How to Choose a Clay Sprouter for Sprouting Seeds

Clay sprouters are made from food grade terra-cotta clay. Seeds are sprouted without soil.

Using a terra-cotta sprouter is one of the nicest ways to sprout, the clay keeps the sprouts hydrated, ventilated and cool.

Choose a clay sprouter that is lead-free and does not contain cadmium. The trays where the sprouts grow are untreated and unglazed. The bottom tray for catching the draining water should be glazed as this makes it waterproof.

Seeds that grow well in these sprouters are:

  • Leafy sprouts (alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, mustard etc.)
  • Un-hulled Sunflower, buckwheat, pea shoots.
  • Beans and legumes (garbanzo, beans, lentil, pea).
  • Gelatinous Seeds (chia, flax, cress, psyllium, arugula)

Gelatinous seeds are sprouted slightly differently than the other seeds (see below)

Although wheatgrass and barley grass grow well in the trays, the size of the terra-cotta sprouter is usually too small to grow the large quantities needed for juicing. A large plastic seed tray is more suitable.

How to sprout seeds in a Clay Sprouter

These steps refer to non-gelatinous seeds:

  • Leafy sprouts (alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, mustard etc.)
  • Un-hulled Sunflower, buckwheat, pea shoots.
  • Beans and legumes (garbanzo, beans, lentil, pea).
Directions
  1. Soak the seeds in fresh, cold, potable water overnight.
  2. Soak the terra-cotta tray in fresh, cold, potable water for 15-30 minutes so it can absorb water.
  3. Sprinkle the soaked seeds on the tray.
  4. Pour water on the tray, letting the excess water drain out the holes.
  5. You will be left with wet seeds on the tray.
  6. Twice a day, rinse and drain the seeds.

Harvest

Leafy sprouts are ready when they have the first two leaves. If the leaves are yellow, put the tray in gentle, indirect sunlight so the sprouts can produce chlorophyll and turn green.

Pea shoots, sunflower shoots, buckwheat: These are harvested in about 8 to 10 days, they will be several inches tall. The buckwheat and the sunflower should have fully opened little leaves at the top. If the leaves are yellow, put the tray in gentle, indirect sunlight so the sprouts can produce chlorophyll and turn green.

Beans and legumes are ready when they have a small root, at this stage they are tender and tasty. 

Storage

Keep the sprouts in a covered container in the fridge for about a week, although they are best eaten asap.

How to Sprout Gelatinous Seeds in a Clay Sprouter

Gelatinous seeds are: 

  • Chia
  • Flax
  • Cress
  • Psyllium
  • Arugula

These seeds form a gel-like coating when they are wet, making them difficult to manage. Terra-cotta sprouters are ideal for growing them.

Directions
  1. Soak the terra-cotta tray in fresh, cold, potable water for 15-30 minutes so it can absorb water.
  2. Sprinkle the dry seeds on the tray.
  3. Pour water on the tray, letting the excess water drain out the holes
  4. You will be left with wet seeds on the tray.
  5. Twice a day, rinse and drain the seeds.
Harvest

Once the seeds have the first two little leaves, they are ready to eat.

If the leaves are yellow, put the tray in gentle, indirect sunlight so the sprouts can produce chlorophyll and turn green.

Storage

To store the sprouts, keep them in a covered container in the fridge for about a week, although they are best eaten asap.