Seed to Sprouts

In the midst of a snowy day we are munching own own freshly harvested Sunflowers Sprouts. I am sure many of you grow your own sprouts, but if not here is a little tutorial on how to grow your own sunflower sprouts at home.  This is a great way to start growing your own food and really easy to do with kids.  It is really rewarding to see those tots eating food they grew themselves!!

Get yourself some unhulled Sunflowers seeds, I buy them at Vitamin cottage, but I am sure they sell them lots of places.

Fill a flat with dirt– You can make both your own potting soil and wooden flats,which is a good option if you would rather not use plastic, or simply use store-bought, Black Gold is my personal favorite Potting Soil Mix.  Remember when filling a flat tamping is the secret. What is tamping you ask? Well…. Air is key for healthy root growth, I find one common habit people have, is that they love to push soil down with their hands.  This compacts the soil and makes it harder for roots to grow.  It is not a big deal when doing sunflower sprouts, but a good habit to get out of.  You can replace it with a healthy tamping habit.  Putting soil in your containers and tamp, or knock the whole container on the table.  This fluffs the soil evenly in place, knocking some of the air out is good so it doesn’t float away when you water.  So…Add soil to your flat and tamp it down so the soil comes up to about 1inch from the top edge.You can smooth out the soil gently with your hand to get a nice even surface, (again not so important for sunflowers but important for other things, like smaller seeds).Once you have your flat filled, broadcast (a fancy word for sprinkle) the seeds evenly across the surface, nice and thic ,you will probably use about three handfuls, depending on the size of your hands of course.Once spread, cover with a layer of soil, you can go as thick as 1 inch–A nice little rule of thumb in gardening is to burying a seed twice as deep as it is wide. 

Once covered, place in a sunny spot in your window– at least 6 hours of daily direct sunlight and night temperatures above freezing. Water thoroughly, I prefer a nice fine spray, as you can wash those seeds right away with a watering can that is too strong, I use a Haws watering can with a fine mist rose, a classic in cans, yes I am a garden dork!!.  Now just water daily, or at least check to see if soil surface feels moist to the touch.  Sprouts will grow and be ready for harvest in about 10days.  You harvest with a scissors, trimming it like a hair cut, rinse and serve. 

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