Can microgreens be grown outside

Beyond the Windowsill: Growing Microgreens on Your Balcony or Patio

Can you really grow microgreens outside? That’s a question put to me last week when I shared my microgreens book with a fellow airline passenger.

Microgreens have become a favorite for many people in recent years. Many are opting to grow their microgreens rather than buy from the stores.

Microgreens can be grown indoors and outdoors. They can be grown outdoors in a more natural environment with a favorable climate, usually in warmer climates between late spring and early fall. Microgreens do better in the shade, in temperatures ranging between 60-75°F and a humidity level of around 60%, and should be protected from devouring garden pests.

Most people grow their microgreens indoors, leading to many others having questions.

  • Can microgreens be grown outdoors? If yes, how?
  • How is it different from growing indoors?
  • Are there particular things you need to know before growing your microgreens outdoors?

In this post, you will get answers to these questions and know how you can grow your microgreens outside.

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Watch "How to Grow Microgreens from Start to Finish at home outdoors" with Kathy Patterson of Garden Design Tips.

Beyond The Windowsill: Why Grow Microgreens Outside?

So, can microgreens be grown outside? The short answer is yes, microgreens can be grown outside, but there are several factors to consider before attempting to do so.

Outdoor growing presents a unique set of challenges, including weather, pests, and other environmental factors that can impact the growth and quality of microgreens.

Optimizing your growth area is easy with microgreens. You can quickly cultivate them on your balcony or patio because they thrive in smaller spaces. Microgreens only need minimal room and can even be grown in small containers.

Microgreens require plenty of sunlight but also protection from excessive heat and wind. Select a location that obtains at least 4-6 hours of sunlight each day but is covered during the hottest hour.

Selecting the appropriate soil type and guaranteeing its adequate drainage is crucial. Microgreens thrive in an airy soil blend that promptly drains and contains an abundance of organic constituents. You can further enhance soil quality by incorporating compost or other organic supplements.

By giving them the appropriate attention and care, you can achieve a fruitful harvest of outdoor-grown microgreens and relish the advantages of freshly-grown, homegrown goods.

Growing Microgreens Outdoor vs. Growing Indoors

Growing microgreens outside is different from growing them indoors because outside, you have less control over the environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and light. This can impact the growth and quality of microgreens.

Additionally, outdoor microgreens are more susceptible to pests and diseases. Hence, monitoring them regularly and taking preventive measures if necessary is essential.

It’s essential to be aware of the weather conditions in your region and choose the appropriate season to grow microgreens outside.

Also, consider the type of microgreens you want to grow, as some varieties may be better suited for outdoor growing than others. Check out the best microgreens seeds.

The Easiest Microgreens to Grow on a Balcony or Patio

You can grow fresh and nutritious microgreens on your balcony or patio with just a few simple steps and essential equipment and supplies.

Peas, radishes, sunflowers, arugula, and beetroot are all easy-to-grow options that offer a variety of flavors and nutrients. So why not try it and see how easy it is to grow microgreens at home?

You will need a shallow tray, soil, and seeds to grow microgreens. You can get all these tools and seeds here =-> microgreens resources.

How to Grow Microgreens Outside

While microgreens are often grown indoors under artificial light, it is possible to grow them outside with some planning and preparation.

Choosing the Right Location

Choose a location with adequate sunlight and good drainage to ensure optimal growth. Microgreens require ample sunlight to grow, so choose a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Additionally, the spot should be sheltered from strong winds, which can damage the delicate plants.

Choosing the Right Container

Once you have chosen a location, you must prepare the soil. Microgreens can be grown in raised beds, containers, or ground. The soil should be rich in organic matter and well-drained. Adding compost or other organic materials can improve the quality of the soil and provide essential nutrients for microgreens. If you want more details, read “How to Grow Microgreens in Containers.”

Choosing the Right Microgreens Seeds

When planting microgreens outside, it is essential to choose the right seeds. Some varieties of microgreens are better suited for outdoor growing than others.

Cold-hardy varieties, such as arugula, kale, and radish, are more resistant to cold temperatures and can be grown outdoors year-round.

Warm-weather varieties like basil and cilantro are best grown during summer.

Once the microgreens are planted, it is essential to monitor them closely. Water the plants regularly, but be careful not to overwater, which can lead to fungal diseases.

Additionally, watch for signs of pests or diseases and take action immediately if a problem arises.

Read more details in the article “Picking the Best Seeds to Grow Microgreens.”

Things to be Aware of When Growing Microgreens Outside

Growing microgreens outside can present several challenges impacting the plant’s success. Some of the main challenges of growing microgreens outside include the following:

Weather: One of the biggest challenges of growing microgreens outside is the weather. Microgreens are delicate and require consistent temperatures to grow correctly. Outdoor temperatures can fluctuate greatly, especially in extreme weather conditions like hot summers or cold winters. This can result in stunted growth or even death of the microgreens.

Wind: Strong winds can damage delicate plants, so choosing a sheltered spot is essential.

Microgreens Soil quality: The soil should be rich in organic matter and well-draining. Adding compost or other organic materials can improve the quality of the soil and provide essential nutrients for microgreens.

Microgreens Seed selection: Some varieties of microgreens are better suited for outdoor growing than others. Cold-hardy varieties, such as arugula, kale, and radish, are more resistant to cold temperatures and can be grown outdoors year-round. Warm-weather varieties like basil and cilantro are best grown during summer. Picking the Best Seeds to Grow Microgreens (

Microgreens Watering: Watering is the most essential aspect of growing microgreens. Microgreens require regular watering, but be careful not to overwater, which can lead to fungal diseases. Microgreens require consistent moisture to germinate and grow. Here are some tips on watering your microgreens:

Microgreens Pest Control: Outdoor growing environments can attract many pests, including insects, birds, and rodents. These creatures can damage or destroy the microgreens, resulting in a loss of time and money invested in the crop. Consider using organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap. These methods are safer for your microgreens and can effectively control pest populations.

Microgreens Fertilizing Tips: Fertilizing your microgreens is essential in ensuring they receive enough nutrients to grow healthy and vibrant. Use a slow-release organic fertilizer, but sparingly.

Outdoor Microgreens Gardening and Sunlight: Too much sunlight can lead to a condition known as photoinhibition, which can harm your microgreens. Photoinhibition occurs when the plant cells, especially the chloroplasts, absorb too much light energy and become damaged. This can lead to stunted growth, yellowing and wilting of leaves, and even death in extreme cases. On the other hand, too little light can also harm your microgreens. Lack of light will lead to pale, spindly, and weak plants, which are less nutrient-dense than strong, healthy ones.

You must ensure that your microgreens have the correct conditions for optimal growth.

Benefits of Growing Microgreens Outside

While growing microgreens outside can present specific challenges, there are also several benefits. These benefits include:

Natural sunlight: Outdoor growing allows plants to benefit from natural sunlight. This can result in more robust, healthier plants and a richer flavor.

Lower energy costs: Indoor growing requires artificial lights, which can increase energy costs. Outdoor growing eliminates this expense.

Larger quantities: Outdoor growing allows more significant microgreens to grow simultaneously. This is particularly useful for commercial growers or those who want to produce larger quantities for personal use.

Improved soil quality: Growing microgreens outside can improve the soil quality in the area, as the plants help to aerate and enrich the soil.

Growing microgreens outside is a more sustainable option, as it reduces the carbon footprint associated with artificial lighting and indoor growing.


Microgreens are an intelligent addition to any meal and invite the opportunity for many different flavors. Growing your microgreens outside can be a fulfilling venture. While there are specific challenges to overcome, the benefits make it a worthwhile endeavor for both personal and commercial growers.

It may seem daunting initially, but with some patience and care from your end, you can grow microgreens outside!


Abaajeh, Asomiba Rita, Kingston, Caroline Elliott and Harty, Mary. “Environmental factors influencing the growth and pathogenicity of microgreens bound for the market: a review.” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 38, 2023, Cambridge University Press (CUP), ISSN 1742-1705,

Dhaka, Ajeet Singh, Dikshit, Harsh Kumar, Mishra, Gyan P., Tontang, Mechiya Tomuilim, Meena, Nand Lal, Kumar, Ranjeet Ranjan, Ramesh, S. V., Narwal, Sneh, Aski, Muraleedhar, Thimmegowda, Vinutha, Gupta, Sanjeev, Nair, Ramakrishnan M. and Praveen, Shelly. “Evaluation of Growth Conditions, Antioxidant Potential, and Sensory Attributes of Six Diverse Microgreens Species.” Agriculture 13.3, 2023, p. 676., MDPI AG, ISSN 2077-0472,

Ettammal, Sreenivasan. “The Art and Science of Growing Microgreens.” Bioresource Technology, 2022, pp. 28-37. Wiley,

Filatov, Dmitrii and Olonin, Igor. “Optimal spectrum, light intensity, and photoperiod ratio to minimize costs when growing microgreens.” E3S Web of Conferences 383, 2023, p. 4074., EDP Sciences, ISSN 2267-1242,

“Step up Your Garden Game by Growing Microgreens Indoors.” Better Homes & Gardens,

“What Are Microgreens and How to Grow Microgreens.” Gardening Know How, 23 July 2021, Accessed 30 May 2023.

Related Questions

How Cold is Too Cold for Microgreens?

Cold temperatures can pose a significant risk for microgreens. Microgreens have delicate stems and leaves, making them vulnerable to cold temperatures. Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can cause microgreens to halt growth and could eventually lead to the death of the plants. At a temperature of 40°F (4.4°C), the plants could experience significant damage and stunted growth as the freezing temperatures destroy their cell membranes, leaving them susceptible to disease and mold. Therefore, microgreen growers should ensure their plants are not exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) throughout the growth period.

Do microgreens regrow after cutting?

The short answer is yes. Microgreens can regrow after cutting. However, the regrowth potential of microgreens varies depending on the species and how they are grown. Some varieties of microgreens, such as sunflower and pea shoots, are particularly good at regenerating after cutting. These plants can produce multiple harvests, sometimes up to four or five. Other varieties, such as cilantro and dill, do not typically regrow after being harvested and may need to be replanted.

Do microgreens like the full sun?

The answer is yes and no. Some microgreens prefer full sunlight, while others prefer less direct sunlight. For instance, microgreens such as arugula, basil, and beet prefer full sunlight, while cilantro, chard, and lettuce prefer light shade. Understanding the specific light requirements of each microgreen variety you wish to grow is essential.

Do Microgreens Attract Bugs?

If you are growing lettuce or cabbage microgreens, you might attract aphids, caterpillars, or cabbage worms. If you are growing arugula or radish microgreens, you might attract flea beetles. Additionally, if you grow microgreens in soil that is not sterilized or clean, you might attract fungus gnats.

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