Sprouting at Home
The higher temperatures of summer change the conditions for growing sprouts and microgreens at home. Here are a few tips to help you grow sprouts in summer.
Equipment for Sprouting Seeds at Home
Because they are open to the air, tray-type sprouters and terracotta sprouters may be easier to use than mason jar sprouters or bag sprouters.
Most seeds are easy to sprout in any season, however Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are prone to rot if grown in a mason jar, try a tray or terracotta sprouter instead.
Leafy greens and grasses sprout well in the summer as there is plenty of sunlight and longer days.
Watering Your Home-Grown Sprouts
Depending on where you live, the humidity may increase, or the air will become drier. If the air is drier and your seeds or sprouts look dry, rinse them with cold water, making sure to drain the water away. Or mist them with a spray bottle. You may need to do this more often than usual to keep them hydrated. If there is more humidity, direct a fan at the sprouts to keep the air-flow going, air circulation is important.
Harvesting Time for Sprouts and Microgreens
During the summer, because it’s warmer, the sprouts may grow more quickly, keep an eye on them because they may be ready to eat a few days earlier than usual.
Fruit Flies on Indoor Sprouts
These tiny flies come into your home as eggs on fruit purchased in the store. They do not arrive via seeds for sprouting, which undergo testing to confirm they are insect-free. Once inside your house the eggs hatch and you will see the fruit flies. These insects are attracted to warm, moist environments such as sprouting kits, sprouting jars and trays. There are a couple of things you can do to eliminate or reduce the number of fruit flies.
- Point a fan directly at your sprouts, fruit flies don’t like the air circulation or cooler temperatures caused by the fan
- Place a saucer of wine vinegar near your sprouts, the flies may visit the vinegar and drown.
- If possible, wash fruit and vegetables you bring home and keep them in the fridge.
- Lower the temperature of your sprouts by putting them in the fridge for say, two hours a day
Cilia Hairs on Sprouts
If the air in your house is drier than usual, your sprouts may become dehydrated and produce cilia hairs. These tiny structures look like white hair, but are cells designed to extract moisture from the air.
It’s easy to remove cilia hair, just give your thirsty sprouts a drink by rinsing or misting them.
How do you know it’s cilia and not mold on your sprouts?
- Cilia hair grows on the root only, mold may grow on the soil, root, stem, and leaves
- Cilia hair is white, mold may be black, green, or grey.
- Cilia hair is a clearly defined ‘hair’ shape, mold is a slimy, sticky, gooey substance
- Cilia hair disappears when the sprouts are rinsed or misted, mold will still be there.
- Cilia has no odor, mold smells disgusting
If your sprouts go moldy, throw them away. Thoroughly wash all equipment and let it air-dry. Then start sprouting another batch of seeds.
Storing Microgreens and Home-Grown Sprouts
Put your mature sprouts in a lidded container in the fridge, this keeps them fresh. They will continue to grow, but very slowly. If they appear to be drying out, mist them with a spray bottle or give them a quick rinse to rehydrate them (make sure all the rinse water is drained away)
Do You Have Questions About Growing Sprouts at Home?
If you have any questions about growing Sprouts at home, let us know! Please post a comment below and we’ll reply.
Take a look at these organic seeds to sprout in the summer, they are great for summer salads! Click below.
Enjoy your sprouts!