Compare Sprouting Kits: EasyGreen, FreshLife, Victorio or Sprout Garden?
Delicious and Healthy Sprouts
Sprouts are all at once easy to grow, nutritious, economical, ecological and delicious! You can sprout not just seeds and beans, but also legumes and the results can be amazing! You can use various types of sprouts to make all kinds of healthy salads. You can mix them with tomatoes and other vegetables, and top the whole thing with a drizzle of garlicky olive oil. The result will be healthy bliss!
We recommend sprouting seeds at home to everyone as it is like growing year round your own fresh organic vegetables at home (note that in the rest of this review the term "seed" will be used to designate anything that you can sprout, including legumes and beans).
Even though you could use the basic method described below to grow sprouts, it is better to use commercially available sprouting equipment that simplifies the task and eliminates certain problems.
There are basically two types of commercial sprouters: Those that are manual and those that are automated:
High in beneficial nutrients:
Sprouts have a higher concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and they are easily digested and assimilated. Eating fresh sprouts strengthens the immune system like no other food or nutritional supplement can.
Organic and fresh:
When you produce your own sprouts, you can be sure that no chemicals in the form of pesticides, fertilizers, etc. were used, and they are always fresh when you cut them.
Easy, rapid and economical to cultivate:
Sprouts can be grown rapidly and easily from any type of seeds (see below for basic cultivation principle). There is practically no limit to the variety of seeds you can use. It is also very economical: not only seeds are not expensive to obtain, but you can generate large volumes of sprouts using small quantities of seeds, as the volume of sprouts generated after germination may be many times the volume of seeds used!
Beautiful and decorative to present:
By using sprouts of a varied colors and flavors, you can create attractive sandwiches or dishes that you will be proud to serve.
Basic Sprouting Principle
Though there is practically no limit to the variety of seeds that can be used for sprouting, care should be taken to get them from trusted sources to avoid inedible seeds and bacterial diseases that can be caused by contaminated seeds. Also, it is primordial that the sprouting (germination) method be strictly hygienic to avoid bacterial contamination of the sprouts at any stage of the process.
Finally, you should always obtain information on the watering and rinsing requirements of the type of seeds you will be using so that you can provide them with the right conditions for optimal sprouting.
Comparing the Selected Sprouters
Victorio Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter
This is a very simple sprouter composed of 4 separable stacked seed growth trays. There is a top reservoir tray where the water is poured and a bottom basin tray where the water drained from the upper trays is collected. The reservoir lid will keep dust, insects, etc. from getting into the seed trays. Each of the four growth trays is designed to use water surface tension to keep the correct amount of water in the tray for all stages of the growing process.
Once the four middle trays are covered with pre-soaked seeds, water is poured into the top reservoir tray, The water gets siphoned down to the lower trays and ends up in the bottom basin tray. Remember to empty the basin tray when top trays are completely drained or before the next watering.
You will need to rotate the bottom tray to the top of the stack before each watering and replace the reservoir lid on top. The seed trays need to be rotated because the lower trays get already used water from the upper trays, and if no rotation were done the results obtained from the lower trays would not be satisfactory. Fresh unused water always enhances the proper growth of the seeds.
Be sure to water your seeds 2-3 times each day. It is important not to spread too many seeds on a given tray so that there will be enough space for them to expand. It should normally take from 3 to 5 days to get your sprouts. Note that this system is expandable and additional growth trays can be bought separately and added to the basic configuration.
The Victorio sprouter is a compact unit that can be easily placed on the kitchen counter. It should ideally be placed at room temperature away from direct sun light. It is important to take apart the unit after each use and clean it thoroughly, including the siphon hoods, to avoid mildew formation and to free all parts from any stuck seeds or sprout bits. The sprouter can be hand washed, using a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Make sure you dry it thoroughly before storing. If desired, it can be washed in the dishwasher, but on the top rack only. DO NOT use the drying cycle.
Sprout Garden Sprouter
- First soak the seeds in jars for about 8 hours.
- Transfer the seeds from the jars into the trays and let the water drain.
- Rinse the seeds in each tray under cool water and make sure all the water is drained from the trays.
- Stack the trays, and place the cover on.
- Rinse the trays twice a day (morning and evening) for about 4 days. Each time make sure all the water is drained, and the sprouts get thoroughly washed. This will prevent them from molding,souring, or rotting.
- After 4 days, if you like your sprouts green, let them sit in indirect sunlight for a couple of hours
It is composed of two barrels: the lower barrel is the reservoir filled with water, and the upper barrel is where the seeds are spread and the sprouts grow. A sprinkler tube goes through the middle of the barrels, from the bottom all the way to the top where the actual sprinkler is fitted (see picture on the right).
If desired, a second sprout cultivation barrel can be added by stacking it on top of the first one. This doubles up the volume of sprouts grown.
Each barrel can yield about 8-16oz sprouts, and each comes with two circular trays. The first tray goes on the bottom of the barrel and that is where the seeds are spread. The second tray is placed on top of the seeds to keep them in place until they start sprouting. Once they start sprouting the second tray can be removed. Each seed tray is divided into 4 quadrants and this allows the cultivation of 4 types of sprouts per barrel.
To start the sprouting process
- Fill the lower barrel with water to the fill-line adding a drop of human grade hydrogen peroxide to prevent molding issues.
- Place the seeds on the circular tray lying on the bottom of the sprouting barrel.
- Cover the seeds with the second circular tray.
- Cover the barrel with the lid.
- Plug the unit to the power outlet.
The sprinkler will be activated automatically as required. But the water in the reservoir will have to be changed daily (and even twice a day for better results) as recycled water full of toxins and other impurities hinders the growth of sprouts.
Also, the barrels and the trays should be wiped clean after each use to prevent contamination.
The EasyGreen sprouter is a large plastic box called the MikroFarm measuring 24x18x7.5 inches. It can contain up to 5 rectangular trays for sprouting various types of seeds. It has a built-in 1-gallon water tank and is equipped with its own mist generator and a 3-foot drainage tube that can be directed into a sink or any container large enough to collect the water waste. It also comes with a 96 activations timer that can be used to control the humidity for optimal sprouting of the seeds.
The most important feature that differentiates this sprouter from other brands (both manual and automatic) is that it is able to supply simultaneously mist and oxygen to the seeds. Sprouts don't need a lot of water, but they they need a lot of oxygen to grow properly. Watering them with just a light mist and providing them abundantly with the required oxygen does the job perfectly well.
But the machine has many other features not found elsewhere that justify the price:
- The large built-in tank allows for irrigation water to be used only once. Using recycled water full of toxins and other impurities hinders the growth of sprouts. With the EasyGreen sprouter, once the tank is filled, it is able to provide enough fresh water for the whole day. You just need to fill the tank when the water level is low (the water level can easily be monitored without opening the unit). Used water is continuously drained through the attached pipe. The water tank also allows adding to the irrigation water growth enhancers such as minerals as well as disinfecting substances such as hydrogen peroxide that prevent contamination and molding.
- Too much humidity is harmful to sprouts, and when the weather is already humid, one needs to decrease the amount of mist provided. Also different seeds require different amounts of humidity. The 96 activations timer allows you to provide the seeds and sprouts with the right environmental conditions (in particular humidity) for ideal growth. The 24 hour timer schedule can be adjusted for dry or humid weathers for the appropriate watering cycles in 15 minute increments.
- Soaking the seeds prior to use is not required with the Esygreen sprouter, and all required operations such as rinsing, oxygenating, misting, and draining is done automatically. So aside from filling the tank once a day, you don't have to do much to get perfect sprouts.
- With EasyGreen, it is also possible to grow sprouts in soil if desired (some seeds grow better in soil). So one has the option of both hydroponic and in-soil cultivation.
Also, as shown in the picture here, several EasyGreen units can be placed on top of each other for growing larger quantities of sprouts.You may start with one unit and then expand to multiple stacked units as you widen the scope of your sprouting experience.
Being a complex machine with many parts, the EasyGreen sprouting unit requires weekly and periodical cleanings to eliminate any risk of contamination and make sure that it continues working properly. For the weekly cleanings you will need to remove the trays and wipe and disinfect well the interior of the compartment following the instructions provided in the owner's manual. The periodical cleanings will have to be done 3 times a year. The owner's manual details also all that needs to be done during the periodical cleanings.
Summary Comparison of the Four Sprouters
Note 1: Using recycled water full of toxins and other impurities may hinder the growth of sprouts. Only EasyGreen makes sure that always clean water is provided to the sprouts. With FreshLife, the same water is reused to sprinkle the sprouts again and again until the water in the reservoir is changed. With Victorio and Sprout Garden, water from the upper trays will trickle down to the lower trays.
Note 2: Only EasyGreen allows explicit programming of the irrigation schedule using the provided timer. Though the FreshLife sprouter does not allow irrigation programming, its sprinkler detects when humidity is low and automatically start sprinkling the sprouts.
Note 3:With Victorio, water is poured manually from the top and a siphoning process is used to provide just the amount of water needed by the seeds on the trays below. With Sprout Garden, the trays are manually rinsed under the faucet and left aside to drain well before they are stacked again. With FreshLife the built-in sprinkler detects when irrigation is needed and sprinkles the sprouts. Finally, with EasyGreen the built-in mister irrigates the sprouts automatically based on the programmed timer schedule
Note 4: In order to prevent contamination and ensure the equipments are working properly, regular cleanup and maintenance of all sprouting equipment is a must! Please read carefully the instructions provided with the product (in the user manual or other documentation) to make sure that you are following properly cleaning and maintenance instructions.
Note 5: All prices are approximates as prices can change every day.
So which is the best Sprouting Kit to buy?
If you can afford to spend around 200 dollars, we recommend strongly to buy the EasyGreen sprouter. There are three important reasons for that:
If you want to spend less, you may want to consider next the FreshLife sprouter. It also automates the irrigation even though it can not be programmed. But at least you will not run the risk of forgetting to water the sprouts. As to the two manual sprouters, Victorio and Sprout Garden, for the low price they cost, they will provide you with plenty of delicious sprouts as long as you don't forget to water and rinse them adequately as required by the type of seeds you are using and by the environmental conditions surrounding the sprouts.
The selected Sprouting Kits are all available below on Amazon:
Victorio and Sprout Garden Manual Sprouters
FreshLife and EasyGreen Automatic Sprouters
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