Why are clay pots better for sprouts and microgreens than plastic or glass?

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Posted Aug 26 2016 by Lucia Kostelnik of Gaia Sprouters
Are clay pots better for sprouts and microgreens?

So why sprout seeds in clay sprouters? Surely if seeds grow happily into sprouts or microgreens, they will be healthy and be good for us? Do they really care if they’re grown in plastic? Well, there are some other things to take into consideration.

  • Firstly, sprouters made of a natural material like clay are much more environmentally-friendly. Clay is a natural material, and so needs no (or very little processing as a material) – plus if it’s local it needs no (or very little) transport either.


  • If the clay pots are locally-sourced, we could be helping to support local craft potters too, keeping money in the local community.


  • Thirdly and wonderfully, moist earthenware clay creates an ideal environment for sprouts to grow. Plastic containers or glass jars simply cannot compete with a clay sprouter in replicating the conditions which naturally occur in soil where the seeds normally sprout.


  • Clay sprouters can be used for generating various baby-plants, generally called sprouts, without using soil or compost. This includes germinating, sprouting, growing shoots, micro-greens or grasses. Soil-less sprouting is a neat, clean method that can be performed anywhere, even on the kitchen worktop without risk of contaminating other foods.


  • Finally, plastics are made from petrochemicals – one of the world’s most polluting (and corporate-controlled) industries.


We have heard so many horror stories about plastic sprouters that turned the sprouts mouldy and ended up needing to be thrown away. Or sprouting in a glass jar where half of seeds were lost down the sink and the rest, struggling to drain properly, ended up smelling bad unless rinsed ‘religiously’ four times a day! The clay sprouter, if used correctly, really is effortless by comparison. The rule of “Less Is More” fits best when it comes to watering/rinsing the sprouts and whilst the clay vessel is moist, no watering is required at all. Undamaged, organically grown seed has the ability to protect itself from turning bad during sprouting, if the correct growing balance is sustained. To give sprouting seeds that natural balance we only grow them in clay sprouters.


NB Gaia Sprouters are now also plastic-free on our packaging too.

Ton find out more about sprouts and microgreens, visit our dedicated topic introduction here.