Introduction: Growing Your Own Sprouts (shoots) the Cheap Way

Picture of Growing Your Own Sprouts (shoots) the Cheap Way

Do you love sprouts (shoots) as much as me? I hope so. And if you do you will know that shops sometimes ask crazy prices for them.

Luckly you can grow them yourself in less than a weeks time for near to no money. 

It is also great to do with kids. It is very educational and they will have a lot of fun seeing theire own seeds grow into something they can eat. (And they are very healthy but sssssssssssst they don't have to know that ;-)   ).

********* WARNING *********

Not all plants are edible and not all edible plants have edible sprouts!!!! Some can be very toxic  and even lethal.

Only use plants that are meant to be eaten as sprouts. If you doubt, ask your shopkeeper for help.


Step 1: What Do You Need?

Picture of What Do You Need?
We don't need much to grow our own sprouts. In fact, with the exception of the seeds, it is very likely that you have everything in you kitchen.

We need:
  • paper towel  (1 sheet)
  • a saucer or another shallow recipient
  • seeds (buy them at your local garden centre) I bought mine for 0.50euro and you can grow sprouts 2 or 3 times with one package.
  • water

Step 2: Now Lets Get Our Hand Dirty

Picture of Now Lets Get Our Hand Dirty
  • Fold the paper at least twice or until it fits in your recipient and make it wet (and by wet I mean WET).
The paper will act as soil. The little roots will be able to attach to it so that the little plant can grow skywards.
  • Add the seeds. 
How much?? As much as you can add without piling them up. Every seed has the potential to become one sprout so planting 1 seed won't give you much to eat.

Why are there so few seeds in the picture then, I hear you think. Reason: those were the last of that kind I had.
  • Put it in a warm and bright spot.

Step 3: The Fruits of Your Hard Work

Picture of The Fruits of Your Hard Work

The second day you should see the seeds open up and a little root coming out.

Just keep them wet for about a week and you will have lovely delicious sprouts to eat!

Bon appetit!!

I hope that you enjoyed this little Instructable. You can always mail me with your feedback. Please be kind on my English because it is only my 3th language.


crafthooligan111 (author)2011-04-21

Amazing! I love this. My sister loves sprouts, I am totally showing this to them. Also, I must say, your English is amazing.

janw (author)crafthooligan1112011-04-22


organicsproutingseeds (author)2010-11-16

This is a really nice method for growing sprouts quickly and easily.

My favorites to sprout are alfalfa and broccoli. I like broccoli the best because it is a nutritional powerhouse. The seed price is a bit high though.

I found a site that has organic broccoli seed at a great price: Organic Sprouting

I love all kinds of sprouts. They are so packed of flaver and nutrients. It is one of my favorite types of food.

yrtsf123 (author)2010-05-09

Can you give more photos of the sprouting reservoir?  Can you also maybe give the name so I can search for it? Thanks.

janw (author)yrtsf1232010-05-10

I bought it like this from this brand.

pooparella (author)2010-04-11

I got organic broccoli seeds meant to be sprouts from my local health food store.  I got a decent amount of seeds for one dollar. Thanks for posting this, and you speak English very well!!!  (Better than many who speak English as their 1st language!)

Greaterhat (author)2010-03-27

Hey, what seeds did you use in the first picture?  Thanks!

janw (author)Greaterhat2010-03-28

The seeds in the picture are rucolaseeds and the thick seeds in the instrctable are mustard.

braintreesteve (author)2010-03-26

Great to see people are still doing this. It's a great thing for kids to do.

grannyjones (author)2010-03-25

I wonder if anyone has sprouted the unintentional seeds that result when radishes 'bolt'. If they were grown without pesticides, they should be safe.  I also wonder which varieties of radish would make the tastiest sprouts.  I'm thinking of a summer crop grown from regular seed, in the garden, for roots; let some bolt, and dry those seeds for winter sprouts.

thepelton (author)2010-03-22

Do NOT try to sprout tomatoes.  Only the fruit is edible.  They are related to the Nightshades.

janw (author)thepelton2010-03-22

Indeed very true. In fact most plants that grow fruits are not usable for sprouting. Other sprouts that are safe are rucola, basil, garden cress and water cress, leek.

thepelton (author)janw2010-03-23

Leek?  That sounds like it could be a spicy sprout, much like radish.

When I was growing mustard greens, that are somewhat hot, I thinned the rows by binging a bucket of water with me, and washing the dirt off the pulled mustard plants, and eating them whole.  They were great!

janw (author)thepelton2010-03-24

mustard sprouts are delicious!!!

thepelton (author)janw2010-03-24

Mustard greens are good raw in sandwiches where spread mustard or horseradish might be used, and add some vitamins to it.  Just wash the leaves to make sure you get off the dirt.

firefletcher (author)janw2010-03-24

 and rhubarb leaves are highly toxic! only eat the stems.

Granny_Leah (author)2010-03-23

Nice instructable.
The picture of the finished sprouts is quite lovely.

blodefood (author)2010-03-23

This site has useful information about what you can sprout and eat safely.

Some seeds that get a coat of gel around them, like flax and watercress, when soaked need to be on some sort of medium like paper towel as in this instructible.  I learned this the hard way.

Others can be sprouted in a jar with a screened lid and rinsed twice a day.

Mach5 (author)2010-03-22

You should mention that seeds for the garden are usually treated with pesticides and bad to eat no matter how well they are washed.

I sprout beans that come straight from the grocery store, or seeds from the health food store.

blodefood (author)Mach52010-03-23

I have done this with chick peas as well.   A nice combo is green dry peas and chick peas.

janw (author)Mach52010-03-22


Thank you for your input. I usually use seeds that are sold to grow sprouts and so they should be untreated.

thepelton (author)2010-03-22

Radishes and Lentils are two things that are safe, and sproutable.  Just make sure that the seed coats are in place.  Black or Green seed Lentils are sproutable.  Orange Lentils have lost their coats, and are not.  A large supply of Lentils can be kept unsprouted, and later sprouted to get the goodness of greens even in midwinter, providing the room they're sprouted in doesn't get too cold.

usLEDsupply (author)2010-03-22

This is a great instructable and I like how you mentioned that you don't need to buy any special equipment to sprout (I actually have a tiered sprouter that was about ~20 dollars) but even just a jar works too.  Sprouts are one of the cheapest nutritious foods!  Plus good for going green~~ you can grow some of your own food all year long! :-)

bruc33ef (author)2010-03-22

 Excellent, inexpensive way to grow these (termed "sprouts" in American English) without the need for any specialized equipment.  Also, the newer absorbent paper towels won't decompose as easily as the old kind and should last until the sprouts are ready.

Great addition to the Instructables on sprouts.

janw (author)bruc33ef2010-03-22

Hi thanks for your comment! And thank you to help me with my English. I am not a native English speaker so I looked the translation up in my dictionary. But I will change it to sprouts. 

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm mainly interested in music, food and electronics but I like to read and learn about a lot more than that.
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