How much seed you Soak depends on the area you are planting - see here. Yields vary depending on method used, climate and technique, but are roughly 1 pound of Greens per pound of seed planted.
When growing these Greens: You really MUST Pre-Sprout before planting.
Put seed* into a bowl or your Sprouter. Fill that which you are using with cool (60-70 degree) water. ESSENTIAL NOTE: Whole Sunflower Seeds float. To get them all to soak up water well, it is necessary to keep them all under water. We do this with a mason jar - topped with a screen lid, or a plate atop a bowl, or an Easy Sprout with a flat lid snapped on-top. Whatever you use - keep them all underwater. This will cause the other seeds absolutely no problem. Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.
Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary). Drain off the soak water. You may water plants or use it in stock if you like - it has nutrients in it. Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water then 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 then light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts. We'll get to the light later, after planting our Greens.
Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours. And, perhaps one more... Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours. And, conceivably one more... Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.
When most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/8-1/4 inch) roots, or even better, when they are just showing the hint of a root, it is time to plant. This is typically after just 2-3 Rinse and Drain cycles.
Planting and Growing
Coconut Coir is our all-time favorite growing medium. It holds moisture better than any medium we've ever worked with. It releases nutrients as the plants grow. It's less messy than soil - though it feels like the loveliest, loamiest soil you can imagine. The only trick to Coir is getting the medium properly moist. Saturated is perfect. Puddles is too much. We mix Earthworm castings in. 75% Coir + 25% Castings. We fill our tray ¾ full. We LOVE this mix!
Hemp Felt: Prepare the pad: Cut it to fit your Tray if necessary. Soak it in water or better yet, Kelp Fertilizer enriched water (You don't NEED fertilizer, but we use it when we grow without soil.) until thoroughly saturated. Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your tray. Proceed...
Spread seeds evenly on thoroughly moistened medium.
Though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of pounds of Greens grown that that is bunk! You will learn for yourself that some Greens (like these) produce a plant that takes up less room than the seed, and so, to maximize your yield, your seeds must lay atop each other to some degree. The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Greens, lessen the amount of seed you plant. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn, and what is better than learning?!
Cover the planted tray with an inverted tray (the Cover Tray) - to keep light out and moisture in. Your covering tray should have holes or slits in it to allow air circulation.
Place in a low-light, room temperature location.
70° is always optimal but these Greens will grow very well in cooler or slightly warmer temperatures also.
Water lightly once or twice a day.
The goal is to keep the sprouts moist until their roots bury themselves in the medium - at which point your goal is to keep the medium moist. Spraying the sprouts is best - if you use a sprayer in your sink or a hand sprayer - just try to make sure that every sprout gets rinsed and quenched until they bury their roots.
Hemp Felt: You will have a much tastier crop when you include Kelp Fertilizer.
Once the roots are buried all you need to do is keep the medium moist - the plants will get the moisture they need through their roots.
Use the Drip Tray to hold some water. The roots will actually sit in this, so don't go crazy - too much can drown your plants and/or lead to fungal or mold problems. Just leave as much water as the Greens can drink in a day and then add more the following day. The amount is dependant on the size of your tray and the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. As an example, if you are using our 1 Crop Tray Set - which is 10 inches x 20 inches - start with 1-2 cups in the Drip Tray. Lift the Planting Tray to see how much is left after 4, 8 and 12 hours. If the Drip Tray is dry add more water - if there is still water 24 hours later then cut back the next time you add water. Pretty simple really, basically common sense eh? It is really a time saver and produces happy healthy Greens.
Once again, we do recommend Kelp Fertilizer enriched water for Hemp Felt growers. Coconut Coir growers may use it too of course, but if you are using nitrogen rich Earthworm Castings in your medium, you can easily skip the kelp.
Uncover your Greens. After 3-4 days, or when they are about an inch tall, or when they push the covering tray up (they really will do that - it is cool!)
Move your crop to a well lit location. If you use direct sunlight (a very good idea for Greens) be prepared to do more watering. Keep the soil/medium moist by watering the soil/medium daily. Watch them grow.
Harvesting your crop is just a matter of cutting the plants when they are about 2-4 inches tall and have green leaves. Cut the plants just above soil or medium's surface.
Refrigerate If you are going to store your crop; during the final 8-12 hours minimize the surface moisture of your Greens - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch. So when you water - try to keep the water off the plants - just water the soil/medium, like we said above.
Transfer your crop to a plastic bag - or better yet try our some Produce Storage Bag (they actually extend the shelf life of produce - we use them in our house). Whatever sealed container you choose - put them in your refrigerator.
Dry Seed to start with * If using Sproutpeople's Single Harvest Pack, use the whole bag on our 5 inch tray (or similar).
1/4-1/3 cup for a 5" square Tray.
1-1 1/2 cup for an 10" square Tray.
2-3 Cups for an 10 inch x 20 inch Tray.
The surest way to know what amount of seed to use: Spread dry seed on the bottom of that in which you will be growing (i.e. your tray) so that the seed is spread evenly but densely.
Once more time: We use a lot of Seeds and though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of pounds of Greens grown that that is bunk! The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Greens then lessen the amount of seed you plant next time. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn!