Gardening > Sprouting Seeds

Sprouting Seeds

Sprouting Seeds

Sprouting Seeds
© Marekuliasz

We can probably all remember growing mustard and cress in our school days and eating it in egg sandwiches and with salads. Another familiar sprout is that of the mung bean which is used extensively in Chinese cuisine.

The beauty of sprouts is that they can be grown quickly indoors, even in the depths of winter. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins and polyunsaturated oils. Sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked.

To Sprout Seeds:

Wash the seeds in cold water. Drain them and then soak them in cold water overnight.

Method 1
- Put the seeds into a clean jam jar.
- Cover the top of the jar with a square of muslin secured with an elastic band.
- Place the jar on its side in a large bowl and elevate the base so that water can drain from the seeds and escape through the muslin.
- Rinse the seeds in cold water twice daily until they begin to germinate.

Method 2
- Place several layers of kitchen paper in the bottom of a plastic tray.
- Dampen the paper.
- Scatter the seeds over the paper.
- Keep the paper damp but not too wet.
- Pour off any excess water.


Some seeds need to be forced. Place them in a dark, warm cupboard. The temperature needs to be 55-70 degrees F. To force seeds in a tray place the tray in a plastic bag.


Some seeds need greening. First force them as above until they begin to germinate then take them out and leave them in a light place (but not in direct sun) and harvest when ready.

Here are some sprouting seeds to try:

Adzuki Bean

Use the forcing method and harvest when the sprouts are 1 inch long. About 3-6 days.

Mung Bean

Force and harvest when 2 inches long. About 4-6 days.


Force and then green in the light. These sprouts have a strong curry flavour when about half an inch long. The flavour gets milder as the sprouts get longer. For a mild taste harvest at 3 inches long. About 4-8 days.


Force and then green in the light. Harvest at 1-2 inches long. About 3-5 days.

Mustard and Cress

Use a tray for these sprouts. Sow the cress first and then sow the mustard about 3 days later when the cress should be beginning to germinate. Take from the dark to a well lit place when the leaves begin to appear. Harvest when 2 inches high. About 10-15 days.


Use a jar for these sprouts. Allow to green. Harvest when the sprouts are 1/2-1 inch long. About 3-4 days.