People who have had some success but have also experienced the drawbacks of sprouting jars, will often move on to try sprouting trays. There are many different types and we will take a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks of this sprouting method.
Sprouting tray types
- Plain flat plastic tray – this is a basic flat tray where you lay down some moistened paper towel sheets and spread the seeds to be sprouted on top.
- Flat plastic tray with drainage pan – this is a flat tray with drainage holes to allow improved rinsing and draining of sprouts during the growing process. The flat tray sits on top of a pan, where excess rinse water is collected.
- Flat plastic tray with lid - this method uses the same flat plastic tray but has a lid that fits over the top to create more humid conditions like those of a greenhouse.
- Stackable trays – this method allows your plastic trays to be stacked on top of each other. The trays are fitted with drainage holes and a catch pan sits underneath to collect excess water.
Benefits of sprouting trays:
- Can provide improved drainage when incorporated with a catch pan
- Allows for improved air circulation depending on the design
- Allows a greater volume of sprouts to be grown over sprouting jars
- They are quite cheap to buy
Drawbacks of sprouting trays:
- Requires thorough cleaning between batches
- Requires daily rinsing of sprouts to prevent mold and to ‘feed’ the sprouts for growth
- Uncovered trays dry out quickly and require regular wetting down by either rinsing or misting using a spray bottle
- Trays with lids require less watering but have reduced air flow
- Sprouting trays take up quite a bit of room, with stackable types offering some improvement
- Stackable tray types can have reduced air flow and there are more components to clean
So the sprouting tray is one method to allow a larger amount of sprouts to be grown but they still require a lot of attention for rinsing and cleaning. They can certainly be cheap to buy but this is probably due to their limitations in performance. As with the sprouting jars, the drawbacks still outweigh the benefits so trays do not meet our standard as an ideal sprouter. Next we will review the automatic sprouter or you can jump straight to what we feel is the ulitmate sprouter alternative – the Marche Sprouting Method.