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How to grow sprouts in a mason jar?

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Sprouting seeds in mason jars is SO much fun! Mason jars are pretty darn perfect for seed sprouting.

Learning how to grow sprouts in a mason jar is almost as simple as soaking the seeds, rinsing them often, and watching them germinate and sprout! While the steps are simple, cleanliness is key to keeping the spouts free of harmful pathogens.

Read on to learn all about growing sprouts at home in mason jars.

Growing sprouts - sprouting seeds in mason jar

Supplies for a mason jar seed sprouting

  • 2 Tablespoons of Seeds: Certified organic, pathogen-free seeds. Start with large seeds, such as radish, sunflower, peas, buckwheat, or wheatgrass. Here are some popular seed companies to choose from.
  • Mason Jar: Wide-mouth glass mason jar and solid lid
  • Straining Jar Cover: Mesh jar lid or cheesecloth
  • Jar Lid (for storage)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (sold at drugstores and grocery stores).
  • Water: Filtered water is best. If using tap water, allow it to sit on the counter in a container for several hours to off-gas the chlorine.

Now that growing sprouts at home is becoming more popular, sprouting kits are easy to find. If you’re just starting to learn how to make sprouts, an organic seed sprouting kit may be an economical way to get started if you need all the gear anyways.

How to grow sprouts in a mason jar?

  1. Measure out your seeds.
  2. Sterilize your supplies. I use my dishwasher’s sanitize setting to clean the jar and lid.
  3. Treat your seeds (clean them). I follow the University of California method, in which seeds are immersed in a mixture of warm water and hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse the seeds with filtered water, using the mesh lid to drain the rinse water.
  5. Add one cup of filtered water to the jar.
  6. Lightly cover the jar with cheesecloth/elastic or mesh lid.
  7. Let the seeds soak in filtered water for 4-8 hours.
  8. Drain and rinse the seeds through the mesh/cheesecloth jar cover.
  9. Rinse the seeds with filtered water twice daily until the sprouts are several inches long.
  10. Once the sprouts are ready, close the jar with a solid lid.
  11. Refrigerate for up to four days.
How to grow sprouts in a mason jar

More about how to sprout seeds in a jar

Many different edible plants produce seeds perfect for easy at-home jar seed sprouting. All you need to do is find your favorite kinds! This process will also teach you how to germinate seeds growing in indoor kitchen gardens or outdoor organic gardens.

If you don’t already know how to grow sprouts, know that they are incredibly easy to grow and introduce into your meals. No soil or fertilizer is required.  Small mason jars with a bit of water are common supplies for growing sprouts. 

Seed sprouts are, hands down, the easiest crop to grow in the kitchen. If you have four square inches of countertop space, you have enough room to grow one of the most nutrient-dense veggies!

Enjoying your homegrown mason jar sprouts

Once you learn how to make sprouts in a jar, the entire sprout can be eaten, seed and all. This feature makes them easy to cook with and add to various meals.

Try different kinds, like broccoli sprouts, sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, green pea sprouts, or bean sprouts. There are many different types to choose from.

Sprouts are commonly added to sandwiches, providing a lovely “crunch” that contrasts with soft bread. I also like them as a salad topping, in a buddha bowl, or blended into a green smoothie. So many choices! So much versatility!

Sprouting seeds - pea seeds soaking in strainer prior to sprouting germination

Nutrient availability after seed sprouting

The nutrients in sprouts start with the nutrients in the seed, which have been made somewhat more bio-available because they have been activated in germination. For nutrition stats on specific sprouts, search “sprouts” in the USDA Food Database for many common varieties.

Soaking seeds in mason jars for growing sprouts at home

Safety considerations for growing sprouts

Make sure you thoroughly sterilize your tools before preparing your sprouts. Sanitary working conditions are vital for sprouting (and for all sprouting).

One way to avoid sprout-related safety issues is to avoid sprout crops that interact with animal crops. Check out Dr. Greger’s video about Alfalfa Sprouts over at NutritionFacts.org.

According to the video, 1 out of every 67 packages of Alfalfa Sprouts at the grocery store are contaminated with E. Coli. This is because the E. Coli bacteria from manure on the crop can get into the “nooks and crannies” of the seed itself. For this reason, use only human food crops from a reputable seed provider.

How to grow sprouts in mason jars

Sprouting seeds into microgreens

Once you master sprouts, it might be fun to try growing microgreens too. I used to use mason jars for sprouting, but now I grow weekly batches of microgreens in trays. Growing microgreens is just like growing sprouts, except the sprouted seeds are placed on the soil to grow rather than simply grown in a jar.

I find there are fewer problems with the airy environment around the microgreens than the moist environment inside the jar of sprouts. I also find that microgreens grow faster than sprouts, and they look more appetizing!

Once you learn how to sprout, you’ll be growing them every week!

How to make sprouts at home - growing sprouts in your kitchen

FAQs

How do you sprout sprouts in a mason jar?

1. Start with clean seeds and equipment
2. Soak the seeds in clean water for 4-8 hours.
3. Drain and rinse the seeds and place them back in the jar.
4. Keep rinsing the seeds twice a day until they sprout.
5. Sprouts are ready when they are an inch or two long.

How long does it take to grow sprouts in a jar?

It usually takes about three days to grow sprouts in a mason jar. Some types of seeds sprout and start to grow within a day or two, but certain plants take longer to sprout, whether you’re growing them in a jar or in potting mix.

Resources

References

More about growing microgreens

Loving growing your own baby greens at home indoors? Here are some more ideas and tips to try.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.