If you are wondering about getting into the business of growing microgreens commercially then you are most probably wondering the same thing that the majority of beginners feel thwarted with.
Is it expensive to grow microgreens?
To be honest, whether it is expensive to grow microgreens or not depends upon multiple factors like how and of what quality seeds you’re buying, the quantity that you are growing, the medium and materials that you are using and of course, whether you are growing in the natural sunlight or with artificial lighting.
But overall, if you spend the money on the right things and save some bucks where you can save, growing microgreens commercially can be one of the most profitable businesses to venture into!
In this article, we will discuss some costs that you will HAVE to endure and some hacks that you can use to cut down your expenses. This article will provide you with comprehensive information, full of thoroughly researched facts and figures, that will help you in understanding the costs involved in growing microgreens.
Note: This article is NOT about how to grow microgreens but only about the production costs involved in growing them.
Space Needed to Grow Microgreens
When you venture into opening a business, you are required to splurge on lavish office space, furniture, staff and their salaries, advertising and whatnot. This is where microgreens business has an edge over other conventional businesses.
Growing microgreens doesn’t require much space. If you are just starting out, even an empty basement or an unused bedroom is sufficient space to start growing your microgreens. Many microgreens growers do the same.
You save a lot of money on space and also you can use growing trays and racks to grow your plants vertically, more money is saved!
In 60 sq. ft of space, you can implement 4 shelves with racks, and you can produce at least 50lbs of greens within 14 days. Now, some microgreens go for $20/lb. and some even go for $40/lb. but for illustrative purposes let’s calculate the lower range. Producing 50lbs twice a month and selling them at $20/lb., you can earn $2000/month. Once you start getting regular sales and build a good clientele, you can even earn up to $5k-$6k every month, maybe even more.
This section was enough to convince you that it is not expensive to grow microgreens, wasn’t it? (Haha!)
For experimental purposes and to get a hands-on experience, in case you are a beginner, you can even try growing microgreens in coconut shells!
Equipment Needed for Growing Microgreens
Although you can save a lot of money on space there is some equipment that you need to invest in for running a profitable microgreens business. And once you have an established clientele then you can break even with the initial costs in no time.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the equipment needed, you need to know that even if you are using a flat tabletop to grow your microgreens, one tray of 10″x20″ can generally give you 5 to 6 ounces (140-170gms) of microgreens. So, buy trays according to how much you want to produce.
If you are still wondering is it expensive to grow microgreens then you are going to get a detailed answer in the next two minutes on what equipment you’ll be needing. All the links to equipment are provided for your convenience.
- Lighting fixture: Lot of growers will tell you lots of different lights that can be used to grow microgreens. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wander on the internet to research the best lights for microgreens, as we have penned a comprehensive guide on what are the best lights to grow microgreens.
- 10″x20″ trays with and without drain holes: As we discussed above one 10″x20″ tray can give you a produce of 5-6 ounces and thus you need to decide beforehand on how much you want to produce and buy trays accordingly.
- Paper towels: While growing microgreens you need paper towels to put over the sown seeds.
- Spray bottle: Another handy tool that you will be needing while growing microgreens. Spray bottle helps you in watering your seeds during the germination process to keep them moist.
- Seeds: Of course, you will be needing seeds. The advice here is to buy in bulk to save some bucks. If you can spend a little higher then we recommend buying organic seeds, this way you can market your microgreens as 100% organic, from start to end. If you want to start growing then we suggest to begin with radish microgreens, they don’t just grow fast but are easy to grow as well.
- Scale: You will need scale to measure the seeds while sowing and also to measure your microgreens for packing. A simple kitchen scale is sufficient.
- Scissors or a large sharp knife: When it’s time to harvest your microgreens, you will be a needing a sharp pair of scissors or a large chef knife to chop your microgreens. If your cutting object is not sharp enough, it will be a frustrating harvesting experience for you. So, invest in good blade here.
- Potting soil: Better the quality of your soil, the healthier your microgreens will grow. Buy a good quality sack of potting soil for growing nutritious batch of microgreens.
- A Timer: You need to switch lights on and off every day to provide optimum lighting for your greens. This is an optional purchase, as you can just remind yourself to turn on and off the lights.
- A small fan: If you are growing your microgreens in a spacious area or outdoors then there are less chances that your plants will be contaminated by mold, because there your growing trays will have proper ventilation. However, if you are growing indoors then you need to take care of ventilation and for that a small fan would come in extremely helpful. Precaution is always better than cure.
- Watering can: Once your microgreens grow you need to water them instead of misting them. So, buy a good watering can with a good fine sprout.
So, Is It Expensive to Grow Microgreens?
No, it is not expensive to grow microgreens at all. All the aforementioned equipment will only cost you a few hundred dollars. You can recover all of your expenses within a few months if you start making consistent sales.
Some people might disagree but we have published a comprehensive guide about all the costs involved during producing microgreens and how the niche demand for this product influences its price for the customers.
We would recommend you to start small and go easy on yourself. Begin your growing journey with only a single variety of microgreens. As discussed above, radish microgreens are the fastest and the easiest to grow. You can also grow pea shoots microgreens, as they are one of those few varieties which regrow after harvesting, you can get multiple harvests from a single batch.
Once you understand that it is not expensive to grow microgreens at all and get a hands-on growing experience then you can venture into growing other varieties. We have a compiled list of the most profitable microgreens that you can try when you want to scale up your business.
Of course, that will increase your expenses as you will be investing in more trays and seeds. So, now that you have understood that it is not expensive to grow microgreens, when are you growing your first batch?