Sprouting Curled Cress
Answered by: Ginny Cotterill
Question from: Gillian
Posted on: September 27, 2012

I purchased 2 packets each of curled cress s2010 and s4150 white mustard seeds with visions of egg salad with mustard and cress sandwiches dancing in my head! Alas, I haven’t been able to sprout enough to fill a teaspoon. I tried, oh how I tried. I searched the internet for how to sprout indoors and there was no end of info available. Being cautious I assembled the items and decided on trying one small container at a time. A plastic container with a lid, lined with plastic wrap and then a piece of paper towel dampened but not wet and lastly a good sprinkling of cress seeds, the well-perforated lid on top, covered with newspaper and then the container placed on a shelf away from the light and sun from an east facing large window. I waited and after 2 days a few little split seed cases so waited some more and there wasn’t any progress. took off the newspaper and lid and the base was still damp so now put the container in a bit of light nothing happened. So on to #2 maybe the the chemicals in the paper towel were the culprits, so same again but this time facial tissues, same thing. Anyhow I tried 4 more times. Making the base a bit wetter, no lid, just newspaper (that fell in and the seeds stuck to it!). I confess the one that in desperation I put in the window fried. I tried using a styrofoam tray and the clamshells that cocktail tomatoes come in no holes in the bottom and taller so a bit more air. No luck, so sadly the last try was placed in the garbage and I called on Richters for help. Apparently all the seeds for June sprouted 100% so it was suggested that I contact you. I hope and pray that you can guide my miserable effort with the next batch of seeds so that I can realize my dream(s) of egg and cress sandwich(es) before the summer ends.

Your sandwich dream sounds oh so wonderful and delicious that it needs to be made a reality! I think the key thing missing is more constant moisture on the seeds. You can construct a sprouter by using a clam shell container lined with paper towel, and piercing holes in the lid to allow for just enough air, yet humidity retention within the container. Place the seeds in a single layer on the damp paper towel. Try misting the seeds a few times a day. Alternatively, you can pour water in your container morning and then evening and then drain it off completely after about one minute. Allow the seeds to be on a damp paper towel all the while. I don’t think that the paper towel has inhibitor chemicals that are reducing the sprouting results. If you prefer though, you can use an unbleached product such as a natural coffee filter. As long as the material retains moisture for some time it should do the trick. Also, keep your sprouter in good light, but not in the sun directly. I hope these tips help, and that your sandwiches come to fruition.



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