Sprouts update

I started my current sprouts experiment eleven days ago on February 6, and although enough time has passed that I should have a verdict on this growing method, I don't yet -- I'll explain why shortly.


As a reminder, this is the first time that I've been growing sprouts using soil. I've used the jar method before and also the stackable trays -- both using no growing media (soil or otherwise) and requiring periodic and consistent rinsing. This is also the first time that I've tried sunflower sprouts, so new method, new seeds -- it's going to take more than one batch of sprouts before I have a verdict.


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Everything went well this time around, when I had to place my tray of sprouts under the grow lights because I don't have any window sill large enough to hold a 10x20" (25x50cm) tray.

Seed packet instructions say to harvest when the sprouts are 2-4" (5-10cm) tall, before they develop their first true leaves.

Well, here's where the problem lies: they started developing true leaves when less than 2" tall!


So my harvest was late, meaning the sprouts had some fuzzy little sunflower leaves mixed in. Not inedible, but not as nice as they could have been.

After harvest the tray is looking pretty sad. I'll rip these all out.

Luckily I only sowed half of the tray with the first batch, and started the second batch five days or so ago:


I'm leaving this batch toward the outer edge of the table where they'll get weaker light, or will cover them with some shade cloth if they need to go under lights. This should make them get a bit taller so they can be harvested before growing leaves.

I've been thinking though: is it possible that the soil is what triggered these to grow leaves so quickly, or at least contributed? When growing without soil, there are no nutrients for the roots to absorb -- not the case with this soil mix containing compost and biochar. I suppose the lower-light test will help answer that.


I will say that I really like not having to rinse the sprouts -- just water like regular plants!

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outlawgardener  – (February 17, 2015 at 9:11 AM)  

If your lower light experiment works, it sounds like you've found a nice new sprouting method that requires no rinsing. Yum!

Mark and Gaz  – (February 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM)  

I was thinking the same, that it's possible the soil contributed as it's nutrient rich, as opposed to no soil...

Lisa  – (February 19, 2015 at 10:31 AM)  

Indirect light is definitely the key. We put ours on the kitchen table where it's light, but definitely not sunny.

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