How to Grow Microgreens in a Jar without Soil

The following guide will show you how to grow microgreens in a jar without soil, so that you can enjoy the enormous nutritional benefits of fresh greens in a convenient and easy way. This method of growing microgreens is also perfect for those who don’t have access to outdoor space or a garden. With the right tools and tips, anyone can grow microgreens in a jar without soil.

I really wanted to educate my readers about growing microgreens, since they are one of the most nutritionally packed foods that provide the body with many minerals and electrolytes to detoxify and self-heal. As a seed sprouts, it releases a concentration of nutrients to help the plant grow, making the early sprout much more nutritious than the grown plant.

And given that you can consume these sprouts almost immediately without them being shipped across continents, pasteurized, and held in storage spaces of grocery stores, your microgreens will be infused with such a powerful punch of energy that will be a wonderful addition to your health and detoxification goals. 

I’ve been sprouting and growing them in my home (in a sprouting jar) regularly since the spring began and they have become a daily addition to my salads, enriching them with a nutty, peppery, and mustardy flavor. 


Advantages of Growing Microgreens at Home


One of the main advantages of growing microgreens in a jar without soil is that it is a more sustainable, easy, and eco-friendly way of growing plants. Unlike traditional soil-based methods, growing microgreens in a jar doesn’t require any soil, fertilizers, or pesticides. This means you can grow fresh greens without harming the environment! 

Additionally, growing microgreens in a jar is a great way to save money on groceries and to ensure that you always have fresh, nutrient-rich greens on hand. You can grow them indoors year-round, even if you don’t have a lot of space, and they are very easy to grow and maintain. 


Differences Between Soil-Grown & Jar-Grown Microgreens


The main difference between soil-grown and jar-grown microgreens is the growing medium used and the method of watering. Both methods can produce healthy and nutritious microgreens, but the choice of method depends on personal preference and space limitations.

Soil-grown and jar-grown microgreens differ in the way they are grown and the materials used to grow them. Here are some differences between the two methods:

– Growing medium: Soil-grown microgreens are grown in soil or another growing medium such as coconut coir or peat moss. Jar-grown microgreens are grown in a jar filled with a growing medium such as vermiculite or paper towels.

– Watering: Soil-grown microgreens require regular watering to keep the soil moist. Jar-grown microgreens are watered differently, as the growing medium is kept moist by adding water to the bottom of the jar.

– Nutrients: Soil-grown microgreens get their nutrients from the soil or growing medium they are grown in. Jar-grown microgreens rely on nutrients in the water added to the jar.

– Space requirements: Soil-grown microgreens require more space than jar-grown microgreens, as they need to be planted in a container with enough soil to support their growth. Jar-grown microgreens can be grown in a small jar on a windowsill, making them a great option for those with limited space.

– Harvesting: Soil-grown microgreens are harvested by cutting them at the base of the stem. Jar-grown microgreens are harvested by pulling them out of the jar and rinsing them off.


Which Supplies You’ll Need to Grow Microgreens


Jar-grown Microgreens
How I Grow my Microgreens

To grow microgreens in a jar, there are a few essential supplies that you will need. The following list will provide you with everything you need to get started:




The first thing you will need is a jar. Any jar will work, but it’s best to choose one that is large (and can produce a great quantity of microgreens at once) with a wide mouth to make it easier to harvest the microgreens. A quart-sized mason jar works well.




You will also need a lid for your jar. You can purchase a lid specifically designed for sprouting or make your own using cheesecloth or a mesh screen.




The most crucial supply you will need is seeds. There are many varieties of seeds that are suitable for growing microgreens. Some of the most popular seeds for microgreens include broccoli, radish, alfalfa, and mustard seeds.




Water is also essential for growing microgreens in a jar. You will need to rinse your seeds and keep them moist throughout the growing process.


Spray Bottle


A spray bottle is also helpful for keeping your microgreens moist. You can mist them daily to ensure they stay hydrated.




Finally, you will need a tray or a bowl to place your jar in/on. This will catch any excess water that drains from the jar.


How to Choose The Best Sprouting Seeds


When it comes to growing microgreens, choosing the right type of seeds is crucial. Here are a few things to consider when selecting seeds for your microgreens:


Seed Type


There are many different types of seeds that can be used for growing microgreens. Some popular options include:

    • Broccoli

    • Radish

    • Alfalfa

    • Mustard

    • Sunflower

    • Pea shoots

    • Wheatgrass

    • Arugula

    • Cauliflower

    • Basil

    • Cilantro

    • Spinach

    • Cress

    • Red cabbage

    • Pea

It’s likewise important to choose seeds that are specifically labeled for microgreens, as they are often treated to ensure high germination rates and quick growth.

Not sure which one to grow? Well, according to a study, among the 25 microgreens analyzed for nutritional content, red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols

Each type of microgreen has its own unique flavor and nutritional profile, so it’s worth experimenting with different varieties to find the ones you like best.

Popular Microgreens to Grow at Home
Photo By Petr Magera from Unsplash


Seed Quality


When selecting seeds, it’s important to choose high-quality organic seeds that are free from disease and pests. Look for seeds that are:

    • Fresh

    • Unbroken

    • Uniform in size and shape

Avoid seeds that are discolored or have a musty smell, as these may indicate signs of mold growth or contamination.


Seed Quantity


The amount of seeds you’ll need will depend on the size of your jar and the type of microgreens you’re growing. As a general rule, you’ll need about 1-2 tablespoons of seeds per quart-sized jar.


Preparing the Jar


To grow microgreens without soil, first, you need to prepare the jar. Here are the steps to follow:

    1. Choose a jar that is at least 4 inches deep and has a wide mouth to provide enough space for the microgreens to grow.
    2. Clean the jar thoroughly with soap and water, then rinse it well to remove any soap residue.
    3. Cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of mesh or cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. This will allow air to circulate while preventing the seeds from falling out.
    4. Fill the jar with water up to about 1 inch below the mesh or cheesecloth.
    5. Add the seeds to the jar. Use about 1 tablespoon of seeds for a 4-inch jar. Spread them evenly across the surface of the water.
    6. Soak the seeds in the water for about 8-12 hours. This will help to activate the seeds and start the germination process.
    7. Drain the water from the jar using the mesh or cheesecloth as a strainer. Rinse the seeds with fresh water and drain again.

Now that the jar is prepared, it’s time to start the growing process!


Soaking and Rinsing Seeds


The first step in seed preparation is to soak and rinse the seeds. This process helps to remove any debris or dust on the seeds and to activate the germination process.

The following steps can be used to soak and rinse the seeds:

    • Measure out the desired amount of seeds for your jar. It is recommended to use 1-2 tablespoons of seeds per jar.

    • Place the seeds in a sieve or strainer and rinse them under cool running water.

    • Transfer the seeds to a jar and fill it about 1/3 of the way with cool water.

    • Let the seeds soak for 4-12 hours, depending on the type of seed. Refer to the seed packet for specific soaking times.

    • After soaking, drain the water from the jar using the sieve or strainer.

    • Rinse the seeds with cool water and drain again.

    • Repeat steps 5 and 6 twice a day until the seeds begin to sprout.

It is important to keep the seeds moist during the sprouting process, but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to mold growth and sogginess. By following these steps, you can ensure that your microgreens will sprout successfully and be ready for harvesting within a few weeks (or earlier, depending on the type of seed).


Germinating Seeds


How to Choose Seeds for Growing Microgreens
Photo by Joshua Lanzarini from Unsplash

Germinating seeds is the first step in growing microgreens in a jar. As stated, it is important to choose high-quality organic seeds that are suitable for growing microgreens. Seeds can be purchased from a garden center or online.


Darkness vs Light


Seeds can be germinated in either darkness or light. Some seeds require darkness to germinate, while others require light. The table below shows some common microgreen seeds and whether they require darkness or light to germinate.

Seed Type Darkness or Light
Broccoli Darkness
Radish Darkness
Beet Darkness
Mustard Light
Wheatgrass Light

To germinate seeds in darkness, place the seeds in a jar and cover them with a lid or cloth. Keep the jar in a dark place for the required germination period. To germinate seeds in light, place the seeds in a jar and cover them with a lid or cloth. Keep the jar in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight.

It is important to keep the seeds moist during the germination process. This can be done by misting the seeds with water or by placing a damp cloth over the jar. Once the seeds have germinated, they can be moved to a location with more light to continue growing.


Easy Tips on How to Grow Microgreens in a Jar


Microgreens are a great way to add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your meals. Growing them personally is an easy and convenient way to have fresh greens at your fingertips even when you’re on the road! Here are some tips to help you grow microgreens successfully.


Watering and Humidity


When growing microgreens in a jar, it is important to keep the seeds moist but not waterlogged. To water, simply pour water onto the seeds and then drain the excess water out of the jar. It is recommended to use filtered water to avoid any chemicals or contaminants that may be present in tap water.

Another important factor to consider is humidity. Microgreens need a humid environment to germinate and grow. To create humidity, cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap. This will trap moisture and create a mini greenhouse effect. Once the seeds start to sprout, remove the lid or plastic wrap to allow for air circulation.


Growing Time


The length of time to grow microgreens depends on the type of seed you are using. Generally, microgreens are ready to harvest within 7-14 days after germination. However, some seeds may take longer or shorter to grow. It is recommended to check the seed packet for specific instructions.

One important thing to note is that microgreens are most nutritious when harvested at the cotyledon stage, which is when the first set of leaves appears. After this stage, the nutritional value decreases as the plant uses its energy to grow more leaves.


How Long To Grow Microgreens for Best Nutritional Outcomes


Easy Tips on How to Grow Microgreens in a Jar
Microgreen kitchen production!

To get the best nutritional outcomes, microgreens should be harvested at the cotyledon stage (around 7-14 days after germination). However, some seeds may take longer or shorter to grow, so it is important to check the seed packet for specific instructions.


Harvesting and Storing Microgreens


Once your microgreens have reached the desired height, it’s time to harvest them. The best time to harvest microgreens is when they have developed their first true leaves. It’s important to harvest your microgreens as soon as they are ready to avoid overgrowth, which can make them tough and bitter.

When you notice this growth, rinse the microgreens with distilled or purified water, separating the non-germinated seeds from the microgreens. Leave the microgreens to dry for 20 minutes and then prepare them for storage.

To store your microgreens, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag or airtight glass container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, but it’s best to use them as soon as possible to ensure freshness and flavor.

Here are some additional tips for harvesting and storing your microgreens:

    • If you’re planning to use your microgreens in a salad or as a garnish, harvest them when they are still small and tender.

    • Avoid harvesting your microgreens in direct sunlight, as this can cause them to wilt and lose their flavor.

    • If you’re growing multiple varieties of microgreens, label them clearly to avoid confusion during harvesting and storage.

    • Consider freezing your microgreens if you have a surplus. Simply rinse them, pat them dry, and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen microgreens can be used in smoothies or soups, or as a seasoning for cooked dishes. The best part is that they won’t lose their nutritional and energetic value!


Nutritional Benefits of Microgreens


Did you know that microgreens have been found to contain up to 40 times more antioxidants than mature plants? That is why they are wonderful compliments on your health journey!

Microgreens are young plants that are harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed. They are packed with nutrients and have been found to have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals than their mature counterparts. 

One of the main benefits of microgreens is their high concentration of antioxidants, which protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. 

Microgreens are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamins C, E, and K, as well as folate and beta-carotene. Likewise, they are also very kidney and nervous-system-friendly because of their high mineral (electrolyte) content, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

Microgreens are also a good source of fiber, which is important for maintaining gut health and reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Overall, microgreens are a nutritious addition to any diet, especially if you are on a food cleanse and are looking to improve your overall health. The best part is that they are easy to grow at home during any season and can be added to a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and smoothies for a boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


How To Enjoy Microgreens in Your Food


How to Enjoy Microgreens in Your Food
My raw vegan pizza with microgreens!

Microgreens are versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes to enhance their flavor and nutritional value. Here are some ways to enjoy microgreens in food dishes:

Add them to salads: Microgreens make a great addition to salads, adding a fresh and crunchy texture. They pair well with a variety of salad greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and arugula.

Use them as a garnish: Microgreens can be used as a garnish on top of soups, sandwiches, and other dishes to add a pop of color and flavor. Check out my global raw vegan recipes and feel free to incorporate microgreens into them!

Add them to sandwiches: Microgreens can be added to sandwiches to give them a fresh and crisp texture. They pair well with a variety of sandwich fillings, such as avocado, chicken, and cheese.

Use them in smoothies: Microgreens can be blended into smoothies to add a boost of nutrition. They pair well with fruits such as berries, bananas, and mangoes.

Top your pizza with them: Microgreens can be used to top homemade pizzas, adding a fresh, crunchy, and flavorful touch.


Final Thoughts


I hope you enjoyed this guide to growing microgreens in a jar! Sprouting microgreens is one of my favorite “green thumb” activities, where the return on investment of growing them is incredibly high, given the few things I need to account for when growing them!

Nutritionally, they are a much better investment than the average lettuce or salad greens, and when it comes to adding them to dishes, they are incredibly easy to incorporate into a variety of meals.

If you’re looking to spruce up your health and learn a thing or two about growing your own microgreens, herbs, and more, growing microgreens in a jar is a cost and time-effective solution that will be worthwhile the adventure. 

And if you’d like to learn more about the alkaline diet to supercharge your health, check out my article, The Essential Alkaline Food List to Help You Regenerate Your Body

About the Author

Anesa is the founder of and the chief integrative health practitioner at Red Grape Wisdom, with a mission to teach the public the truth about health and the principles of wellness that trace their roots back to our human origins and our connection to the cosmic and natural law. 

Anesa is the author of How to Detox Your Body Naturally and Safely, and her expertise lies in natural health diagnostics, holistic detoxification, and healing support. She uses many unique modalities to help others heal naturally and thrive such as naturopathy, medical astrology, iridology, and Eastern traditional herbal medicine.