How to Grow Your Own Sprouts

Beans and peas sold for growing should not be used as sprouts or for cooking unless you are sure that they have not been treated with insecticides or fungicides, which is often the case when stocks are intended only for sowing.

Growing your own sprouts is very easy. There are several ways to go about it. With smaller seeds, such as alfalfa, the easiest method is to use a large jam jar covered with a piece of muslin or netting held in place with a rubber band.


Two teaspoons of alfalfa seed would just about fill a 750-ml jar with sprouts, but the same jar could take at least four teaspoons of mung beans. After adding the seeds, replace the muslin, nearly fill the jar with water, shake it vigorously, and then drain the water off.

Give the beans a second washing. Repeat the process each morning and night until the sprouts are ready for use, which may take three to seven days, depending on the type of seed and the temperature.

Sometimes a harvest of alfalfa seed contains up to about ten-percent hard seeds, which nature designed to germinate months later than the majority, so that the entire crop will not be wiped out by drought following a chance shower. However, these hard seeds are not a problem, for they normally gather in the lowest corner of the jar.

Another method of sprouting that works well with mung beans, lentils, etc., is to wash the seed by vigorously running water into a basin and pouring -it off several times, or by running water through the seed in a gravy strainer. Then soak the seed in water overnight. Rinse it again, and then spread it, half-covered with water, in a plastic ice-cream container or a tray. Seal the container with the airtight lid or by enclosing it in a plastic bag. Check after three or four days and harvest the sprouts when they are 3-4 cm long.

Before using the seed, squeeze off the seed coat that have not been removed by the washing. As germination begins the seed coat loosens or is cast off. It usually floats free, so it can be carefully poured off or lifted off after a final wash.
Mustard and cress also come into the category of quick-maturing sprouts or seedlings that can be raised in relatively small containers indoors or outside in the garden.

These seeds can be sprouted like the others already suggested, but usually it is the green foliage that is used, so they are sown in containers of soil. They need good light but not necessarily direct sunlight. In fact the plants are more succulent when grown in partly shaded positions.

You can enjoy your fresh home-grown cress with either grills or salads almost every day. Your cress garden consists of about a dozen seedling punnets kept on a large and mostly shaded window ledge. Four or five punnets are shown each fortnight to supply a continuity of cress.

Seeds of both mustard and cress take about ten days to come up, and in another week or two they are large enough to use. Just clip the plants off at soil level, harvesting as much as needed.

The seed is sown comparatively thickly, using about a teaspoonful for six punnets or a standard wooden seedling tray. Just press the seed into the damp surface soil and keep it moist. By enclosing several punnets in a plastic bag, you can speed germination up and avoid the need for frequent watering. However, keep them out of direct sunlight, for the temperature would be too high for good results.


  1. […] Sprouted alfalfa also makes a pleasantly refreshing and satisfying snack when piled high on toast or rye wafers liberally spread with peanut butter. Or for a light, quick, sustaining dish, mix up to a cup of the sprouts with a few tablespoons of cooked rice plus chopped egg or cheese. […]

Speak Your Mind


buzzoole code