what-are-pumpkin-sprouts

What Are Pumpkin Sprouts?

Most people plant pumpkin seeds to provide pumpkins for Jack O'Lanterns and holiday desserts. Others grow them for winter sustenance. Some, however, plant pumpkin seeds to eat them as sprouts.

What Are Pumpkin Sprouts?

Simply put, pumpkin sprouts are merely pumpkin seeds that have started the process of germination. Regardless of the pumpkin variety you plant, each seed becomes a sprout.

If you are planting your pumpkin seeds to grow into mature plants that will produce pumpkins, the sprouts are the first part of the growing process. Once the seeds have germinated, they put forth a small set of two leaves; this is called the sprout.

When Do Sprouts Appear?

A pumpkin seed sprouts approximately 7-10 days after being planted. This holds true whether you plant the seeds indoors or outdoors, provided the outside temperature is warm enough.

To tell if a pumpkin seed is ready to sprout, look closely at the area in which you planted it. The soil will look slightly raised and cracked, which indicates the seed has split open and a sprout is about to emerge.

What Do I Do With a Sprout?

The answer to this question depends on what your end goal is. If you are going to allow the sprout to turn into a mature plant and the seeds are planted outdoors, you do nothing other than provide sunshine, water, and an excellent organic fertilizer.

If you started the seeds indoors, you also have to continue to water the sprouts regularly and provide a lot of sun. Once the sprouts have grown two sets of true leaves, you can plant them outdoors.

What About Eating Sprouts?

Many people never allow their pumpkin plants to mature, but instead, consume them. Pumpkin sprouts are easy to grow and provide essential nutrients, especially in the winter months when fresh greens are not easily accessible.

The tools for sprouting pumpkin seeds are likely ones you already have in your home.

  • Pumpkin seeds of any variety.
  • Warm water.
  • Paper or cloth towels.
  • A flat surface like a counter or table.

To grow sprouts, just soak the seeds in warm water for a few hours and lay them flat on a paper towel to drain excess water. Leave them alone, rinsing every day, until the seed breaks open. At this point, you can eat the sprouts.

Tip: You can also buy a commercial sprout grower at many home and garden stores.

Sprouts Are Part of the Growing Process

Whether you are planting pumpkin seeds to harvest at maturity or eat as sprouts, every pumpkin seed will sprout under the right conditions. It is up to you whether you eat them as they grow or allow them to reach maturity. Either way, the results are both delicious and nutritious.

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