Growing Mustard Sprouts

Growing Mustard Sprouts

Sprouting

When conditions are warm your sprouts will likely grow faster. If their leaves open sooner you should green and de-hull and harvest sooner. Likewise they may grow slower if conditions are very cool. These are just tiny plants - they are not difficult to understand. The more you sprout the better you'll know them and be able to adjust to their needs. As always 70° is optimal and 70° is what our instructions are written for.

All sprouts generate heat while growing, which is a good thing, but it can get out of hand on occasion. When the weather is especially hot and humid you will do well to Rinse more frequently (every 8 hours if possible) using colder water than usual (the coldest your tap can offer is fine), to compensate.

Depending on your sprouting device, not all of your sprouts will have access to light and so some will not green. This is not only OK - it is good. The yellow sprouts will be equally nutritious (they have everything but chlorophyll) and many think them more delicious (in Europe vegetables are often grown "blanched" by avoiding light). We think they are prettier when there is a mix of green and yellow to go with the white roots. So don't sweat it - just eat more sprouts!

It is ESSENTIAL that you keep Brassica sprouts from clumping together and you CAN NOT grow them vertically using a tray sprouter. Brassica sprouts will mat together forming a dense bluish root mass which not only is unattractive but shortens the shelf life of the finished sprouts. So mix ‘em up! We use high water pressure when Rinsing to keep our brassica sprouts loose, but this only works for so long - so - when water isn't enough, break the clump of sprouts up using a fork or your fingers (wash your hands first please, if they need it). If you are using a sprouter that can hold water, fill it mostly full then use a fork to loosen. You can also dump your sprouts onto or into something and just shake them apart. You should never be afraid** of touching your sprouts. They are much stronger then they appear - just be reasonably gentle.

** The only thing to fear is fear itself.

Oriental Mustard seed is one of very few non-mucilaginous mustard seeds. It is because it is not mucilaginous that it can be grown as a sprout. It can Also be grown as a Microgreen. A mucilaginous mustard seed Must be grown as a Microgreen. That's a big part of why Oriental Mustard is such a great seed - you have options =:-)

3 Tablespoons are now in one of our Easy Sprout Sprouters awaiting Soaking.

6-12 hours later (it really doesn't matter)...
Our Oriental Mustard has now Soaked up its fill of water. FYI - you are now working with living things. Once a seed has soaked up its fill of water it is alive. Having moved from its dry/dormant state you can actually eat them now and enjoy the nutritional benefits their life force offers. I suggest waiting. They are going to be even better in a few days. Now, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
You may now see germination happening, but if not don't worry.
You certainly will in 12 hours.
Again, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
By now you will be seeing plenty of germination and very likely root hairs which grow off the main (tap) root. They are microscopic roots! They are NOT mold!
They will collapse back against the tap roots after you Rinse, and will only reappear when the sprouts are at their driest - just before you Rinse again - so expect to see more in 12 hours. They are amazing. If you have a magnifying glass try to get a close-up look at them. Again, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
Can you see the root hairs?
Again, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
Again, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
Wow! That is progress!
Brassicas (the plant family that mustard is a member of) should be agitated to loosen the mass they form while growing. Fill your sprouter with water and use a fork to stir them up so they move freely, then Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
The little round yellow things we see amongst the sprouts are the seed coats (hulls) which have yet to be pushed off by the leaves unfurling from within. Again, Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
At this point I like to remove some hulls. It will make it easier to Drain thoroughly. To do this I fill my sprouter with water and use a fork to reach down and loosen the sprouts so that they move freely. Hulls (the coat of the seed) will float to the top. I guide them over into a group and scoop them out with my fingers. I do this - moving the sprouts and collecting the hulls - several times, until I am satisfied that I've gotten most of them, then I Drain thoroughly.

12 hours later...
You are welcome to harvest your crop now if you wish. If you want to wait another 12 hours then Rinse and Drain very thoroughly.

12 hours later...
Harvesting Brassicas requires one additional step; De-Hulling. I spent enough time removing hulls a day ago that de-hulling now will take little effort and time, but it is a virtual necessity if you want to store your crop for more than a few days. The hulls of Brassica sprouts are quite thick and are very moist, so removing them is key to getting shelf life from the finished crop. We have photos and a video on our De-Hulling page.

Great job sprout farmer!

Family: Brassicaceae/ Cruciferae
Genus: Brassica
Species: rapa
Cultivar: Unnamed