Nursery Tray Growing Instructions
Specific Sprouting Instructions are found on the page devoted to the Seed or Mix you are growing.
Below are Tray specific Instructions for growing Micro-Greens and Grass, using a medium.
Plant in a Tray WITH drainage holes/slits.
These tasks will require a Sprouter or a little imagination.
There isn't a huge difference in procedure when growing on different mediums, but we spell them out where they exist. In the instructions that follow, we specify Hemp Felt and Coconut Coir. We may have, or add new products in time, so here's the deal: If you are using a PAD type medium; follow the instructions labeled Hemp Felt. If you are using SOIL (any bagged sterile soil-like product will do) or a SOIL-LIKE medium; follow the Coconut Coir instructions.
Preparing to Plant
Coconut Coir: Fill Tray 2/3 - 3/4 full. The reality is this: As your plants grow they want more and more water. They get their water from the medium. The deeper it is - the more water it can hold = the less you need to water as the crop grows.
Thoroughly moisten the Coir. The goal is for it to be thoroughly saturated, but without puddles. As long as water runs through it freely you're doing it right.
Hemp Felt: Cut the pad to fit your Tray (if necessary). Soak it in water or better yet, Kelp Fertilizer enriched water (FYI - We dilute our kelp - 1 teaspoon per quart of water - which is stronger than the bottle says), until thoroughly saturated. Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your Planting Tray.
Spread seeds (sprouts if your crop required pre-sprouting) evenly (relatively) on top of your thoroughly moistened medium. The seeds will take up moisture from it, though if you are growing on Hemp Felt, do mist them with a spray bottle to give them more water to soak up.
Cover the planted tray with an inverted tray - to keep light out, and moisture in.
Note: It's preferable for your Cover Tray to have holes or slits in it so that more air circulation happens.
COME HERE, PLEASE. Once you have arrived, click the name of the crop. There you will find, 2 sets of instructions (brief and detailed), photos of the crop day-by-day, a how-to video (in most cases), and more.
Most seeds will not mind you misting them lightly with a Spray Bottle once or twice a day - but some will hate it. Know your seeds. If your crop has been PRESPROUTED - either mist or use the sprayer on your sink. Keep the sprouts moist until they bury their roots in the medium. Be gentle - we want to keep the sprouts in place so they can bury their roots. When the roots are buried our focus shifts to keeping the medium moist.
As our plants grow they consume more and more water. Of course, different crops have different needs, but in general - keep the medium moist but not soggy. Hemp Felt
- gentle when watering, during the first few days, because it is easier for the seeds/sprouts to move around on this relatively smooth medium.
. We water our Hemp Felt crops with a Spray Bottle
(with Kelp Fertilizer
enriched water). The Spray Bottle is the height of gentle, so it's perfect for watering seeds and very young sprouts. Also - Hemp Felt will dry out more quickly than soil in most circumstances, so pay attention to it. Keep it moist. The Sprayer
is your friend.
For Everyone: Water the seeds gently for the first day or three. You want them to stay in place once planted on the medium, to allow the roots to bury themselves. When the roots are firmly in the medium, you water the medium every day or two. Your plants will take up their water from the medium. Keep the medium moist but not water logged. Your plants will need more water, more often, the bigger they get.
Alternate Watering Method You may want to experiment with our somewhat risky trick:
Use the Drip Tray to hold some water. The roots will actually sit in this, so don't go crazy - too much can drown your plants and/or lead to fungal or mold problems. Just leave as much water as the plants can drink in a day - and then add more the following day. The amount is dependent on the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. We suggest that you start with 1 cup in the Drip Tray. Lift the Planting Tray to see how much is left after 4, 8 and 12 hours. If the Drip Tray is dry, add more water - if there is still water 24 hours later, then cut back the next time you add water. Pretty simple really, and not as risky as we make it sound - it is really a time saver and in our home, produces happy healthy plants. During your regular spraying some water will run through and collect in the Drip Tray. Be sure to account for this too when calculating how much to add to the Drip Tray.
Once again, we do recommend Kelp Fertilizer enriched water for soilless growers. Soil growers may use it too of course, but the soil does have some nutrients already, so it is not nearly as important for you. Just follow the instructions for diluting, on the Kelp Fertilizer bottle (though we use 1 tsp per quart of water).
Keep Trays covered until the Instructions on the Seed Page say to uncover. It's too crop specific to generalize here.
You can get to those pages via our Seeds Page, or these Category Pages -
When you do Remove the Cover Tray...
Locate your crop where they can get some light. Since you are dealing with Trays you can get away with more light than when using enclosed sprouters. You can even use direct sunlight, but do pay attention, as the sun hastens drying and heats up the plants, so you might have to water more frequently. Experiment and see. We love Greening our plants outside in the sun! We cover them with screen or garden fabric, or a thin white sheet - to keep 4-legged critters, insects and birds away. You do not need sunlight. You'll do fine with minimal light too, so don't feel like you have to push it.
All of these plants, regardless of what medium they are grown upon, are harvested by cutting just above that medium - with a scissors, or a very sharp knife. As with all crops, if you are going to refrigerate your crop, it should be not wet (wet plants will decompose in refrigeration much faster), so allow them to dry before refrigerating. We sell really great Produce Storage Bags, that actually extend the shelf life of produce by allowing ethylene gas to escape. You don't need those if you're going to eat your crop in short order - which is of course, when they are at their finest. Whatever you are happy storing your crops in is fine, and fine with us.
Regardless of what medium you planted on - you can not plant on it again. Growing mediums are NOT re-usable. Compost it!
If you grew on Hemp Felt, you need to be careful when removing it from the tray. Cut the roots that are growing out of the bottom first, then carefully pull it up from a corner. If you are too casual, you can break your tray, so take your time.
Though you can't re-use your medium - you may want to try growing a second crop. To do this; just keep the medium moist. Re-cover your Growing Tray until the plants grow an inch or two, and proceed as above. No subsequent crop will ever be as good as the first, but it doesn't hurt to try. See the seed's detail page for more information.