If you enjoy eating healthy and getting outdoors, growing your own kitchen sprouts might appeal to you. Radish sprouts (aka “kelp”) are very nutritious. And, luckily, they’re very easy to grow at home, too. You don’t even have to have soil or sunshine. Even better: You could opt to grow other popular radiate types, such as alfalfa sprouts and clover sprouts.
First, before you even begin, you’ll need to create good quality, high-lighted environment. Since radishes have a tendency to “grow” much faster than other vegetables, you’ll need to water them often enough that they get lots of sunlight. However, you don’t want them getting too much light, since that will stunt their growth. For best results, use a raised wooden bowl with holes cut in it at the bottom. That way, the water will drain away from the roots as well as above the soil level.
Once you’ve ensured that your container is getting plenty of sunlight and that it’s draining well, you’re ready to start growing! Initially, just rinse seeds thoroughly in cool water, then put them into a large bowl along with about one inch of damp newspaper. Never rinse seeds directly from the bowl, but blot them dry gently with a towel. This will help prevent hulls from forming.
You should start your seed growing by placing the jar inside a sunny window. Make sure you leave enough room for the seeds to spread out; they should not be cramped in a small jar. Allow the jar to sit in the sunshine for a couple of hours before removing it from the window. If the seeds are exposed to wind, the wind can stir up the wet seeds and cause them to leak. This is why it is important to rinse out your jar properly to prevent this from happening. If you find that no sun is exposing your sprouts to sunlight, then your next step is to either place it in a dark, windowless room or place it in a place that receives indirect light but is always dry.
The next step is to set your pots. Potting materials include peat, perlite or vermiculite, some wood shavings, and a small amount of cement. Start growing by putting in three-inch containers of peat and perlite. Be sure to plant the seeds in a deep manner so they have enough room to spread out. If you are using vermiculite, start sprouting your seeds in a shallow glass pot; it will give the seeds more of an opportunity to develop an exoskeleton before it is ready to flower.
It is a good idea to make a small hole in the bottom of your mason jar to allow moisture to ventilate your seeds. Make sure the hole is tightly sealed so that air cannot escape. Place the seeds evenly in the bottom of your mason jar. As your plants’ sprout, they will form a network of root tips. You will need to remove about 3 tablespoons of these roots every time your plant sprouts.
Now it’s time to use the holes in your mason jar or the bench to carefully remove the radish seeds from the sprouts. Work the soil gently into each seed and then cover. You can use a strainer to keep excess soil from your mixture. The final step is to gently push the seeds from the sprouting mix down into the bottom of your bowl.
Once you are finished, remove the jar and place it somewhere safe. Seal the jar and let it sit for about 2 weeks. The sprouting lid will need to stay in place during this time. Once you are happy that the radishes are germinating, remove the sprouting lid and place it in your vegetable garden. Your radishes will be ready to harvest in a few short weeks.