Grow A 12 Day Garden Sprouting Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

As you may have seen in my previous posts, I have been successfully growing bell peppers and other plants indoors and in containers. However, this isn’t very successful in terms of feeding my family fresh, healthy vegetables. It takes months to get a ripe bell pepper and with my limited space indoors and a greenhouse still only in the planning stage, I wanted to do something more productive.

I surfed the internet and You Tubes videos until I stumbled upon sprouting Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) Microgreens. Since we already have 40 lb bags on hand to feed our chickens, I figured there was no risk in trying it. After all, I could always use the sprouting trays for other gardening projects.

After some further research, I purchased germination trays without holes for the bottom and mesh bottom germination trays that sit inside them.

I had some peat moss on hand, so I mixed it with worm castings from my home made worm farm and pressed it firmly in the tray. If you need to purchase soil, I highly recommend FoxFarm FX14082 Happy Frog Soil Potting Soil Bag, 12 quart

“>Happy Frog Potting Soil. Two cups of BOSS are needed to fill one 10×20 sprouting tray. I chose to pre-soak mine to speed up germination. To prevent bacteria growth, I added a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the soaking seeds on day one.

Including soaking the seeds overnight, the whole process took 12 days. After spreading the seeds in the tray, I spritzed them each morning and evening, keeping another solid tray pressed firmly on the seeds and covering them with heavy books. This forced the seeds to sprout down into the soil and anchored the roots. After a few days, I removed the top tray and allowed the sprouts to soak up the sun, continuing to mist them regularly. Step by step photos are at the end of this post.

The results were amazing! The BOSS greens are delicious, with a healthy protein packed crunch and a slightly sunflower kernel nutty flavor. So far we have used them for salads, snacks, soups, and sandwiches.

This gardening experiment was very successful in meeting my goals of high productivity and high return on investment. The cost of a 40 lb bag of BOSS is about $25 and yields 100 trays of greens. Besides the initial investment of growing trays, the only additional cost is peat moss. Not including the trays, which are heavy duty and can be used for years to come, the cost was about 8 cents per tray. Each tray yields a large bowl of greens (I didn’t weigh them) but estimate about 10 meals could be made using these greens in various ways or 5 large salads. The nutrition is so dense in these greens that they are more filling than typical greens you would buy at the store.

Here are some nutrition facts:

A 1/4-cup serving of the sprouts contains 16 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 8 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 6 grams of monounsaturated fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. While sunflower sprouts are high in fat, they contain mostly healthy unsaturated fats. Eating more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in place of saturated fat may help keep your cholesterol level in check, according to the American Heart Association.

Sunflower sprouts are a good source of iron and can help you meet your daily calcium needs. A 1/4-cup serving meets 8 percent of the daily value for iron — 1.4 milligrams — and 2 percent of the daily value for calcium — 20 milligrams.

2 Sprouting BOSS
Day 2 of Soaking Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Rinsed and Drained
1 Sprouting BOSS
Soil made up of peat moss and worm castings
3 Sprouting BOSS
Day 3 Seeds Beginning to Sprout in Soil
5 Sprouting BOSS Wednesday
Day 4 Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
6 Sprouting BOSS Books
Weighing down tray on top of seeds to force them to sprout down into the dirt
7 Sprouting BOSS Friday
Day 6 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
8 Sprouting BOSS Saturday
Day 7 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
9 Sprouting BOSS Sunday
Day 8 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
10 Sprouting BOSS Monday
Day 9 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
11 Sprouting BOSS Tuesday
Day 10 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
12 Sprouting BOSS Thursday
Day 12 Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens
13 Sprouting BOSS Salad Bowl
Tasty bowl of Black Oil Sunflower Seed Greens


4 thoughts on “Grow A 12 Day Garden Sprouting Black Oil Sunflower Seeds”

  1. Wow! I love seeing the day by day progress. That’s amazing you can grow such a healthy food for so cheap in such a short amount of time.

  2. I followed your instructions to the “tee” and massive success! Love love love these sprouts. They taste like sunshine in my mouth.

    1. I am so glad you shared your success! The sprouts taste like sunflower kernels to me…so yummy. My son was literally grabbing sprouts out of the bowl as I was harvesting some last night. They are also good as soup toppings and added into homemade pizza crust!

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