Turn your crop Green
We don't do anything special to green our sprouts when we grow at home. We grow them from start to finish on the kitchen counter - or the dish drainer if there is room. In either case they get light from our combined 150-200 watts around the room - just regular light bulbs, and a little (very) indirect sunlight.
When you're growing sprouts, room light is nothing to worry about! Don't bother hiding your Sprouts, they can't begin photosynthesis until they have leaves anyway and contrary to the all too popular dogma in sprouting books - it does no harm!
On the day your Sprouts are ready to take in light - when their cotyledons (first leaves) have shed their hulls or are about to - allow your sprouts light - if you've been keeping it from them. If you grow them - like we do - where light is already available, just watch the magic (it'll take a couple days so you might want to grab a sandwich if you plan on watching every moment =:-)
Microgreens & Grass
If you are Growing Grass or Microgreens you will have kept the light away most likely, so now is the time to uncover them. When you see them growing tall (an inch or so for Grass and 1-2 inches for Greens) but yellow (sans chlorophyll), uncover the container and move it to a well lit location. Microgreens are a bit greedier for light, especially Sunflower Greens, so make them happy and give 'em plenty. If you use direct sunlight (which is fine when growing in a tray) be prepared to do more watering. As the plants grow their roots become more voluminous than the soil or medium on which they're planted, so they drink up the moisture faster the bigger they get. When you factor in light - especially direct sunlight which hastens the drying of the soil/medium - you need to work that much more diligently to keep your crop moist. Just plan on watering every day during the last few days.
We use the sun whenever we can when Greening plants, we have for years. There is nothing better for the big plants growing in trays.
As for Grass - it will also do swell with the Sprout sufficient light and since you allow Grass light when still quite small, it is best to keep it away from direct (hot) light so the soil/medium doesn't dry out. After it has grown to two or three inches it will have developed a canopy over the soil/medium. You can be more aggressive with your light then, if you wish, but as with the Big Microgreens, the root mass is greater than the soil/medium mass by this time so keep it moist!
The Basics of Sprouting:
- Seed Storage: Keeping your dormant seeds happy.
- Soaking: Turning a dormant seed into a nutritional powerhouse.
- Rinsing: Water is the key ingredient in sprouts. Use it liberally.
- Draining: It is essential that sprouts be drained thoroughly after rinsing. Sitting in a puddle is the most common cause of crop failure.
- Air Circulation: If your sprouts can’t breathe while growing - they can die. Don’t put them in a closed cabinet.
- Greening: Photosynthesis is cool, and so is Chlorophyll, but not all sprouts are into it, nor is it necessary. Sprouts of all colors are packed with flavor and nutrition!
- Cleanliness: Your seed should be clean and your sprouting device should be sterile. Wash your sprouter well between crops. Sterilize when necessary.
- Storage: Properly stored, fresh sprouts will keep for up to 6 weeks in your refrigerator but fresher is better. Never refrigerate wet sprouts.
- Eat More Sprouts! Grow More Often!