( Happy holidays! I will be taking 3 weeks off to celebrate Christmas and New Year. See you in 2017! )
Sprouts are among the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables.
I have tried to grow sprouts using the traditional jar method with mixed results. Sometimes the sprouts would spoil if I forget to rinse them frequently.
Then I tried the “soil sprouted greens” method, which is a combination of growing micro-greens, sprouts and baby greens. It is SO much easier and the results are so much better!
This method allows anyone to grow juicy sprouts and baby greens in less than 2 weeks indoors or outdoors, without a greenhouse or fancy equipment.
I am thrilled to share with you everything I have learned, especially now in the midst of winter, when we all crave fresh and nutrient-packed greens!
I learned this wonderful method from a great book: Year Round Indoor Salad Gardening by Peter Burke.
You can see he has containers of sprouts growing in stages for a continuous harvest.
The materials and tools needed to grow soil sprouts are really simple, and most can be found around the home. ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
Containers: unlike most planters, the containers we use to grow soil sprouts do not need drainage holes. The ideal depth is 2″ to 3″. A lid is not required, but great to have. More on that later.
The ideal temperature is between 60 F and 75 F, like most indoor environments.
By the way, if you are wondering where to get these cute cereal bowls, they are actually white bowls with DIY Sharpie art, see how to make yours here –
Step One: Start with good seeds.
Old seeds or improperly stored seeds will not germinate well. Here’s more information on how to test your seeds and also a super fast way to start your veggie garden-
Other popular choices and easy to grow seeds are Broccoli, Amaranth ( the gorgeous red sprouts you see here is Garnet Amaranth ), and Buckwheat seeds.
Larger seeds such as peas and sunflower seeds can be soaked in clean, cool water for 8-24 hours to speed up the process. You will need about 2 cups pea seeds or 1.25 cup sunflower seeds for a 10″×20″ size tray.
Mix some good quality potting soil in a large tub with water until the soil is moist but not soggy.
Spread a 2 inch layer on the bottom of each growing tray.
Scatter the seeds evenly in one layer. Seeds should cover the entire tray.
Add a thin layer of soil, and put the lid on. That’s all the work you need to do at this stage!
The lid will keep the seeds and soil moist until the seeds sprout. If your container does not come with a lid, you can use plastic wrap or bags to help retain humidity.
At this stage the tray can be stored in the dark or in a bright location. Avoid too much direct sun which may cause the soil to overheat. Just wait for the tiny sprouts to come up in 1-3 days.
Continue to Step Two on next page…