How to Use a Sprouter


Sprouting seeds for use raw or cooked allows you to have access to fresh greens in winter or if you have no other gardening space. There are several different types of sprouters on the market but they fall into two main types--jar sprouters and tray sprouters. Jar sprouters have a special mesh lid attached to a jar or similar container and are the simplest type available. Tray sprouters have one or more trays and are suitable if you like to sprout a large variety of seeds but have little space.

Jar Sprouters

Step 1

Place 2 tbsp. of sprouting seeds inside the jar. If the sprouter has a liner, place the jar inside after placing the sprouts inside, so the liner catches the excess water.

Step 2

Fill the jar with warm tap water. Screw on the fine mesh lid and set the jar aside to soak for eight hours.

Step 3

Pour out the excess water through the mesh lid after the soaking period. Place the sprouter in a warm, dark place, such as inside a cupboard.

Step 4

Rinse the seeds inside the jar two to three times daily. Pour water in through the mesh lid, swirl the seeds around in it, then pour out the water through the lid.

Step 5

Remove the lid and replace with the large mesh lid once the sprouts have reached the desired size, usually between 1 and 2 inches long, depending on variety. Rinse a final time, allowing the excess seed hulls to wash out through the larger mesh.

Tray Sprouter

Step 1

Fill a bowl with warm tap water. Soak the sprouting seeds for eight hours. Use the amount of seeds recommended for your tray sprouter, usually 2 tbsp. per tray.

Step 2

Spread the soaked seeds evenly over the bottom of the sprouting tray. Set the tray inside the slightly larger drip catcher tray, then place the lid on top.

Step 3

Remove the lid and sprinkle water over the seeds or mist them lightly with a spray bottle. Water this way two to three times a day and empty the drip tray once a day.

Step 4

Harvest the sprouts once they are 1 to 2 inches long. Pluck them out of the tray and rinse off any seed hulls under running water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't soak chia or watercress seeds. These become gelatinous when soaked. Use only seeds sold for sprouting. Other garden seeds may have been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Seeds
  • Sprouter jar with mesh lids or sprouter tray
  • Spray bottle


  • Oregon State University: Grow Your Own Vegetable Sprouts
Keywords: sprouting seeds, using a sprouter jar, vegetable sprouts

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.