Grow Your Own Sprouts

Growing sprouts is a fun and affordable way to have nutritious salad greens year round. Here are some of the tools that I use to keep the greens growing.

Turn any wide-mouth canning jar into an instant sprouter using these special Masontops screen lids. Designed for maximum drainage, and with a slightly raised edge so that the jar doesn’t sit flush to the counter, these lids are really well designed for rinsing and draining seeds.

I have owned the same Biosta sprouter for the last 10 years. What a great product! It’s made from durable, tinted green plastic and comes with special caps that protect the drain spouts from getting clogged. I love to use this system for bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts. Simple and easy, you can create all the sprouts you need for pennies compared to buying them in the store. I just rinse the seeds, put them in the trays and cover them with water. The trays do the work of draining the water away. Later I just dump the drain water from the bottom tray. Simple and easy to clean, which are two things I look for in a great product. Buy it once, use it for years.

Biosta Sprouter

Or if you prefer to try your hand at “soil sprouts” then these aluminum foil containers are just the right size. Filled part way with soil, you can add 1 to 2 tsp of soaked sprouting seeds like kale, mustards, sunflower, broccoli, buckwheat or other seed mixes, and use this system to produce copious amounts of greens for your salads, sandwiches and stir-fries. I simply love the flavor of soil sprouts and the greater variety of seeds that grow well in this type of soil-based sprouting system. I use soil sprouting preferentially in the winter, and mostly use the jar or tray systems only for bean sprouts and alfalafa which produce better with that method. You can learn about the soil sprouting methods from Peter Burke’s book Year Round Salad Gardening.

If you house isn’t warm enough in the winter for soil sprouting, try adding bottom heat with a seed mat. I use these seed mats under my soil sprouting trays in the winter, and then use them in my chick and duckling brooders in the spring and summer. One product with two great uses – dependable on both counts.

Shop for seed heating mats

Sprouting seeds come in a wide variety of single type and mixes that it can be hard to choose. Use the link below to search for the latest combinations and sales. I usually find it is most cost-effective to buy 500 g (1 lbs) of seed, except perhaps for very large seeds like peas or sunflowers. Then it can make sense to buy 1 kg (2.2 lbs).

Shop for sprouting seeds