How to Grow Basil Microgreens

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Basil microgreens on a white background




1-2 days

Harvest Day:

Day 11 to Day 17

Total Blackout Days:

6 Days

Weighted Blackout:

First 3 Days

Blackout Dome:

Next 3 Days

Top watering:

Day 1 to Day 6, if required.

Bottom Watering:

Bottom watering on Day 7 to Day 17.

Antifungal application:

Not Required

Expected Harvest weight:

10x times the weight of seed


Genovese: peppery, spicy, minty

Lemon Basil: citrusy

Shelf Life:

10 days

Things you need to grow Basil Microgreens

  1. 7g Basil seeds
  2. 10 x 20 Microgreens tray x 2 - without holes
  3. 10 x 20 Microgreens tray x 1 - with holes
  4. 6 cups of coco coir
  5. Grow lights (or sunlight)

Steps to grow Basil Microgreens

  1. Stack a 10x20 tray with holes on top of the 10x20 tray that does not have holes.
  2. Fill the tray (with holes) to the top with coco coir.
  3. Spread the Basil seeds as evenly as possible.
  4. Mist water once or twice a day, keeping the soil damp but not soggy.
  5. Stack another 10x20 tray on top for the first 3 Days for a Weighted Blackout. No need to add any further weight on the tray.
  6. Keep the 10x20 tray flipped on top for the next 3 Days like a Blackout Dome.
  7. On Day 7, keep it under grow lights and start bottom watering.
  8. You can harvest anytime from Day 11 to Day 17 depending on your taste.



What to expect

Do This

Day 2

Most seeds germinated

  • Water from the top only if the medium is dry

Day 4

Yellow germinated seeds

  • Water from the top only if the medium is dry

Day 7

2 inch long yellow microgreens

  • Keep the tray under grow lights
  • Bottom water - 1/4th of a cup

Day 11

Leaves turn green, with tiny true leaves appearing

  • Water if required
  • Taste a few to see if you would like to harvest now.

Day 17

Basil microgreens reach terminal height with true leaves

  • Harvest
  • Plant some in soil to let them grow into adult basil plant


Tips on growing Basil microgreens

  • Basil seeds have a mucilaginous coating (i.e. viscous or gelatinous) and it changes color when you water the seeds. Make sure your hands are dry while seeding or else they will stick in your hands.
  • If you try to do a weighted blackout with added 5 pound weight, it actually leads to lower germination rate and lower harvest in basil.
  • Keep basil in 6 days of blackout so you can get as much height as you possibly can because once you introduce them into light, they tend to stay very short making it difficult to harvest.
  • You can also plant a basil microgreen in soil and that will grow into an adult basil plant.
  • Basil favors a warmer environment to grow so a heat pad helps in the growth. 
  • You could add a scoop of some fertilizer with coco coir to give the seedlings a boost, but it is not required.
  • You can expect a harvest of about 100g of Basil microgreens from 10 gms of Basil seeds.

Basil Harvest

Basil microgreens start germinating from the second day itself, and are ready for harvest by Day 11 when you start to see tiny true leaves appearing in between the cotyledons. You can start tasting some from this day and decide what flavor you’re looking for as the flavor changes to mild as it gets a little older. Younger basil has a more potent flavor to it.


Basil is lightweight so you wont get as much of a yield as you would expect from crops like broccoli or sunflower, weight wise. However, if we look at the seed to harvest ratio, a typical Basil harvest is expected to be 10x times the weight of the seed which is way more than many crops. For example, if you use 10g of Basil seeds, you can expect a harvest of about 100g.

Business Tips for Selling Basil Microgreens

You may opt to sell basil as a live plant as it gives your customer the option to keep growing them until whenever they want.

Alternate methods to grow Basil Microgreens

  1. If you don’t have a 10x20 seed tray, you could use any container you like.
  2. If you are planning on using soil as the growth medium and it has sticks or clumps, make sure to get rid of the big ones.
  3. If you do not have grow lights, you can use the natural sunlight to grow your Basil microgreens. Just make sure they get enough light by placing them in a sunny windowsill or a south facing window.

Health Benefits of Basil Microgreens

  • Boosts immune system (source).
  • reduced blood sugar levels before and after meals (source).
  • treating anxiety and anxiety-related depression (source).
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