Sprouts and other microgreen plants are a popular option for novice gardeners or experienced greenthumbs. They are perfect for home gardens because they don’t take up much space, and they earn their keep by providing delicious and crunchy nutrition. Learning how to grow sprouts indoors is a great project for those just starting to garden.
Sprouts can be grown indoors or outdoors, they work in any container that is at least 3 inches deep. Mason jars are a popular choice because they are easy to find. A window screen lid allows air in, yet keeps some of the humidity in as well. Or you can purchase sprout jars like this Quart size Jar Seed Sprouter or if you want to grow more than one seed, Amazon has this 4-Tray Seed Sprouter for $18. You can also use shallow trays, bowls, seed pots, or anything else that allows water to drain.
If you decide to plant any herbs or other microgreens along with your sprouts, you’re going to want to have separate containers for each crop. Be sure to label each one so you don’t mix them up down the road.
Choose a high quality seed starting mix. For alfalfa sprouts, soak them for 4-6 hours first. Place a soaked paper towel in the bottom of your container. Drain the seeds and place them directly on the paper towel. You can use a spray bottle to dribble water over them and keep the roots moist. the first 3 days the seeds should be keep in the dark to prevent them from sprouting while they are young. They need to grow roots those first few days. Keep watering them often, as they need to always have moisture.
Sprouts usually don’t require any type of fertilizer and because they have such a short growing period. You also don’t have to worry about bugs or pests (told ya this was easy stuff!). After 3 days of darkness, bring them into the light! Continue to water them often so they are constantly moist.
The best growing conditions are warm and humid. If you live in a naturally dry climate, cover the pots with a clear lid or plastic wrap, wait and watch the magic happen! You should have a full harvest in 1-3 weeks. Cut the greens as soon as they are between 1-3 inches tall. Then reuse the containers and start new seeds.
What makes sprouts and microgreens so great? Well, they pack a lot of nutrients into a small shoot because we eat them before they completely mature. They are tender, sweet, and ridiculously good for you. Add them to salads, sandwiches, or soups and you won’t be disappointed.
Once they’re all sprouty you can keep them in the fridge for a few days loosely covered. They don’t last long so only make what you’re going to use in a few days. I’m so glad I learned how to grow sprouts, because during the winter months, my local store doesn’t have fresh lettuce, only what has been trucked in from California, so this allows me a fresh alternatives to my sandwiches!