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Growing Tips & FAQs

Growing

How do I grow sprouts?

We suggest starting with about 3 tablespoons of seed. You can see how much that gives and adjust accordingly.

Place the seed into your germinator, or a jar or bowl and fill with water. Cool water is best, not cold. Stir the seeds to make sure they all get wet and push down those that float to the top. Leave for the appropriate soaking time.

When the soaking time is up, fill the germinator with cool water again, and tip out. Make sure to drain the germinator very well. We like our Biosnackies because they have a lip on the lid, we use this to leave them at an angle on the dish rack.

Most often the cause of sprouts going mouldy is due to not being drained properly. Sprouts don’t like to sit in old water. Continue to fill and drain 2-3 times a day until they are sprouted.

Whilst growing leave the sprouts out of direct sunlight and at room temperature, and make sure they have some air circulation. If it is warm the sprouts will grow faster, and if it is cool they will grow slower. Whether it is light or dark makes no difference until the sprouts have leaves.

Once they have sprouted leaves, if you wish to ‘green’ them, expose them to light. Photosynthesis will occur in the leaves, which means they will now contain chlorophyll. They are equally nutritious whether you ‘green’ them or not.

How do I grow micro-greens?

Micro-greens are just plants grown vertically, with their roots planted in soil or some other medium. Any of our seed, even the tiniest, can be grown as a micro-green, but some produce bigger and tastier plants than others and are more widely used, such as Black Sunflower and Pea Seed.

You need a planting tray, filled with moist soil, or any other planting material (hemp, coconut, there are many soilless varieties now). Sprinkle the seeds on top. Spread with a fine layer of soil. Moisten the top layer. Continue to mist the seeds with water 2-3 per day, enough to keep them moist. Place them somewhere where they can get light. You can buy a grow light or place on a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight.

Once they are grown, cut the greens just above the soil level. To get rid of the husks, particularly with the black sunflower, place the greens in a large bowl of water. All the husks will float to the top and can then be scooped out with a sieve.

Why are my sprouts going mouldy?

Whilst growing, sprouts do not like to sit in old water. Most causes of mould during growing are a result of not draining properly. Leave your Biosnacky at an angle to drain thoroughly.

Sprouts also generate heat whilst growing, especially certain varieties such as Broccoli, Rambo Radish and Mung. If it is particularly hot, they may need rinsing more regularly to keep them cool. Cold water can be used in the summer to cool them down.

The seed we sell is the same we grow, so we know it sprouts well. Growing the perfect sprout takes a little practice but once you understand these plants you will be able to adjust to their needs.

What do I need to get started?

Just your seed, and something to grow it in. One of our sprouting jars is ideal for growing a single variety at a time. Or you can use one of our three tiers to grow three different varieties at the same time.

My sprouts look furry on the root, are they going mouldy?

No, they’re not. As sprouts are live plants they keep growing after we pack them. Sometimes, the root of the sprout grows tiny root hairs, or rootlets, as the sprout searches for water. These are often mistaken for mould. You will find if you give the punnet a little shake, the rootlets will disappear. They are perfectly safe to eat and just a sign your sprouts are alive and well.

Why is my Alfalfa a different colour to what I am used to?

We get asked this a lot when it comes to Alfalfa – why it is more green or yellow than normal. Alfalfa is a yellow/ orange seed. As it germinates, it grows into a yellow/ orange sprout, As Alfalfa seeds begin to germinate, they do not have leaves, so they are not green (unless they are a green seed, like Mung or Pea). Alfalfa seed is yellow/ orange. As they begin to germinate, most will grow leaves.

As soon as a plant has leaves, photosynthesis will occur if the plant is exposed to light. The more light, the more photosynthesis takes place and the greener the leaves will go. For this reason, sometimes you will find sprouts more or less green. It has no effect on the quality or nutrition of the sprout, only that it contains less chlorophyll.

Why are my sprouts longer/shorter than usual?

Sprouts are a live product. As they are a baby plant brimming with life, once they are sprouted, they keep on growing, and their appearance continues to change. They also sprout more or less depending on many factors, the weather, the water temperature, and more.

If we get some unexpected sunshine our sprouts can have a growth spurt, and sometimes when we get a cold snap they sprout a little less. For these reasons, each crop of sprouts that we produce is unique. Rest assured if your sprouts sometimes look a little longer than usual, or a little shorter, this is all just evidence that these plants have been grown by hand without the use of any nasty pesticides to make them all look the same. Their uniqueness is what lets you know they are perfectly healthy, nutritious, and ready to eat!

Why do sprouts need to be kept refrigerated?

Because sprouts never stop growing! We begin the sprouting process here with the dry seed, but once these beans get started, they just don’t stop. This is why sprouts have to be kept refrigerated, because they are so packed with live enzymes that they produce an incredible amount of heat as they grow. So they should always be kept refrigerated to maintain their optimum freshness.

Seed

Can I order seed in bulk or different quantities?

Yes, you can, for larger orders or orders of different amounts just contact us via our contact page for an individual quote on seed and shipping and we’ll be happy to help.

Fresh Sprouts

Why do you use plastic packaging?

Our fresh sprouts are packaged in resealable punnets that are made from 91% recycled plastic. We keep a very close eye on packaging material updates because it’s so important to us. The overwhelming evidence right now is that recycled plastic is the best material to be using, for our product. We work closely with the Soil Association, our certifying body, who have advised us that RPET is currently one of the better options.

Plant-based biodegradable PLA packaging, popular right now, is currently banned by the Soil Association for all their licensee holders unless the company can provide evidence of where the source materials have come from. The materials used to make nearly all of this packaging originates from GMO crops. This means, although it seems like a good thing because these containers – such as Vegware – are compostable, the overall impact on the environment is, in fact, negative as the growing of these GM source materials is believed to be very harmful. This overarching picture is often not considered when statistics/ research is cited condoning the use of PLA compostables.

The key reasons for the Soil Association’s decision to no longer issue EPs for GM-derived PLA is as follows:

  • Whilst PLA is biodegradable, it’s not readily compostable – which is one of the key attractions for its use.
  • Whilst the main alternative to PLA – PET, is non-biodegradable, it is recyclable and can be recycled, thus reducing its environmental footprint.
  • An audit comparing PLA with PET which comes out largely in favour of PLA, doesn’t take into account farm-level impacts within its scope. This is significant due to the negative environmental impact associated with pesticide use, greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from conventional farming systems. These problems are particularly acute when GM crops are involved.

There are a small handful of companies currently producing compostable materials that aren’t made from GMO PLA, but currently, they are in the early stages of development and can’t produce anything that would work for our product. We always have an eye on new developments and we hope that refusal to buy into these PLA’s will encourage the packaging industry to be innovative and come up with a better solution.

Until then, we use recycled plastic, made from post-consumer waste, and our packaging is 100% recyclable.

If you have any comments or suggestions for us, please get in touch!