Grow your own sprouts

Tips for sprouting success


Annmarie Payne
@AVogelUK


09 September 2014

Introduction

Sprouting is great fun and easy to do.

First time sprouters

If you are a first time cultivator you may want to try choosing types of seeds that germinate easily such as alfalfa, mung beans or radishes.

Location, Location, Location

Location is very important. Don't place seed trays on a windowsill, especially in sunny weather - the heat and light will dry the seeds out and probably kill them! Place somewhere that is bright and gets indirect light.

Watering

Lightly water your sprouting seeds twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening. After harvesting, the sprouts and shoots should be thoroughly rinsed before eating, like salad leaves or vegetables.

A hairy problem?

Many seeds develop tiny hair roots after the second or third day. These are part of the normal development and will slowly disappear. Lots of people see them, think it is mould and end up throwing them out! If in doubt, do the smell test - if the sprouts smell fresh then it is the hair roots and you can continue to grow them.

Growing your seeds

Avoid growing too many seeds at once – there should be clear instructions on the packet as to the quantity to use and the growing times. Only use seeds produced for sprouting, such as the BioSnacky range. Old seeds, seeds from unknown sources or chemically treated seeds may not sprout.

Size matters

Don't let the beansprouts get too big, they should be about 1.5-2cm long. If they get too long they become bitter and not very nice to eat! However, if you have let them go too far you can use these in stir fries or soup so don't throw them away!

Storage

If sprouts are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in a container in the fridge for a couple of days (no longer than 2 – 3 days).

Taking care of your germinator

It is essential to clean the equipment thoroughly between batches. Washing is usually adequate but germinator trays or bottles can be soaked in vinegar and then thoroughly rinsed before use.

Further reading

Sprouting seed guide
Having trouble sprouting?
Sandwich ideas for kids

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