Sprouting & Seeds
Sprouting Growing Kits and Seeds
In the modern industrial world, the types of supplements we sell are a great way to get some of the plant nutrients we might otherwise get if we lived in a more agrarian society. Ideally, however, we would not have to rely on such supplements: we could simply eat the plants that are rich in those vitamins and nutrients fresh out of the ground. But for most of us, this not practicable -- the busy rush of our schedules and/or the lack of available space makes it difficult to sustain larger gardens; and while organic vegetables in certain grocery and specialty stores are an available alternative to vegetables grown in more standard and potentially toxic conditions, they can be quite expensive.
Of course, to address all these problems, an entire reorientation of society and its priorities and values would be necessary, but, in the meantime, even the smallest of efforts can have a significant impact on your life and well- being.
This is where these seed and sprouting kits and supplies come in: they're an easy way for the people without enough time, access, or temperate climate for an outdoor garden of their own to still be able to grow their own fresh produce that's rich in nutrients and great to use in salads or sandwiches or as garnishes on other dishes. They're also a way to teach young people about Nature and where our food comes from (particularly city- or apartment-dwellers, who may have very limited exposure to agriculture or even regular gardening), and about the importance of TLC (it's important to follow the instructions to keep watering and/or spraying, especially after they've germinated!). And it can all be accomplished with little fuss or mess, because none of these kits use actual mud/soil, nor even smelly peat moss.
There are several different kinds of growing kits on offer:
- Sprouting kits which use jars, screens, and lids, but have no actual growing medium, and simply need to have their water emptied and replaced once or twice a day while they are growing.
- "Micro green" kits which do use a natural growing medium derived from plant matter or fibre, which comes as either a pad -- which you keep watering every day or so -- or as a puck or disk made of 'coir' (from dried coconut shells), which you soak in warm water for about 45 minutes at the start to reconstitute it before planting the seeds (which is accomplished by making little indentations in that material).
After the seeds have germinated, for most types, besides keeping the mats or disks moist, you also need to spray the plants with a water mister every day to keep them hydrated. And also they do not need (and some should not have) sunlight when they are initially germinating, most types do need direct sunlight after their germination while they're growing.
Some of these kits are in biodegradable pots, which can be transplanted outside later on, if desired (when or if it is warm enough); some are in pans or trays; and some are in rectangular metal pans, which can sit on many windowsills. (Most do not have drainage holes, however [by design, so they don't mar the indoor tables or ledges they may be on], so it is important not to overwater them, lest they lead to mold or mildew within those growing containers.)
In addition to the natural fibre growing medium (which can only be used once, though refills for some types are available), many kits also come with Hydroton clay pellets (which were heated at extremely high temperatures to sterilize them), which retain moisture for the roots and provide them with a lot of oxygen to grow. These pellets can be reused if they are washed in a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution in hot water and rinsed well.
- Germinators, which are sort of combinations of the first two types.
Note, in some of these kits, the growing instructions come on the inner flaps of the cardboard packaging materials, so be sure to check for that and save (and follow) them before throwing those out!
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