Sprouting Broccoli Seeds
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are currently known to be among the healthiest plants to eat. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflowers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens and radish. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables will be heavily featured in my garden in coming years. But broccoli sprouts are also know to contain an extremely large amount of the healthy substance know as sulforaphane (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9iL8Kvugks).
This post will expose readers to an easy method of sprouting broccoli seeds while simultaneously allowing an opportunity to discuss seed germination.
Our seed sprouting started with acquiring a Kitchen Crop Seed Sprouter from Amazon along with a big bag of broccoli seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds:
This is a close-up of the seeds straight out of the bag. They feel as hard as rocks:
After placing the broccoli seeds in our sprouter and allowing them to soak in water for only eight hours, some of the embryos inside the seed begin to grow:
Inside of every seed there is a very tiny miniature plant with the beginnings of a root, a stem, and embryonic leaves. When a seed experiences the correct conditions of temperature and moisture (and sometimes light), it will begin to break through the seed coat. In the case of these broccoli seeds, the seed coat is the brownish covering. Exposure to moist conditions helps the seed coat to soften. The first part of the plant embryo to grow is called the radicle which is just the name for the embryonic root.
This is a photo of the broccoli seeds after they have been soaking in the sprouter for 32 hours:
Note from the photo above that a much higher percentage of the seeds in the photo have begun to germinate. It is much more obvious in the photo above that the radicle (root) is growing away from the seed coat. This is exactly what happens with seeds that are being "started" in a protected environment or seeds that are directly sown into the ground. The bulging seed breaks the outer seed coat and the root grows first.
48 hours into the sprouting process:
Note in the photo above that some of the plant embryos have completely shed their seed coats, the roots have grown quite extensively, and you can begin to see other structures. Some of these structures that you are looking at are the hypocotyl (which will become the stem of the plant) and the cotyledons (which will become the "first leaves" of the plant.
This is the last photo in this post. These sprouts have received no nutrition other than water. The sprouts were consumed at this stage of growth, which was 5 days after initial watering (120 hours):