Friday, April 3, 2020

How to Grow Sprouts at Home

April 2020 update:  I have to update the title of what we are actually growing. They are sprouts, and not microgreens. I had always called them microgreens but after thinking about this for a few days, I thought I would Google IF there is a difference between the two and there is. One is grown in water and one is grown in dirt. It is all very fascinating and this website had a great article that explains it all very well.


I have been making SPROUTS at home for 5 years. I started making them at home because they were hard to find in our small beach town or when they were available, it was only during certain times of the year. I also noticed the flavor profiles were always the same: salad greens. I actually enjoy the radish to add a spicy bite to sandwiches or the sunflower microgreens which are larger and bolder in flavor.

I bought this double-stacked sprouts tray set from my local big box store in town. They can be ordered online too. I stick with a certain brand for seeds because this is what works for me. I have tried other brands and they don't sprout like the Botanical Interests. They are all non-GMO if this is an issue for you. Botanical Interest sells both sprouts and microgreen seeds.

I have found three things work well: rinse them twice a day, keep them in a sunny spot (not direct sun), and rotate the trays if using more than one layer.  I have two sets of trays and we stagger the growing process.

It takes about 3 days to seed the seeds begin to sprout and another week before they are filling the tray to max capacity. Once they sprout you can enjoy the seeds.  They can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. We eat them too fast and never get to this point. One tray will make enough for 3-5 sandwiches, depending on how many you use. We like a generous amount on each sandwich.

I follow several blogs that focus on self-reliance. Growing your own microgreens is an affordable way to provide greens for your family. One blog that discusses microgreens in more detail is Practical Self Reliance.  I love how detailed her article is about growing the different flavors and types. 


1.  Each tray (see above) will handle 1-2 tablespoons of seeds. Before you add them to the tray, soak them for 12 hours in water. I do this before I go to bed.

2.   Drain and rinse the seeds the next morning and spread them onto your tray. Rinse one more time.  Try to spread the seeds in a single layer. I try not to overcrowd my trays. Stack trays and set in a warm and sunny room. Try to avoid direct and harsh sunlight.

3.  Every day rinse the seeds and then when they become the microgreens-TWICE. I do this in the morning and before I go to bed. The sprouts will fall from the pressure of the water but then pop right back up.

4.  Gently pull the microgreens from the tray when ready to use. Store them in the refrigerator for 3 days.

5.  Rinse trays and start again.


Microgreens and sprouts are a great replacement, especially in times of need or isolation, for a healthy dose of greens in your life. They are rich in nutrients. We use them in place of lettuce and they can be grown all year round.

This link from Medical News Today discusses the benefits of consuming microgreens.

FLAVORS OF MICROGREENS/SPROUTS TO USEList compiled by  Medical News Today

The microgreens/sprouts will have the flavor of the seed you use. For instance, broccoli microgreens will taste like broccoli. Radish microgreens will be spicy.
  • amaranth
  • basil
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • mustard
  • tatsoi
  • orach
  • borage
  • beet
  • parsley
  • pea
  • red pak choi
  • kohlrabi
  • Swiss chard
  • rocket
I have tried to unsuccessfully grow microgreens in quart jars. I will continue to experiment with this method and let you know if I can get them to work. Until that day, I will continue to use this method and provide microgreens for my family.


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