Crunchy Mama's Urban Homestead

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Sprouting Towers — avoiding trouble with them

on December 30, 2014

A few years ago I purchased what I refer to as a sprouting tower.  Sprouting towers can be trouble but you might be able to get yours to work for some seeds.  Some of the complaints about them is that seeds don’t sprout well in them or the seeds start to rot.

Victorio VKP1014 4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter

You might think that this is a magical little contraption into which you just put seeds in, pour water in the top tray twice a day, empty the bottom tray of water, and in a few days, you will have sprouts.  Well, it doesn’t quite work that way — at least for some people and some seed.  You have to give the seeds in a tower a little more attention than those sprouting in a jar.

I actually do like the tower for alfalfa seeds. However, when using a tower, I have found that I can’t just pour water into the top and remove the water from the collection bin at the bottom. The seeds need to get some air and need to get stirred (with my finger) when I put the water in. So, twice a day I take the tower apart to give the seeds in each tray air while I am giving each of the trays some fresh water. I pour the water in, sniff the trays to make sure that the sprouts smell as they should, swirl the water and seeds around with my finger. (I plan on posting about using 4 of your 5 senses when you are growing sprouts).  Then I stack the tower trays back up until the next rinse/drain cycle HOWEVER I DON’T snap the lid on (that would prevent good drainage).  I simply place the lid on loosely.

I also make sure to watch closely for when the trays need to be cleaned with soap.  They can start to get slimy around the underside rims.  Also, the tiny holes can get clogged.  You can use a paper clip end to clean them out or use your mouth to blow out the clogging seed or hull.

I hope that that helps.

These towers are about $20 each.  I’m not sure that I’d buy one again but since I have it and I’ve learned how to make it work for me I do use it — pretty much exclusively for alfalfa seeds.

Lastly, if you have one of these and need the instruction manual, here it is:

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you use one of these towers?  If so, what has been your experience?

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2 responses to “Sprouting Towers — avoiding trouble with them

  1. Kim says:

    I have several of these and find them vastly easier to sprout in than any other method. I did find that I had to forget everything I thought I knew from using other methods. I don’t fill all of the trays with seeds though. I leave the top tray empty always. I use it to keep any insects, dust, etc. out of my sprouts.

    I water my seeds three times a day (just like brushing my teeth). I always remember to rotate the trays and use fresh water. I use this for my alfalfa, clover, broccoli, radish, and lentils. I have never needed to stir the seeds, etc. Perhaps you are too used to other methods and found the ease of this sprouter to be too simple and so you’ve made it more complex.

    I highly recommend starting one tray every other day. This will give you a continuous supply of sprouts. Also, wash them after each emptying, don’t just wait until they look like they need it. I would also suggest soaking them every 4-6 weeks in water with vinegar to keep any mineral buildup at bay.

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