlite, vermiculite or coconut coir to add moisture retaining ability is a plus but not totally necessary. I add about 2 inches of soil, then I take another foil pan and press down on it to even it up. You don’t want dips and mountains in your soil bed, where seeds can roll down and clump together.
Then I put water in the bottom of the drip pan (the one with no holes) and place the soil bed pan inside so it can soak up water from the bottom. This is called “bottom watering”.
With a mister or spray bottle spray the top to moisten well. A regular watering can will disturb the nice flat surface you have created.
This is the Red Arrow Radish, a beautiful red stem and spicy flavor. It also grows easy and fast.
Sprinkle on 5-6 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons on the soil. try not to get clumping of the seeds. That can deter germination and a fungus situation Known as “damping off” to occur.
Next moisten the seeds well with the mister. Some folks including myself like to spray the seeds with a little 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to sanitize the seeds from any mold or bad bacteria.
Next is a very strange step, or it seemed so to me. you need to weigh down the seeds for a few days. This forces the roots to dig deep and it gains a better root structure. I put foil on top of the seeds then another tray and then a book to weigh it down.
We will leave this for 3 to 4 days until the sprouts are looking good.
This is after 2 days of planting. We are seeing good germination.
This is day 3, and the radish are large enough to take the weight off.
I like to cover the radish sprouts now, and this is known as using a “black out dome”. The sprouts will grow taller looking for the light. If you don’t sometimes the sprouts are so short it is hard to harvest them.
In a few days they will look like this, Next I like to put a lid over them for a few days. This is called a black out dome.
This causes the stem to grow longer, because it is looking for the light. If the stem is too short it makes it difficult to harvest.
Here is the blackout dome effect. after they have gained height alt least above the garden soil tray you can remove the dome.
I let it go another day and it got much taller than I thought it would.
After a few days they will look like this
Fully grown Radish microgreens ready to harvest.