Growing Pea shoots at home is easy. All you need besides the peas themselves are a couple of growing trays, a little space, some sunshine, and water. The only actual decision to make is whether you want to grow your peas in some growing medium such as soil or compost or if you grow soilless. Both methods work great with similar results, I prefer the soilless method as it is a little less messy, and I don’t have to get my hands dirty.
How to Grow Pea Shoots With No Soil
The process of growing pea shoots only takes two to three weeks, and a single tray can be harvested at least twice when cut correctly. Besides tasting like fresh spring peas, the nutritional goodness of pea shoots is hard to beat. Pea shoots contain Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. They also have 38 minerals, including amino acids, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, and a host of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So follow these easy steps to grow your pea shoots at home all year long.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
For an original investment of about ten dollars, I purchased a sprouting tray with a lid and a bag of yellow peas. A container to soak the peas in will also be needed but literally anything that will hold a cup of peas, and a few cups of water will work.
If you choose to sprout your peas in soil, you can save a little money by repurposing any container with at least two to three-inch sides and withstand daily watering. Many people reuse the fruit and vegetable containers used by grocery stores.
Step Two: Soak the Peas
The amount of peas you will want to use will depend on whether you are using soil or a sprouting tray with holes and the size of your growing tray. Keep in mind that your dry peas will almost double in size once soaked. If growing in soil, you will want to give your peas a little spice in between so they root correctly. It is best to cover the entire area for the soilless growing tray and be at least one to two peas deep.
To judge how many peas to soak:
- Pour enough dry peas into your growing tray until the entire space is covered with a single layer.
- Put half that amount for the soil method or that amount minus two teaspoons into a soaking vessel such as a bowl or jar for the soilless process.
- Rinse the dry peas several times with tepid water to clean them.
- Cover the peas with two to three times as much water as they will absorb a lot of the water as they rehydrate.
- Leave the peas to soak in the water for at least ten to twelve hours.
Step Three: Drain and Transfer Rehydrated Peas
After the peas have soaked, drain the soaking water off and rinse the peas lightly a few times. At this point, transfer the peas to the growing tray. If you use soil, ensure the soil is thoroughly watered before placing the seeds in the tray. As you will be harvesting the plants in their early stage, the spacing can be very close, but you will want to give them a little room; about half a Pea-sized space in-between works nicely. Then cover the peas with enough well-fertilized soil to cover them about a quarter-inch deep. Water the topsoil until moist.
For the soilless method, place two paper towels on the bottom of the tray with holes and put the growing tray in the solid water tray. Place the wet peas on top of the towels, put the lid on and cover the tray. Peas in the growing tray will germinate and grow faster in a darkened tray that holds in moisture like a greenhouse.
Step Four: Wait, Watch, and Water
During the growing period, check the peas every day to make sure they are getting enough water. If growing in soil, you will want to keep the soil moist but not wet. Expect it to take anywhere from four to seven days before your sprouts will break through the soil. Once you see the tiny green sprouts, please place them in a spot that gets at least a few hours of sun a day. Be sure to rotate the tray by one-quarter each day to help your shoots grow straight and continue to monitor the soil moisture as they grow.
For the soilless method, uncover and either rinse or spray the peas with water twice a day. Keep the peas moist, the lid on, and out of the sun until they reach the height of the growing tray lid. When the shoots reach this height, take the cover off and place the tray in a sunny spot. The more sun your sprouts get, the quicker they will turn green and grow. As soon as you see the tendrils begin to form, it is time to start harvesting.
How to Grow Pea Shoots – Step Five: Harvest Wisely
Taking care to harvest the pea shoots properly will allow for a second crop from the same tray. If you do not wish to have a second harvest, cut the sprouts about an inch from the base and place the remains in your compost pile. If placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the pea shoots will stay fresh for about a week. They can be used in everything from soups and stews to salads and smoothies or in any dish you want to add a taste of freshness.
To harvest the same tray more than once, make sure to cut the pea shoots above the first set of tiny leaves. By cutting only as many shoots as you will use each day, you can ensure a daily supply of pea shoots for a more extended period. Also, when cut properly, the sprouts will grow back a second time. One tray, when harvested twice, will give a yield of almost four quarts of shoots over two weeks.
Read more – How to Live Longer with Plant-Based Foods
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