How to Make your Own Sprouting Jar & Sprout Seeds

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I love fresh vegetables and in the spring and summer, I enjoy spending time in the garden. Unfortunately, winter in Vermont is long.  I am not able to grow anything in the garden from October through early May.  I do use a cold frame to extend our growing season a few weeks longer, but even with that, there’s a long time that I don’t have vegetables in the garden to pick. Learning how to make your own sprouting jar will provide very low-cost fresh greens throughout the year, even when it’s below zero outside.

How to make your own sprouting jar and sprout seeds


How to Make your Own Sprouting Jar

You can buy a variety of different pre-made sprouting kits or sprouting bags at many local food co-ops.  I checked out the prices last time I was there and realized that I could make one for much less money.  You can sprout many different types of seeds in sprouting jars.  Each has a different taste so experiment a bit to find out which one you most prefer. Depending on the size of the seed you are sprouting, you may need a different size mesh on the top of your jar.  You can choose coffee filter, cheesecloth or cotton for small seeds, screen for medium, or plastic canvas mesh for larger seeds.

I use a Mason jar to sprout my seeds.  In the past, I have sprouted mung beans and used a quart sized Mason jar.  This time, I am sprouting alfalfa seeds and chose a pint size Mason jar because they are smaller. Make your choice based on the size of the seed and how many seeds  you want to sprout at once. You can use standard or wide mouth Mason jars.



  • One Mason jar
  • One Mason jar lid with ring
  • Cheesecloth, screen, or plastic canvas mesh depending on the size seed you are sprouting
  • Organic alfalfa seeds (or other seeds or beans)


  • Wash and dry the Mason jar and jar ring
  • Turn the Mason jar lid upside down and trace around the outside on your coffee filter, cheesecloth, screen or mesh.
  • Carefully cut the circle of material out and fit it inside your jar.


When you sprout seeds, PLEASE choose organic seeds or beans for health reasons.  Sprouting seeds that may have been treated or sourced from plants that have been treated takes away any health benefits of eating them.


Once the jar has been created, place about two tablespoons of seeds in the jar. The amount you use will vary based on the size of the seed. Leave enough room for them to grow. Fill the with water to about one inch higher than your seeds. Put the ring and top on and place in a cool spot that isn’t in direct sunlight overnight.

How to make your own sprouting jar & sprout seeds

The next day, carefully drain out the water in the jar through the screen top.  Set the jar on its side in a cool spot that isn’t in direct sunlight again. Two or three times a day, you will need to rinse the seeds with water.  Just put water in, swish the water around and then drain the water out.  Set the jar on its side again in between each rinsing.  Continue the process until the seeds are grown to the size you want them.

How to make your own sprouting jar & sprout seeds

How to make your own sprouting jar day 2

How to make a sprouting jar and sprout seeds Day 3

How to make a sprouting jar & sprout seeds day 4


Remove the seeds from the jar and store in a plastic container with a lid.  Wash the jar and the screen.  Add more seeds to the jar and start the process again. Seeds should take about four or five days to sprout so plan your next crop accordingly.

Will you give this a try now that you know how to make your own sprouting jar?

How to make a sprouting jar and sprout beans


  1. Rose Powell says
    I am amazed at how you manage everything, the longer I read your blog and "follow" you, you're just impressive. This is so cool! Can't wait to see them grow.
  2. Sprouting seeds looks like something my kids would enjoy helping out so they can watch. I have a dumb question - but what do you do with the sprouts once they are growing? Are these like the sprouts you put on sandwiches?
  3. Nicole Brady says
    When the kids were little, they grew sprouts at school but I couldn't remember what kind or how. I've tried some on sandwiches at restaurants and LOVE it but have never purchased them or made anything myself. If it's easy, maybe I will.
  4. tara pittman says
    I want to try this. I wonder if you can grow bean sprouts, the kind in egg fu young?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Sure you definitely can, Tara.  Try starting with Mung beans and that should get you the variety you want.
  5. I love it!! Here in the mountains, we only have a few months of growing season, so I'm going to one up Mother Nature with this one!! Thanks Ellen! Pinned & Tweeted!
  6. Check it Out! with Dawn says
    Well that is just cool!  I am going to share this with my mom, she will love that she can do this herself!  Thanks for sharing Ellen!  Pinned and Tweeted!
  7. This is so neat and your pictures are brilliant!
  8. Jennifer @TheRebelChick says
    I don't eat sprouts but this is such a cool idea! Maybe I'll give it a try and find that I like them!
  9. This is a really cool idea. My kids and I have always enjoyed sprouts on salads or on a sandwich.
  10. Kate @ Songs Kate Sang says
    I can't wait to see more pictures and see how they grow!  
  11. Amanda Tucker says
    I love sprouts and have never thought to grow them myself. This is such a great idea, the only thing I worry about is do they get smelly? We had an herb garden awhile back and it got smelling so bad we had to throw them out. If this is a way to grow these without all the hassle I'm so in! 
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Amanda - They should not get smelly at all ever or they aren't any good :) You are only sprouting for about 4 days and then cleaning the jar and starting over again.
  12. Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor) says
    Love this! Very cute. I would try it, but I seem to kill anything - including air plants. I can't wait to see the sprouts. Please share when they start.
  13. Stacie Connerty says
    This is a great lesson for kids.  Being able to see them sprout is a good thing for them to see how growth starts.  
  14. ellen have you ever done broccoli sprouts? those are what my hubby and kids like in sandwiches but i'm nervous to try
  15. Joanna Sormunen says
    Great tutorial and I'm really looking forward to the pics. I want to see if it really sprouted :)
  16. I have been wanting to learn more about growing food, plants, etc. This looks like something that I could handle. Thanks. :)
  17. Mama to 5 BLessings says
    what a wonderful idea, sprouting is supposed to be so healthy for you too. I have sunflower seeds to sprout myself. 
  18. Such a great idea.  Gosh.  I can't wait to try it out with the kids!!!
  19. Mary {Raising Dick and Jane} says
    I cant wait to see how they progress and what you use them for. 
  20. Mag@GirlyCreation says
    I have done something similar when I was a kid. Teachers taught us to grow sprouts in a cup using some water and water but a jar is even neater!
  21. Someone gave me sprout jars as a gift. I love them, and I make sprouts all the time. I love making Asian dishes, and I like to add lots of sprouts! It is great if you can make your own sprouting jars- nice instructions!  
    • Ellen Christian says
      Thanks, Rosie!  I think it works well this way but I'd definitely use a pre-made one if I had one too!


  1. The Good Green Roundup {1/24/2014} » Irresistibly Green says:
    […] tried sprouts though. Confessions of an Overworked Mom has a nice little post about saving money by making your own sprouting jars. What a great way to use your canning jars off […]

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