Alfalfa Seeds for Sprouting & Growing
Alfalfa: One of the most popular and nutritious sprouters. Nutty flavor. Packed with protein, essential amino acids, 8 digestive enzymes, vitamins A, B, B12, D, E, K and C; iron, phosphorous, calcium magnesium and potassium.
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Sprouting instructions, this is not the only way to do sprouts, everyone will acquire their own sprouting techniques, but here are the basics:
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. A counter top or top of a refrigerator is perfect.
Sprouts don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much. Your sprouts will never have leaves, and a plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until then light has little if any effect, so don't hide your sprouts. Plus, they like air-circulation.
First, soak seeds for 4-6 hours. Empty water and rinse. Rinse and Drain again in 12 hours. And, once more, rinse and Drain every12 hours until the sprouts are the size that you desire.
Most of the seeds will have sprouted tiny (1/16 - 1/4 inch) roots after 2 or 3 days. After 4-6 days, leaves start to emerge.
Depending on your climate and the time of year you are sprouting and most importantly your personal preference - You may Rinse and Drain again at 12 hour intervals for up to 6 days. We Do Not recommend doing so, unless you're doing a science experiment. Grow them for as long as you like. As long as you continue to Rinse and drain systematically. If you grow for a week you'll get some plants growing as well as roots. Experiment! Have Fun! It's All Good - if occasionally inedible, lol.
We suggest that you taste your crop at EVERY Rinse - including the very first - just after the Soak period. The soaked seeds are already alive and super nutritious - and - they are without enzyme inhibitors (a very good thing indeed!) so they'll digest themselves and nourish you. So taste them often and find out for yourself when they are most delicious! That's when they're done.
Harvest Time! Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse. Be sure to drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final Rinse. The goal during the final 8-12 hours is to minimize the surface moisture of your sprouts - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch.
Refrigerate! Transfer your sprout crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice and put them in your refrigerator once they have reached your personal optimum growth.
Microgreens growing instructions: this is not the only way to do microgreens, everyone will acquire their own techniques, but here are the basics:
Cover the bottom of the container with an inch or two of moistened potting soil/mix or coir. Flatten and level it with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, taking care not to over-compress the soil. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil. Press gently into the soil using your hand or the cardboard. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Dampen the surface with a mister. If you prefer, you can skip this step and instead cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted. While waiting for sprouts to appear, usually within three to seven days, use the mister once or twice daily to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once seeds have sprouted, remove the cover (if you've used one) and continue to mist once or twice a day. Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive. In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. Light needs can also be satisfied with a grow light that has a low heat output — you don't want to scorch your delicate greens. Microgreens will be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness. Then grab your scissors and snip the greens just above the soil line. To serve, wash the microgreens with water and dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Harvest and serve them immediately for the freshest flavor, and add to soups, salads, sandwiches or main dishes. Store remaining cut microgreens in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Since alfalfa roots quickly, it doesn't require deep planting—only about a half inch deep. Merely sprinkle the seeds evenly onto the soil and cover lightly with dirt. Use about ¼ pound of seeds per 25 square feet and space rows about 18-24 inches. You should begin to see sprouts within seven to 10 days.