Growing Onion Sprouts

Sprouting Directions

  • Soak 8 - 12 hours
  • Rinse / Drain 2 - 3 times per day
  • Harvest 10 - 15 days
  • Yield 4.5 to 1

The variety may change, but it is always Onion.
They never make you cry and the Sprouts taste just like Onions!


Note: This is the same seed we sell for Spring Onion Micro-Greens.

Our Onion comes from a source which is certified organic.

Note: We sell Onion by the 1/2 pound.

Growing Instructions

Yields approximately 1 Cup (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts.

Seed Prep Measure out 4 Tablespoons of seed* Rinse your seeds to remove dust or debris. There tends to be some plant matter in with the seeds of Alliums. This plant matter is nothing but small pieces of the plants which the seeds grew on. This plant matter has so far eluded the massive seed cleaning methods used on sprouting seed. They will not elude you! These dry plant bits usually float, so the perfect time to get rid of them is before you Soak - during seed Prep and/or after the seeds have soaked for 8 - 12 hours - pour off the floating stuff. You can help by stirring the seeds up - thus helping any non-floating bits to surface from below. Easy isn't it?

Soak Transfer your seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary), or a bowl. Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all. Alliums tend to float. Try to sink those that do by knocking them down with your fingers. Most of those floating seeds will sink during the hours they are soaking, but it is a good habit to pay attention to your seed's needs, and this is the perfect place to start! Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.

Sprouting Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary). Drain off the soak water. You can use it - it has nutrients in it.

Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water. Drain thoroughly.

Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses. This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won't get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us. We don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts. This is most true with Alliums because they can begin photosynthesis as soon as they sprout. Unlike other seeds, Alliums sprout their plant first, not their Root.

8-12 Hours Later: Rinse and Drain again Alliums take A LONG TIME to germinate! Continue Rinsing and Draining Thoroughly, 2-3 times a day. Once your seeds germinate - Drain more gently. After many years of growing these I've determined that because the seeds are relatively sharp, they will sever the tender roots from neighboring seeds if spun too hard. Though Draining should still be thorough, but do use more gentle motions to get the water out of your sprouter. You will be Rinsing and Draining this crop for 10-15 days. You should see some sprouting action in between 4 and 7 days. Don't give up - EVER - they will sprout!

Note: Alliums are unique in that the sprout they produce is actually the plant - as opposed to the Root - which is what almost all other seeds produce during the sprouting process. These plants look like - and are - tiny little Greens - like micro-scallions! As soon as these micro-scallions emerge from the seed they are able to take up light - because they are the leaf! You don't have to do anything drastic but you can move on to......

Greening Once you see sprouting, Relocate your sprouts - if necessary. If you've been keeping them away from light for some reason, move them. Avoid direct sun - it can cook your sprouts. Indirect sunlight is best but virtually any light will do. Experiment - you will be amazed at how little light sprouts require to green up.

Continue to Rinse and Drain every 8-12 hours. As long as you grow: You have to keep your sprouts happy.

Finishing Your sprouts will be done between day 10 and 15. The majority of sprouts will have long thin micro-scallions, which will be green if you exposed them to light. You can eat them at any length but if you let them get to an inch or more the seed itself will be more tender.

The seed of an Alliums is pretty intense. Though they can not be dehulled like some crops - if you grow for a long enough time, some of the seeds will fall away from the sprout.

Harvest These sprouts can not be De-Hulled like some crops, but you can use our Dehuller, or any salad spinner after your final Rinse. Doing so will allow the seeds that have fallen off the sprouts, to fall to the bottom - and hopefully, through the device's mesh, as well as allowing you to go directly to refrigeration with your crop - after spinning it dry. If you are not using such a device... Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse. After the final Rinse we need to Drain Very Thoroughly (though gently) and let our sprouts dry a bit. If we minimize the surface moisture of our sprouts they store much better in refrigeration, so we let them sit for 8-12 hours....

Refrigerate Transfer the sprout crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice. We have Produce Storage Bags that can extend shelf life substantially. When it comes to knowing if your sprouts are still fresh after they've been in the fridge for a while, we often rely on smell. When checking Allium sprouts, remember what they smell like when you harvested them, so you don't mistake their smell for them having gone bad. The smell they share is nothing like the smell of decomposition, but I wanted to make sure you knew about their massive aroma.

*Seed to Use

* If using Sproutpeople's Single Harvest Pack - use the whole bag (for a one-quart Sprouter). It will produce a crop of approximately 8 ounces.

These seeds yield approximately 4:1 - which means the sprouts will weigh 4 times as much as the seed you start with, but, they will increase even more in volume - so don't start with more than 4 Tablespoons per quart/litre of sprouter capacity, at least until you are familiar with your crop.

Print Instructions

Video Notes

Seed Storage

Alliums have the shortest shelf life of any sprouting seed. Since they are also so painfully expensive we strongly suggest that you freeze your seed. The only concern is condensation. All you need to do to avoid condensation is to return the seed to the freezer within a few minutes - after you've removed what you need, to grow your current crop. Also, Keep them in any sealed container. A plastic bag is fine. Glass is better. You do not need to thaw the seeds - just go ahead and Soak.

Aroma and Alliums

Allium sprouts are all very aromatic. From early on they smell A LOT. Early in our career as professional sprout growers we grew our sprouts outside when the weather permitted, but in Wisconsin - where all our years as professional growers took place - that was not most of the year. We grew them inside the rest of the year. That first winter we were growing only about 10 trays of sprouts every week. The following year we were growing something like 50! We were doing this all in our 600 square foot log cabin. We had no running water and our electricity was solar with a generator back-up. Not having indoor plumbing was difficult - not only for the sprouts, but also for us and our infant son, Sam. But I digress.... The following summer we built an addition to our cabin. It featured a sprout growing room and office - all of which measured about 250 sq. ft., and a bedroom for the 3 of us, directly above. We still didn't have running water, but we came up with a much more workable solution than we had had before, and we added more solar panels. The reason I started this story though, was not to talk history, but to say that, this was the first winter we grew straight Alliums. The smell was so intense that we stopped growing them. We couldn't stand living with the aroma of sprouting onion seed in our bedroom! Our addition was very open, so the smell had easy access. Though growing a small crop will not be anything near as intense as what we were growing - we want you to know about this. It will still be noticeable - and possibly unpleasing - especially for those with a heightened sense of smell.

Sprouting Notes

Remember, Alliums are very slow to sprout, and too grow. Be patient. Keep Rinsing and Draining thoroughly. When conditions are warmer your sprouts will likely grow faster. Likewise they may grow slower if conditions are very cool. As always 70° is optimal. Depending on your Sprouter, 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 it is not uncommon to see vegetables grown "blanched" by avoiding light). We think they are prettier when there is a mix of green and yellow. So don't sweat it - just eat more sprouts!

You can help your crop by "breaking up" your sprouts when they clump up - around day 5-10 (depending on how quickly they are germinating) and daily thereafter. We use high water pressure when Rinsing to keep our 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 you are using a Sprouter that can hold water, fill it mostly full - then use a fork to loosen the mass of sprouts. You can also dump your sprouts onto or into something and just shake them apart. This is by no means mandatory - this loosening - but it can help more of them green. Don't ever 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!

Images

Dry Onion Seeds await their Soak.

12 hours later... Soaked, Rinsed and Drained. The following pictures are 24 hours apart. Rinse and Drain thoroughly every 8-12 hours. Your crop will be done in about 2 weeks.

Harvest Time!

Taxonomy
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Genus: Allium
Species: cepa
Cultivar: Unnamed
$24.82 1/2 lb.

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