Nursery Tray Growing Instructions
Specific Sprouting Instructions are found on the page devoted to the Seed or Mix you are interested in. Below are Tray specific Instructions.
When Growing, you MUST use Trays WITH drainage holes/slits! If you try to grow in an un-drainable container you'll have to tip it to let the excess water out. If you don't, you will drown your seeds!
You will find much more specific information on the seed information pages.
Use something else - the drainage holes are just too big in these Trays!
You can not Soak in Trays. Use a bowl, or similar water holding unit.
When Pre-Sprouting or sprouting big seeds (those listed as Possible or Perfect for Trays, above) - Rinse each tray individually with a sprayer or faucet (if you are using a small Tray or have a lot of room under your faucet) and Drain well by holding the Tray at an angle until no more (or very little) water remains.
In either case - once Drained thoroughly, cover the Tray with another Tray to retain moisture. Sprout According to the directions on the seed's information page.
There isn't much difference in procedure, when growing on different mediums, but we spell them out where they exist. In the instructions that follow, we specify Baby Blanket and Vermiculite. We may have, or add new products in time, so here's the deal: If you are using a flat medium; follow the instructions labelled Baby Blanket. If you are using a "fluffy" medium (like Perlite, or some soil-like soilless mix); follow the Vermiculite instructions.
With Soil Fill Tray 2/3 - 3/4 full of soil. The amount of soil you use is up to you. The reality is this: As your plants grow they need more and more water. They get their water from the soil. The more soil you use - the more water it can hold = the less you need to water.
Thoroughly moisten the soil. Allow puddles to dry. Sometimes you may need to use your fingers to make sure the soil is moist all the way down to the bottom of the tray. Water, mix, water, mix, etc. Evenly and thoroughly moist is the goal.
With Baby Blanket Prepare the Pad Cut it to fit your Tray (if necessary). Soak it in water or better yet, Kelp Fertilizer enriched water, until thoroughly saturated (fold it up and push it into the liquid - use a pot or something similar to hold it). Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your Planting Tray. Proceed as with soil...
With Vermiculite There is very little difference when using Vermiculite instead of soil - except that you can use less of it. It can be thought of just like soil. Thoroughly moisten it by spraying it and/or soaking it. To soak Vermiculite: Nest your Growing Tray inside your Drip Tray. Fill your Growing Tray 1/4 - 3/4 full with Vermiculite. (Vermiculite holds water exceedingly well, so you can get by with much less of it. Having more of it in our Heavy Duty Planting Tray will cause less of it to fall through the holes in that tray. Work with it to determine what is best for you. I usually fill the Tray, 1/2 way.) Spray the Vermiculite. When starts to float you have more than enough water (you can stop sooner - and you will, as you gain experience). Let it sit for a couple minutes. Gently lift the Growing Tray out of the Drip Tray, while at very close proximity to your sink, or other water receptacle (if growing inside). Set the Tray in your sink. Empty the Drip Tray. Put the Growing Tray back into the Drip Tray. You may - as you empty the Drip Tray - use a strainer to capture any escaped Vermiculite, and return it to the Growing Tray, if you like.
For Everyone Spread seeds (sprouts if you pre-sprouted) evenly on top of thoroughly moistened medium.
Cover the planted tray with an inverted tray - to keep light out, and moisture in.
Note: Your covering tray should have holes or slits in it so that some air circulation exists.
See the seed information pages for complete details.
With Baby Blanket and Vermiculite The only differences here are these: Soilless mediums will benefit from Kelp Fertilizer as the mediums have no nutrients for the growing plants to draw upon. Secondly, when you plant on Baby Blanket you have to be even more gentle when watering, during the first few days, because it is easier for the seeds/sprouts to move around on this relatively smooth medium.. We water our Baby Blanket crops with a Spray Bottle (with Kelp Fertilizer enriched water). The Spray Bottle is the height of gentle, so it's perfect for watering flat mediums. Also; Baby Blanket will dry out more quickly than soil in most circumstances, so pay attention to it. Keep it moist.
For Everyone Water the seed gently for the first day or three, so as to not disturb the seeds. You want them to stay in place once planted on the medium, to allow the roots to bury themselves. When the roots are firmly in the medium, you water the medium every day or two. Your plants will take up their water from the medium. Keep the medium moist but not water logged. Your plants will need more water, more often, the bigger they get.
Alternate Watering Method You may want to experiment with our somewhat risky trick:
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 plants can drink in a day - and then add more the following day. The amount is dependent on the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. We suggest that you start with 1 cup 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, and not as risky as we make it sound - it is really a time saver and in our home, produces happy healthy plants. During your regular spraying some water will run through and collect in the Drip Tray. Be sure to account for this too when calculating how much to add to the Drip Tray.
Once again, we do recommend Kelp Fertilizer enriched water for soilless growers. Soil growers may use it too of course, but the soil does have some nutrients already, so it is not nearly as important for you. Just follow the instructions for diluting, on the Kelp Fertilizer bottle.
Keep Trays covered until your Grass and/or Greens are about 1-2 inches tall - or they push the Cover Tray up (they really do that, it's awesome! How tall they are depends on how deep your medium is.
Remove the Cover Tray and locate your crop 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 plants, so you might have to water more frequently. Experiment and see. We love Greening our plants outside in the sun! We cover them with screen or garden fabric (remay), or a thin white sheet - to keep 4-legged critters, insects and birds away. You do not need sunlight. You'll do fine with minimal light too, so don't feel like you have to push it.
The only Greens that retain hulls are Sunflower and Buckwheat. When they are ready to cut, we brush our hands over the tops gently, while holding the Tray at an angle (60-90° - as long as they are firmly in the Tray it's OK). Many hulls can be removed this way. You will have to pick the remaining hulls off by hand - we know of no other way.
All of these plants, regardless of what medium they are grown upon, are harvested by cutting just above that medium - with a scissors, or a very sharp knife. As with all crops, if you are going to refrigerate your crop, it should be not wet (wet plants will decompose in refrigeration much faster), so allow them to dry before refrigerating. 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.
Regardless of what medium you planted on - you can not plant on it again. Growing mediums are NOT re-usable. Compost it!
If you grew on Baby Blanket, you need to be careful when removing it from the tray. Cut the roots that are growing out of the bottom first, then carefully pull it up from a corner. If you are too casual, you can break your tray, so take your time.
Though you can't re-use your medium - you may want to try growing a second crop. To do this; just keep the medium moist. Re-cover your Growing Tray until the plants grow an inch or two, and proceed as above. No subsequent crop will ever be as good as the first, but it doesn't hurt to try. See the seed's detail page for additional information.
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.
What is written above and what is on the seed information pages is all you need to know.
Maximum dry seed (Grass) = 2 pounds per 10x20 inch tray Maximum dry seed (Greens) = Varies. See Seed Information Pages
What is written above and what is on the seed information pages is all you need to know. Our Micro-Greens seed information pages (detail pages) have a whole lot of very specific information and instruction. Be sure to read them!
Maximum dry seed = Refer to the specific Micro-Greens seed information page
Follow the seed information page instructions for the bean you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 2.5 pounds per 10x10 inch tray. If you want to use our 5x5 inch Tray use your maths skills. It has 25% the capacity of a 10x10 inch 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. Nursery Trays, though not deep, are dark inside and applying weight is easy. 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 by putting the bottom of another Tray directly on top of the beans. If you use a solid (drip) Tray as a cover, you can put anything in it, without fear of contaminating your Mungs. Bricks would work well! Come to think of it - regardless of the Tray you use to cover the beans - you should wrap your weights if they aren't really clean - you don't want brick bits or dirt or such as that in your sprouts! When you Rinse you need to do it gently the first few times. Soon they will be firmly massed together and you'll be able to turn up the pressure a bit. The only other issue is the soak period we suggest while growing Mungs. To accomplish this - insert your Tray full of Mungs in a solid (drip) Tray and gently fill with water. That isn't going to work as well as other methods, but it will help. Alternately you can submerge the bean Tray in a bathtub or some big container. You should to weight the beans down during this - so they don't float away.
Maximum dry seed per 10x10 inch tray = 2.5 pounds for small sprouts or 1.75 pounds for big, thick sprouts If you want to use our 5x5 inch Tray use your maths skills. It has 25% the capacity of a 10x10 inch Tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the Grain you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 3.5 pounds per 10x10 inch tray. If you want to use our 5x5 inch Tray use your maths skills. It has 25% the capacity of a 10x10 inch Tray.
Follow the seed information page instructions for the nut or seed you are growing.
Maximum dry seed = 3 pounds per 10x10 inch tray. If you want to use our 5x5 inch Tray use your maths skills. It has 25% the capacity of a 10x10 inch Tray.
Though you can't use our current Nursery Trays to do this - you can use SproutMaster - which is a great way to familiarize yourself with the Tray method!
These will work fine in Trays - but, SproutMaster is the only Tray we currently sell that will do the trick.
These will work fine in Trays - but, SproutMaster is the only Tray we currently sell that will do the trick.