Growing Sprouts


I do well growing mung beans in a jar and get good bean sprouts, but when I have tried to grow tiny alfalfa and radish seeds in jars and trays I have problems. Either they are hard to rinse, or the Radish seeds (in particular) develop a slight but noticeable white mold, so they are inedible. Any ideas please?


Browser from UK


Dear Browser,

Mung beans are supposed to be harder to grow, so obviously you're doing something right! The key to sprouting alfalfa and radish seeds is frequent rinsing. Try these steps:

1. Cover the bottom of a clean glass jar (mason, peanut butter, or mayonnaise jars work well) with seeds (about 2 seeds deep). Don't use too many seeds or you'll have problems.

2. Fill the jar about half full of cool water and let the seeds soak for at least 6 hours (or overnight).

3. After the seeds have soaked, strain off the water using a fine mesh strainer or screen that you can fit over the end of jar so you don't dump out the seeds.

4. Wait another 6 hours or so and fill the jar half full of cool water again. This time pour the water off immediately. You only need to soak the seeds overnight the first time.


5. Continue to rise and drain the sprouts TWICE each day (three times is best). This constant rinsing will prevent the seeds from drying out or from forming mold.

Take out the sprouts when they are ready to eat. For best results, keep new jars sprouting to replace the older ones as you use them.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


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