Growing Alfalfa Sprouts

This lesson developed by Leona Meeks

Recommended Age: Preschool and Elementary


Can I grow my own alfalfa sprouts?


What You Need

  1. Bag of alfalfa sprouts from the store
  2. Alfalfa seeds
  3. Clear glass quart jar
  4. Piece of clean pantyhose or cheesecloth
  5. Tablespoon
  6. Scissors
  7. Rubber band
  8. Water and Sink
  9. Closet or cupboard that won't be opened too much
  10. A windowsill or tabletop area near a window that gets plenty of sunlight

What You Do

  1. Look at alfalfa sprouts that we can buy at the store for salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
  2. Taste them. They are really good for you! We can make our own!
  3. With your scissors, cut a piece of pantyhose or cheesecloth that you can put on the top of your quart jar. It needs to be big enough to drape over the edge at least an inch or so.
  4. Measure and put a tablespoon of alfalfa seeds into your quart jar.
  5. Put some water in the jar so that the seeds are completely covered up.
  6. Put the cheesecloth or piece of panty hose on the top of the jar. Keep it in place by stretching a rubber band around the outer edge of the jar.
  7. Put the jar somewhere where it won't get disturbed. Let the seeds soak overnight.
  8. The next day, take the jar to a sink and turn it upside down to drain out the water. To start growing, the seeds need to be damp but not totally wet.
  9. Put the jar in a cupboard or closet that will be kept dark for four days.
  10. Every day, take the jar out three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening). Take it to the sink and put in some cool water. Rinse the alfalfa seeds by moving the jar around a little in a swishing and rotating manner. Each time be sure to drain the rinsing water so the seeds are just damp—not soaking wet!
  11. Check out the little seeds. They should be very white and you should see little sprouts growing! In 2 or 3 days, the sprouts will get to be several inches tall.
  12. On the 4th day, after you rinse them and drain off the excess water, put the jar on a windowsill or tabletop where it is going to get plenty of sunlight. Watch what happens! The sprouts will turn green.
  13. Now you can eat them! Bon Apetit! Make a garden or tossed salad and put your sprouts on top! Try making a cold sandwich of your choice. Add some sprouts!

What Is Happening

A "sprout" is the very beginning growth of a seed when it is just starting to begin the process of becoming a plant. Instead of buying sprouts at a grocery store or produce market, you can grow your own! Sprouts are very good for you!

What happened when the sprouts turned green? They were getting sunlight. When green plants get sunlight, the process of photosynthesis happens. They use the energy of sunlight to fuel their own growth. Sprouts could not keep growing with just the energy stored in seeds for more than a few days.

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