Having trouble sprouting?

Troubleshooting guide

Health Advisor
Ask Annmarie

09 September 2014


Sprouting is both fun and easy but if you do have any problems, our troubleshooting guide should give you a helping hand in growing your own tasty sprouts, the right way!

Remember! Germination is a natural process that depends on the right supply of moisture, light and air.

Seeds will not sprout if…

  • The seeds are too densely sown
  • The seeds are not watered carefully or are watered  too often
  • The ambient temperature is too low or too high during germination

Seeds don’t sprout

Why: Too many seeds in the germinator or not enough watering

What to do: Stick to the recommended amounts (see seed packet). Spread the seeds out evenly at the start of the process, and after each rinse. Make sure you soak seeds overnight and rinse and drain them twice a day.

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Sprouts taste bitter

Why: Sprouts have been left too long before eating

What to do: Harvest sprouts a little earlier for a sweeter taste.

Sprouts go off, develop mould or rot

Why: Possible causes include the room being too warm, insufficient rinsing and draining or the germinator not being cleaned properly between batches

What to do: Make sure the room is not too warm. Make sure the seeds are rinsed daily and drained well. Clean germinator thoroughly.

Water does not drain properly through large germinator

Why: Red plugs are clogged or directly above each other

What to do: Stagger the red plugs (don’t have them directly above each other). Check the plugs are not clogged. Make sure the plugs are not pushed in too hard.

Lost or broken red plugs

What to do: Phone the Helpline on 0845 608 5858 to order replacements.

How long will sprouts take to grow?

Your sprouts will be ready to eat after 4-8 days, depending on the variety.

For typical germination times explore our Seed Guide for more information.

Further reading

Sprouting seed guide
Grow your own sprouts
Sandwich ideas for kids

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