Botanical Interests Sprouting Instructions
Specific Sprouting Instructions are found on the page devoted to the Seed or Mix you are interested in.
Below are Botanical Interests specific instructions.
Not all seeds require this step. See the seed information page to see if you need to do this for the seed you are sprouting.
Botanical Interests is good at allowing you to run water through seeds, but getting the seeds out - to Soak would be a problem with small seeds, so you'll be happier if you don't prep any but big seeds (beans, grains, greens, etc.) with Botanical Interests.
You can Soak in the bottom (water collecting base) tray if you wish.
In theory (and in the manufacturer's instructions) it is possible to Rinse by pouring water through the cover (which has slits in it). The water will trickle down through the 2 growing trays and collect in the base. We strongly discourage that method and suggest that you Rinse each tray individually and Drain well before re-stacking. Hold Botanical Interests under your faucet or better yet, your sink's sprayer - for 15 - 20 seconds - using cool (60 - 70°) water (unless instructed otherwise by your seed supplier). Move the sprayer or the trays around to get all of the crop watered well. The rule to remember is: Rinse at least until the water runs clear from the bottom of the tray.
If you do the Rinse through the top, trickle down thing, you will end up with quite a bit of water remaining in each of the growing trays. That water retention is a common concept in stacking European sprouters and is also the worst thing about them. It is never (I suppose I shouldn't say never) a good idea for seeds/sprouts to sit in water! We suggest instead: When you are done Rinsing you need to get as much of the water out of the trays as possible. Hold the Growing Tray at an angle. Allow water to flow out. Bounce the tray gently against your other hand's fingers until no more water comes out.
When you are growing big seeds it is easy enough to get most of the water out, but when they are small seeds, there will always be some water left, so bounce more than you think is necessary. It can't hurt unless you are trying to grow vertical Leafy sprouts. If that is what you are doing, bounce gently!
Stack your trays - if stacking - after they have been well Drained. Do be aware that air-circulation is reduced in Botanical Interests - especially in the lower trays of a skyscraper - so Rinse more often or separate your trays. You'll have to separate the trays if the sprouts grow taller than the trays or need light anyway - which is about the time that reduced air-circulation becomes an issue. Don't feel confused - just pay attention to your sprouts - they'll do great!
If you are growing sprouts with leaves; uncover trays and locate them where they can get some light (according to the directions on that seed's information page). Since you are dealing with trays you can get away with more light than when using enclosed sprouters. You can even use direct sunlight, but do pay attention as the sun hastens drying and heats up the sprouts, so you might have to Rinse more often with cool water to compensate. Experiment and see. You'll do fine with minimal light too so don't feel like you have to push it.
One of the greatest potentials of Botanical Interests is hull removal when growing vertical Leafy sprouts. All you have to do is turn the tray at an angle and spray the hulls off with a sprayer. A faucet can even do it. By the time you get to this stage your sprouts should be firmly rooted enough that you should be able to turn the tray at a pretty steep angle. We call this form of de-hulling: "Shaving".
Before Harvesting any crop, it is essential that you Drain it Very Thoroughly after your final Rinse. Storing crops that are dry to the touch, maximizes their shelf life. So pay especially close attention to this. Drain thoroughly! If you are growing non-vertical Leafy, or Brassica sprouts, you can use our De-Huller to remove any remaining hulls, and dry your crop at Harvest time. If you are not using our De-Huller, or a salad spinner, Drain thoroughly and wait 12 hours before refrigerating.
Transfer your dry-to-the-touch crop to a plastic bag. We sell really great Produce Storage Bags, that actually extends shelf life of produce by allowing ethylene gas to escape. You don't need those if you're going to eat your crop in short order. Whatever you are happy storing your crops in is fine, and fine with us. Put your crop in the refrigerator.
Seed Specific Sprouting Instructions If you have a particular seed type in mind, read on to discover further details of Tray sprouting that seed type. Refer to the seed's main information page for detailed instructions.
This is one of the things that attracts people most to Botanical Interests. You can grow these sprouts vertically - roots down and leaves up! We did this for all of our years as professional sprout growers (though we used different - larger - Trays) and have found ours to be the most beautiful Leafy sprouts we've ever seen. Vertical growing also makes de-hulling virtually automatic - as the leaves open and shed their hulls, the hulls wash away during Rinses. This is also the method that achieves the most greening as almost all of the leaves are exposed to light. None of these things are necessary for great Leafy sprouts. Regardless of the growing method you use, the sprouts taste great and are full of nutrition!
The method for vertical growing is written on each of the Leafy sprout information pages, but here they are anyway:
The trick to doing this is to keep your sprouts in place (don't "break them up" as you do in a non-tray sprouter) from day 3 onward. It is easy to do if, when Rinsing, you use a sprayer (that attachment most sinks have - the one that pulls out and is gun-like - or a faucet attachment that offers spraying when pulled down) instead of your faucet. We have grown many tons of Leafy sprouts this way. Here is a breakdown of the specifics (Rinse numbers are based on 12 hour intervals - adjust as needed):
Rinse 1 (right after soak): Use faucet or sprayer and rinse thoroughly (use water at high pressure and use plenty of it). Rinse 2 and 3: Use faucet or sprayer and rinse thoroughly. Rinse 4: Use sprayer and while Rinsing thoroughly, spray your sprouts evenly across the bottom of the tray. You can use your hands to spread them too. The goal is to spread them evenly. Rinse 5 and 6: Use sprayer with less water pressure. Rinse well - (which since you are using less water pressure means - for a longer time) but don't disturb the sprouts. Rinse 7 - 10: Use sprayer. You can turn the water pressure back to high - your sprouts will not be easily moved (the mass broken up) at this point and the higher water pressure feeds oxygen to your sprouts as well as "cleaning" them, which is a wonderful way to produce healthy long lasting sprouts. Rinse and Drain thoroughly. Rinse 11 (if you need this many) or your last rinse: Use Sprayer. Hold your tray at an angle (90° will usually work but less is OK too) and spray across the top of the sprouts to remove hulls. We call this form of de-hulling SHAVING, and it can be done at any Rinse or every Rinse - starting when hulls begin to be shed by the opening leaves. Rinse down into the sprouts too. Drain as thoroughly as possible after your last Rinse - you want your sprouts to dry enough to refrigerate in 8-12 hours.
Vertical growing CAN be done without a sprayer too but it is more difficult. If you want to try all you have to do is regulate your water pressure - trying to keep your sprouts undisturbed during rinses 4 - 6.
Greening is done according to the directions on the seed information page.
If you don't wish to grow vertically just follow the standard seed directions on the seed information page. If you have your heart set on vertical Leafy sprouts you really should consider buying SproutMaster instead - it does it better then any other Sprouter!
Maximum dry seed = 4 teaspoons (which is the same as 1.3 Tablespoons) per tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the Bean you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 1/2 cup per tray.
If you are going for small sweet Mungs you need only follow the directions on the Mung Bean information page. If you are going for big and thick, read on...
The 2 big issues with growing large, thick rooted Mungs is keeping them dark while growing and applying weight to the growing sprouts. Botanical Interests, though not deep or dark inside, makes applying weight easier than with most Sprouting Devices. Whenever you try to grow big thick rooted Mung Bean sprouts, you need to keep them from moving: Don't disturb the sprouts - they need to be tightly packed, so after the first Rinse, apply weight directly to the sprouts - anything that will fit snugly inside Botanical Interests will work. (There is plenty of detail on the Mung Bean information page.) When you Rinse you need to do it gently the first few times. Soon they will be so firmly massed together that you couldn't move them with a fire hose! The only other issue is the soak period we suggest while growing Mungs. Since you can't soak in Botanical Interests you 'll need to submerge the tray in a pot (or similar unit) of water. Just be sure that your Mungs are firmly massed before submerging them.
Maximum dry seed per tray = 1/2 cup for small sprouts or 1/3 cup for big sprouts.
Broccoli, Radish, Cabbage, Mustard, etc. need to move while sprouting or they will form a root mass (beginning around day 3) which is at least unpleasant and often lessens the sprouts' quality. Solution: Break Up/Loosen the mass. Use high water pressure at every Rinse to keep the sprouts loose. If they mass together despite your high pressure efforts (which is not uncommon - especially if you are growing the maximum amount of sprouts Botanical Interests can grow), transfer the sprouts to a big bowl or pot type container. Fill the container with cool water (you can also use high pressure water to fill the container if you want to get a head start on loosening) and reach in with your hands (as long as they are clean, hands are always the best choice) or a fork - or the like - and gently separate the sprouts. Go ahead and skim any hulls that are floating on top (compost them) and then transfer your Brassica sprouts back to Botanical Interests. You don't have to, but we Rinse again once they are back in their tray. Keep breaking up the mass at every rinse or 2.
If you just won't believe that Brassicas can't grow vertically, go ahead and try it - there is no better way to learn then through failure, and learning is a good thing (as long as you don't hurt anyone!). You should try it with Radish if you must, as it will be the least bad of the Brassicas (it can even produce an edible crop of micro-greens if you get lucky). Just follow the directions above for leafy sprouts. I bet you've never seen blue roots before.....
Maximum dry seed = 1.5 Tablespoons per tray.
Garlic, Leek and Onion (the Alliums) require no extra information - just follow their detailed instruction pages. Do remember - these all take up to 2 weeks to finish sprouting so keep Rinsing and Draining! Our 2-Step Mixes: Clem's Choice and Hot + Sweet are especially well suited to Botanical Interests, since it has two growing trays.
Maximum dry seed = 3 Tablespoons per tray for Garlic, Leek and Onion and Fenugreek. For the 2-Step Mixes: Use no more than 1/2 the amount specified on the Mix' Detailed Instruction Page.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the Grain you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 3/4 cup per tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the Seed you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 3/4 cup per tray.
Because the Botanical Interests has a top and bottom it can hold moisture well which makes it possible to grow Grass and Greens without soil. Doing so always requires extra attention but as long as you keep the seeds moist all through growing, it can be done. WE ARE NOT suggesting this as a good way to grow these crops but we are saying that it is possible. Experiment Freely!
The major issues are: Keep rinsing/watering regularly. As the crop grows it needs more and more water (relative to the size of the plant basically) to keep growing big and tender. Also, the roots will grow out of the holes in the bottom of the tray - in a big way. Be sure to cut them off when you harvest. If you try to pull them you could hurt the trays. If you do want to grow these crops in Botanical Interests, we think you should do so with a medium, like Baby Blanket, or something similar sitting in the bottom of the Growing Tray.
Additionally you need to consider that Botanical Interests only has one Drip Tray. If you use both Growing Trays at once, you will come to a point where the trays need to be separated - when the crop grows taller then the tray. Leave one on the Drip Tray and put the other Growing Tray on a plate or some similar water containment object.
Botanical Interests is a great Pre-Sprouter, of course!
Maximum dry seed = 1 cup per tray for . If you want to grow all the way: Determine how much seed to soak by spreading dry seed evenly on the bottom of the tray. If you evenly cover the bottom of the tray with dry seed, you'll have the right amount of soaked seed to grow Grass or Greens.
Pre-Sprouting only, and only for non-mucilaginous seeds.
Well...... You can actually grow Micros in Botanical Interests if you use it with a medium, like Baby Blanket, or something similar sitting in the bottom of the growing tray.