I think this sprouter would make a really cool project for a family wanting to learn how to garden / grow their own food without taking on anything too overwhelming. It only requires about two feet of indoor space, so even the most cramped apartment dweller could probably fit one of these.
Sprouts are one of the most nutritious forms of greens, so I try to eat them daily either with my salad or in a smoothie. I particularly like broccoli sprouts because of their anti-aging properties related to minimizing overall degeneration in your body. Sprouts lend themselves better to growing at home than buying in a store because they spoil quickly once harvested.
This Design vs. The Mason Jar Method
A common approach used by many is a mason jar based method for sprouting but I did not have success with that design. I found that it required a lot of daily maintenance and did not consistently produce high quality sprouts.
In contrast, the Kick Ass Seed Sprouter proved to be highly effective in producing sprouts for me every single day without hardly any ongoing work on my part. I don't even have to check on my sprouts daily, although I end up seeing them when I'm harvesting my daily allotment. Maybe once a week or so I check on the water levels and add new seeds. At this point, I could not be happier with the results.
What I did not expect when I built the sprouter is how it functions as a little zen garden as well. It's like having a farm field but in complete miniature. I enjoy watching the growth each day and I was surprised how pleasant that turned out to be.
Approximate Time Commitment
1 Hour. Actual clocked time was 47 minutes in our case.
About 2 square feet of growing space and then maybe another 1/2 square foot for the pump. This should be by a window so it can get some sunlight.
- Growing Tray for garden seeds
- A Tray Insert
- 1.5" block hydroponic growing medium (order 2)
- A small air pump for aquariums
- Aquarium heater (optional - depends how often that area of the room drops below freezing)
- Air tubing
- Air tubing splitter
- Long Air Stones (4 - 8, depending on the size of your splitter)
- Seeds for sprouting. I typically use Broccoli seeds + Pea seeds.
- 1 Lemon or some lemon juice.
- Water (ideally filtered via reverse osmosis or zero water)
- A pitcher
- A spoon or something else for stirring
1) Fill the tray about 25% full with water.
2) Unwrap the growing medium cubes and fill the tray, allowing the medium to soak up the water.
3) Fill the pitcher with water. Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the water. Mix the lemon-water with a spoon.
4) Pour the lemon-water into the tray, covering all the cubes.
5) Wait a few minutes for the cubes to absorb as much water as they are going to and then dump out the water. Remove the cubes and place them in the tray insert that looks like a grid.
6) In the tray, lay out the air stones so that they cover the width of the tray. Connect air tubing to each stone. If you are adding the aquarium heater, place it in the center of the tray (instead of the middle air stone shown here).
7) Connect the air tubing to the splitter. Use additional air tubing to connect the splitter to the motor.
8) Place the tray insert with the growing medium into the seed tray and cover with seeds.
9) Add water until the tray is full. Plug in the motor (and the heater, if applicable) to an electrical socket.
10) Congratulations! Setup is complete. Your sprouts will be ready to harvest in a few days!
After two days, here is what it looks like:
Here is the end of day three.
I started harvesting daily from day five onward.
If you build one, we'd love to hear about your experience here.