Grow Your Own Salad
Sprouting is becoming more and more popular. It is great fun and very straightforward. To help you take that first step, here are some general rules.
1. Wash seeds thoroughly in a sieve before sprouting.
2. Place seeds in the sprouter: approx. two teaspoonfuls of small seeds, one heaped tablespoon of larger seeds.
3. If growing in the small jar, cover the seeds with water and soak for one night then rinse and drain twice a day until ready. If using a three tier germinator there is no need to soak. Simply place seeds on each tray, cover the top tier of seeds with water and let it drain to the bottom. Repeat twice a day.
When using a three tier germinator it is important to make sure that the drain plugs are pressed down firmly, and that each drainage hole is clear of any seeds, as otherwise the water may not drain through. Also when watering, bring the level up to above that of the plug. An air lock in the drainage hole can sometimes form and is easily cleared. Gently tip the tray up until the water starts to run through and then replace it carefully. Ensure that the seeds are given water twice a day and avoid extremes of temperature as these will affect growth. The run-off can be used to water your house plants.
Many seeds develop tiny hair roots after the second or third day. These are part of the normal development and will slowly disappear.
Avoid growing too many seeds at once – there should be clear instructions on the packet on the quantity to use and the growing times. Only use seeds produced for sprouting, such as the BioSnacky range. Old seeds, seeds from unknown sources or chemically treated seeds may not sprout. Location is also important. The airing cupboard is too dark (and too easy to forget) but a sunny windowsill can fry the seeds, so a light, airy worktop is best.
It is essential to clean the equipment thoroughly between batches. Washing is usually adequate but germinator trays or bottles can be soaked in vinegar and then thoroughly rinsed before use.
Follow these simple guidelines and watch your nutritious sprouts keep on growing.