Microgreen seeds are garden seeds with a few quirky characteristics. Your normal garden seeds may or may not work for microgreens. And to confuse matters not every seed suppliers offers seeds for growing microgreens. So no one would blame you for being confused about where to source your microgreen seeds. A quick internet search for microgreen seeds will result in endless options, but sometimes all these options can lead to confusion. Let me simplify the process and give you a map to set you in the right direction. Soon you’ll be growing microgreens in your own kitchen to fill your salad bowl, too.
What to look for in microgreen seeds
Microgreen seed is regular garden seed that has been packaged in bulk packaging for cost savings. It is not generally tested against food borne illnesses in the same way that sprouting seeds are. Seed sold for microgreens is generally open pollinated, non-gmo, and fast to grow. You can expect microgreen seed to germinate in just a few days, up to week with some varieties. Once germination starts growth is fast, with the true leaf stage coming in 7 to 15 days.
Look for certified organic seed or untreated seed for microgreens. No seed that has a fungicide treatment should be used for microgreens. Pelleted seed, used for some smaller seeds to make them easier to handle when sowing in the garden, are more expensive and not economical for use as microgreens.
Can you save your own seed and use them for microgreens?
Yes, home saved seed is perfect for growing microgreens. You can usually save enough seed from a few plants to give you enough seed for a year of growing microgreens. But if you don’t already have a steady supply of seed or even garden space to grow your own seed you’ll need a few reputable suppliers of microgreen seed to get started.
Here are a few of the suppliers I’ve used in Canada. This is not an definitive list. If you have a favorite microgreen seed supplier, please post yours in the comments below.
Mumm’s is currently my favorite microgreen and sprouting seed supplier in Canada. They always seem to have what I need in stock. The longest I’ve waited to get a parcel was 4 weeks, during the Christmas rush, and it was a Canada Post issue not their customer service. One advantage for US customers at Mumms is that prices are in Canadian dollars, which gives you a significant savings with the exchange rate.
The Mumm family started farming organically in the 1970’s and have been growing and selling organic sprouting seed for over 35 years. Their warehouse is located in Saskatchewan, Canada but they still continue to grow some of their specialty seed crops on the family farm. Mumm’s offers free shipping in Canada for all orders over $40 and on orders over $50 US shipping is free.
Mumm’s carries over 80 varieties of sprouting and microgreen seeds. The information that is available for each variety of seeds is thorough and informative. The description includes a flavor profile which tells you whether that variety can be used in sprouts or microgreens or both. Then you learn how many days that it takes for sprouting for both sprouts and microgreens, soak time if applicable, yield for both sprouts and microgreens and storage tips. Each variety includes sprouting directions and also the best sprouting methods.
They also include a “Did You Know?” section which shares some interesting tidbits about the seed and plant and finally a very thorough summary of the nutritional information. The seed packages at Mumm’s range from 4.4 ounces to 11 pounds.
Mumm’s focuses their efforts on sprouts and microgreens so you won’t find your typical garden seeds here but you will find all of the equipment that you will ever need in order to grow your own sprouts or microgreens regardless of the method you wish to use. They also offer books and complete kits.
West Coast seed was where I first learned about microgreens a decade ago. Their seed is a little pricey compared to other suppliers but they do carry a fair range of seed varieties for both sprouts and microgreens. If you live in the lower mainland, you are likely to see West Coast Seed sprouting seed in your local organic grocery store, near the produce section.
West Coast Seeds was founded in 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia. This Canadian company focuses on untreated and certified organic seeds. They are passionate about education and community outreach. Seeds can be purchased online or in one of many store locations throughout Canada and a few locations in the U.S.
The selection of microgreen seeds at West Coast isn’t as extensive as True Leaf Market or Johnny’s but it seems as if they are expanding their product line with several new varieties coming soon.
Each variety starts with a description of the microgreen variety including nutrients, taste and color. Then you will find instructions on growing and harvesting along with some quick facts about the microgreens. Their seeds come in sizes from 50 grams up to 50 pounds depending on the variety.
West Coast Seeds also includes a great selection of vegetable, flower and herb seeds as well as gardening supplies.
William Dam seed is a trusted seed supplier in Canada but they’ve been having some difficulties with the Covid lock downs. It might take up to 2 months to get an order from them this spring, so check their website for shipping times, before placing your order. They charge your credit card at the time you place your order even if they aren’t shipping for 6 weeks.
William Dam Seeds was started by William and Maria Dam from their kitchen table in 1949. They began selling untreated seeds in the 1960’s as a result of a reaction that William had to the chemicals being used.
William Dam has a selection of over 30 varieties of seeds in the microgreen category. The product information on William Dam is set up a bit differently than the other seed companies. The microgreen category includes varieties that can be grown as microgreens but the seed information given is more about the vegetable itself as opposed to the microgreens and doesn’t include any specifics in regards to them being grown as a microgreen.
Seeds are sold in packets of 100-150 seeds all the way up to 25 pounds.
William Dam also carries an assortment of seeds for vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as grass and green crop seed. They also carry a large selection of tools and supplies.
In the USA
True Leaf Market
True Leaf Market is one of my favorite US sources for microgreen seeds and sprouting seeds. They have a wide variety and their packaging sizes allow for both sampling and for stocking up for a serious microgreen grow operation. They carry a colorful radish blend that offers reds, purples, and bright white stems and leaf variations for a colorful addition to your salad bowl. They ship out right away and there are no delays in getting your seeds in a timely manner, even during Covid lock downs.
True Leaf Market in Salt Lake City, Utah is a great source for Non-GMO microgreen seeds. They have been selling seeds to both residential and professional growers since 1974 and ship to the U.S., Canada and internationally.
True Leaf Market has an incredible selection of microgreens with over 200 products in the microgreen category. Most of their microgreen seeds are available in 4 gram packets, 1 oz, 4 oz, 1 pound, 5 pound and all the way up to 25 pounds. A 4 gram packet of radish microgreen seeds is about 500 seeds and 25 pounds is approximately 1,400,000 seeds.
I was really impressed with the amount of information that is available on the True Leaf website. Each microgreen seed variety has instructions available for both soil and hydroponic growing. There is also an extensive profile for each variety that includes the Latin name, common names, pre-soak requirements, preferred growing medium, seeding rate, blackout time, germination time, estimate time to harvest, microgreen color, flavor profile, texture and key nutrients.
In addition to individual seed varieties, True Leaf Market also offers assortment bundles, kits and supplies. They also carry many other seeds and gardening supplies.
While in other years, I’ve recommended Johnny’s for their wide selection of non-gmo seeds and their commitment to the Safe Seed Pledge, Johnny’s has not been treating home gardeners well in the current growing season. Their site has been closed to home gardeners, while they’ve been filling orders for commercial growers. If your desire is to grow microgreens at home to feed your family during the off-season, you’re out of luck with Johnny’s.
The Johnny’s site is a wealth of growing information for commercial growers though, so if you are considering a microgreen commercial operation, Johnny’s website is a great resource.
If you are a home gardener who wants to fill your salad bowl and grow a little extra for neighbors and friends, I suggest skipping Johnny’s this year and focusing your seed gathering efforts on seed companies like True Leaf Market, who left their website open to home growers while still filling commercial orders.
Here’s a little background information about Johnny’s
Johnny’s Selected Seeds started in a New Hampshire farmhouse attic in 1973 and has grown into a major player in seed sales throughout the U.S. and internationally. They now have several locations in Maine including a working farm, state-of-the art seed storage facility and a catalog store.
Johnny’s microgreen category includes over 120 products. Their seeds come in 1oz., ¼ pound, 1 pound, 5 pound, and 25 pound packages. Their seed selection includes microgreen flowers, herbs, vegetables and mixes.
Each variety includes the common name, latin name, days to maturity, hybrid status, and instructions for growing, harvesting and storage.
Johnny’s also offers a large variety of vegetable, fruit, flower, herb and farm seed as well as tools and supplies. All of their seeds are NON-GMO and they also have a good selection of organic seeds.
High Mowing Organic Seeds is a newer company started in 1996.It is owned and operated by Tom Stearns in Northern Vermont and includes a 40 acre working farm. The seeds at High Mowing are 100% certified organic.
High Mowing carries over 30 varieties of microgreens starting at ¼ pound packages all the way up to 40 pound packages depending on the variety. The product description gives some very basic information including days to maturity and flavor profile.
High Mowing also carries seeds for vegetables, herbs, flowers and cover crops. They also have some great seed collections including a collection for a kids garden and bee garden.
The Sprout House has a small selection of microgreen seeds. They are sold by the pound and the price includes shipping. They also have a bulk discount available if you purchase 10 pounds or more and a smaller discount if you purchase 3 pounds or more.
There isn’t a lot of information available in the product description of the seeds but they do offer some downloadable guides on growing microgreens and sprouting. They also have a section on their website for recipes and videos.
Rainbow Heirloom Seeds has a selection of microgreen and sprouting seeds sold in 1 pound packages. They also carry a few variety packs which include three 4 oz. packages. Each seed variety includes a description, growing instructions and pro tips.
The sprout people have a wide selection of sprout and microgreen seeds, including special mixes for pets and birds. If you like spicy, check out their “Hot Squared” mix, a blend of radishes and spicy mustards that can be used as sprouts or microgreen.
Sprout People is a family business that started selling sprouts at the farmer’s market in Madison, Wisconsin, and expanded to selling sprouting seed and equipment. What I love about sprout people is that actually grow the sprouts themselves, and use their own seed. They aren’t just offering information without walking the walk.
There is the flavor and aroma of the back to the land, flower child movement, in their website and just perusing the website feels like a cup of Celestial Seasoning’s Red Zinger Tea with orange blossom honey. (Remember that?)
Get Your Microgreen Seed and Start Filling Your Salad Bowl
I hope this has helped you narrow your search for microgreen seeds. Peruse the catalog of each company and find the one or two that most appeal to you or maybe try a few from each of them. Don’t forget your local garden center as well. You may be surprised where you will find microgreen seeds. With their growing popularity we might see more companies show casing microgreen seeds in their catalogs. Try your local farmer’s market, farm store, gardening center, or even your health food store for microgreen seeds.
There is no reason not to begin immediately when you can grow microgreens in your own kitchen, even when you don’t have space for a garden.
New to growing microgreens?
Check out the Fill Your Salad Bowl workshop and learn how to use 3 different growing methods, at home, so you can fill your salad bowl with super food, nutrient dense, greens every single day. These are greens you can use in your salad bowl, greens you can add to soups, stews, and pasta dishes, and even greens you can use in a stir fry.
In this mini workshop you will learn how to fill a salad bowl every day with food you grow yourself.
- Even if you don’t have any land.
- Even if there is 3 feet of snow covering your garden
- Even if you’ve killed house plants in the past.
- Even if you think you have a black thumb.
Have a look at what’s covered in this workshop and see if its a good fit for you, by clicking/tapping the blue button below.