Growing Salad Sprouts All Year is Easy
If you’re anything like me (and you probably are if you’re reading this), you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cool and different things in your salad. Why not grow them?
It’s soooo easy to do and guarantees you’ll have fresh yummy greens for your salad any time of year. All you need is seeds, a few containers to soak them in, and a pot for growing. I can guarantee you already have most of what you need at home.
First, you’ll need to either order or buy seeds. I buy my sprouting seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds because I like their quality, and I can often find them at my local stores, but you can get seeds anywhere you would like. You can also get whatever varieties you want. Check out High Mowing Organic’s varieties here.
One quick caution: If you want to grow sunflower sprouts, DO NOT plant the seeds you buy for wild birds and eat those sprouts. That seed is treated and is NOT safe for you to eat.
Maybe you’d also like to broaden your horizons and try your hand at growing herbs as well. You’re in luck! I have a post on Growing Indoor Herbs just for you!
Next, I always soak my seeds for 24 hours before planting. I do it with all of them, even if the packet doesn’t recommend soaking. I simply use a few jelly jars full of water, one for each variety. For the bigger seeds (like sunflower seeds), I use 1 tablespoon. For smaller seeds (like radish or broccoli), I use 1 teaspoon.
Planting Containers (pssst…don’t spend a lot of money)
Once they’re soaked, I plant my seeds in really expensive, impressive, matching containers. Nope, just kidding. Well, ok, they do match, but they’re actually the tops of those disposable metal lasagna pans you buy at the grocery store.
I never need the tops for cooking, but they’re great for seed sprouting! You don’t even need to punch holes in them, drainage isn’t a problem for the sprouts.
You can really use just about anything to grow them, I just prefer all my sprouts in one pan. Conventional flower pots would work just as well, if that’s all you have. Check out the dollar store for cheap lasagna or roasting pans as well. I just recently scored 19 pans for $13. YAY ME!!!!!
Regular old potting soil works fine too. You can add some compost if you have it, but the sprouts only grow for about 2 weeks, so they don’t need much in the way of nutrients.
Keeping the Seeds Dark
Once they’re planted, I water them thoroughly. Since I don’t bury the seeds, and most seeds need dark to germinate, I put them in a large tote for two to three days. Just a Rubbermaid tote or even a cardboard box will work fine, just as long as it’s dark.
If your pan or pot is opaque, you can cover the seeds with damp newspaper and put them on a shelf, and that will work just fine. I can’t do that since my pan is see-through, and I’m afraid they’ll get too much light.
Light Needs (after they start to grow)
After two to three days, depending on temperature, you can bring your pan out and put your sprouts under grow lights or in a sunny windowsill. If they’re in a windowsill, you’ll have to rotate them occasionally as they lean towards the light quite a bit. I’ve even found that they do that under the grow light if the light isn’t quite even.
Harvest your Sprouts
Once your sprouts are the size you want, just cut them off at soil level and add their yumminess to your salads or sandwiches. You can see above that the pea shoots grow faster than the others, so you can harvest them sooner and put the others back under the lights for a few days longer, if you would like. The pea shoots will actually regrow after you cut them, but I wouldn’t do that more than once because the eating quality suffers.
When to Start More Sprouts
After I’ve harvested my greens, I throw the soil on my compost pile and start another round right away, which works for me.
You might love them so much that you’re going through them before the new round is ready. If that’s the case, just start a second round a few days before your first round is ready for harvest so you have a constant supply of yummy greens all year round.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and will give these greens a try.
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There are some pinnable images below if you have relevant Pinterest boards. I’d greatly appreciate a pin or two! Comments are always welcome as well.
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As always, smile and have a crazy organic day!