Basic Guide for Sprouting Seeds

Storing Seeds for Sprouting

Store sprout seeds in a clean, dry place, out of direct sunlight at a maximum temperature of 70 degrees or less. Most seeds will keep good germination for 3+ years.

Soaking and Sterilizing Seeds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other health organizations recommend using some sort of soaking and sterilizing process for sprouting seeds just prior to the growing cycle. Some recommendations include using chlorine, iodine or vinegar. Others advocate using a moderate water temperature, rather than hot water, as it may reduce germination rates.

Regardless of how you decide to sterilize the seeds, rinse them thoroughly with potable water before you start the growing cycle.

It’s important to remember that all sprout seeds (including our seeds), and no matter what precautions and tests are implemented prior to growing, still have the possibility of carrying pathogens. Food safety precautions must be taken at every step to reduce possible contamination. Research the different options and decide what’s best for you.

image of soaking seeds


image of sprouts growing

Growing Cycle

Once you have sterilized the sprouting seeds, you are ready to start growing sprouts in your preferred method—tray, mason jars, other jars or a sprouting machine.

Nature Jim’s recommends that home growers use YouTube and other online sources to find growing instructions for your sprouting seeds. YouTube has a large library with great step-by-step videos you can reference for your own growing cycle.

Remember, there is no single, perfect way to grow sprouts; all the most popular methods work very well. What’s important is to choose the method that works best for you.

  • On average, alfalfa, clover, radishes and broccoli will sprout in five days, start to finish.
  • Mung bean sprouts will typically sprout in six days.
  • Beans like adzuki, lentil and green pea take approximate three days for short tails to appear, which means they are ready to eat. However, you can also let them continue growing, until they have shoots three to four inches long, before eating them.

Harvesting and Drying Cycle

When you are ready to harvest, rinse the sprouts thoroughly with clean, potable water.