Growing broccoli sprouts (or many other types of edible sprouts for that matter) are really easy and don’t require a lot of work. That said, there are some common mistakes that people make when they are just getting started.
You can avoid these mistakes by following the tips below:
1. Stop Mold from Growing – Before It Starts
Many newbies think that more is better when it comes to watering sprouts. Although seeds need water to germinate, you don’t want to keep them too wet because that’s a great way to grow a bunch of mold too. And, since we like to grow our broccoli sprouts in low-light and warm areas (indoors), this makes mold even more likely to grow.
However, it’s easy to avoid the mold problem altogether while still keeping your sprouts happy…
First, rinse them daily, twice a day – or three if you have the time. After you rinse them, be sure to drain the water out. You don’t want your seedlings to be sitting in stagnant water, as this will also encourage a moldy environment. Provide adequate drainage by using a seed sprouting kit that provides drain holes or, if you are using a glass jar, turn it upside down and lean it diagonally so that water can drain out and air can still flow through the container.
This brings me to my second point, make sure that the baby greens are in a “breathable” container where air can flow freely through. An example of this is a mason jar with a ventilated lid such as a mesh screen.
2. Don’t Let Your Sprouts Dry Out
At the same time that we don’t want to overwater, we also want to provide a moist environment for our plants to sprout and grow. If they are too dry, they will stop growing and possibly even die. Not good.
We typically start the sprouting process by soaking the seeds in water overnight so that they germinate more easily. Thereafter, the regular rinsing process I mentioned above helps keep the sprouts moist. Growing them in partially enclosed containers like sprouting trays or jars will also help them retain moisture.
3. Keep the Light Down
Unlike other gardening projects, sprouts do better with less light when they are first germinating. In addition, it can help them from drying out too. The last day of growing (typically day 4 or 5), many people place their growing containers in a window where the plants can receive direct sunlight. This will help the leaves develop a deep green color.
That’s pretty much it. Not too difficult, right? Just set reminders for yourself to check on your broccoli sprouts twice a day and your greens should be ready to harvest and eat in 4-5 days.
Check out the video below for more instructions and a time-lapse display of sprouts growing over 4 days.