Alfalfa (Medicago L.) is a plant that is widespread in our country and belongs to the legume family. Currently, there are more than one hundred varieties in the world that differ in appearance, soil requirements, and nutritional properties. Oan came to our continent from Asia, where it is considered one of the most valuable. The history of its use dates back to antiquity. Its name comes from an Arabic word that literally means the father of all food.
Yellow alfalfa sprouts is a perennial with a powerful root system. The stems of the plant are numerous, ascending.
Hop-like sprouting alfalfa is an annual and biennial herb that has a taproot that can penetrate the ground to a depth of 40 centimeters.
|Bloom Time||1.5-2 months after sowing and can last up to 3-4 weeks|
|Flower Color||all shades of blue, purple, yellow, can be variegated or white|
|Hardiness Zones||frost resistant|
|Native Area||Mediterranean region|
How to grow alfalfa sprouts at home?
You can also grow alfalfa sprouts in a wild plant in the garden. So, how to make alfalfa sprouts? Before you start sowing grass, you need to carry out preparatory work:
- Free the area from weeds.
- Loosen the ground.
- Apply fertilizer to the soil.
- Sow seeds in separate rows or together with legumes or cereals.
The herb is commonly grown as pet food. For medicinal and gastronomic purposes, the grass can be grown without soil. To do this, simply sprout sprouts. They taste like green peas.
Learning how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home is not that difficult. The simplest how to grow alfalfa sprouts seed germination equipment is a seed tin can with a germination lid. Germination covers are available where you buy seeds or at the canning section of your grocery store. You can make sprouting alfalfa in a jar yourself by covering it with a double layer of gauze and securing it in place with a large rubber band. Clean equipment with a solution of 3 tablespoons of odorless bleach per liter of water and rinse thoroughly.
Buy certified, pathogen-free, packaged, and labeled seeds for germination. Alfalfa sprouting seeds prepared for planting can be treated with insecticides, fungicides, and other chemicals and should not be eaten. If you want to take extra precautions and know how to grow alfalfa sprouts in trays, you can disinfect the seeds in a pot of hydrogen peroxide heated to 140 degrees (60 C). Dip the seeds in heated hydrogen peroxide and stir frequently, then rinse for 1 minute under running tap water. Place the seeds in a container of water and remove any floating debris. Most of the pollution comes from this debris.
How to sprout alfalfa?
For alfalfa germination seeds you need:
- Soak a bag of seeds in a cup of cold water overnight.
- In the morning, rinse the seeds thoroughly and transfer to another container.
- Give the container a horizontal position.
- Rinse the seeds at least 3 times a day.
Seedlings will appear in 7 days. Before use, it is necessary to separate the change from the sprouts. Rinse the sprouts and store them in a paper towel on the top shelf of the refrigerator. The photo clearly shows how the sprouts should look like.
The ground part of the plant is harvested during the flowering period. Leafless lower parts should not get into the raw material. Dry the grass in a ventilated and warm room. You can dry outdoors, but always in the shade.
How to grow alfalfa sprouts indoors?
The easiest way how to sprout alfalfa seeds in a mason jar:
- Cover the seeds with warm water for four to eight hours. How to plant alfalfa sprouts? Cover the container with gauze and put it in a warm place, wrapped in a dark cloth. Then fill the tray with soil 4-5 cm, there should besides that will hold the seedlings.
- Spread the seeds over the soil surface, tamp lightly. The seeds should not stick together, they need a little space. Large seeds should cover the entire surface. Sprinkle seeds from a spray bottle.
- Cover the container and place it in a dark, warm place for a couple of days (up to five). Ventilate the room daily and check the seedlings, irrigate if necessary.
- After three to five days, the stems appear – now they are ready to settle on the windowsill. The lighter the better. It is necessary to irrigate with a sprayer. You can cut it off as soon as a couple of real leaves appear.
- The soil can be sorted out and used again. You don’t need to fertilize – everything you need is in the seed.
Alfalfa grows everywhere, but black soil is the optimal soil for it. The predecessors of alfalfa sprouts growing on the site can be potatoes, corn, melons.
An alfalfa sprout growing kit of a plant can be obtained only with deep plowing of the soil. The harvest increases the introduction of molybdenum into the soil.
Alfalfa – nutritional value
Alfalfa is used for food – its leaves, shoots, and grain.
You already know how to grow alpha sprouts, it is also low energy food (23 kcal / 100 g). They also contain 3.99% vegetable protein, 2.1% bioavailable carbohydrates, and 1.9% fiber. In addition, they are also a source of potassium (79 mg / 100 g), phosphorus (70 mg / 100 g), calcium (32 mg / 100 g) and magnesium (27 mg / 100 g). They also contain acids from the omega-6 family (234 mg / 100 g) as well as omega-3 (175 mg / 100 g). They are a delicious addition to breakfast and salads.
Alfalfa sprouts season – beneficial properties
Alfalfa is used throughout the world as a food ingredient in raw food and vegetarian dishes. Modern scientific research clearly confirms that alfalfa leaves and stems are high in vegetable protein, vitamins, and minerals.
In their composition, you can list the found B vitamins: B1, B6, B12, vitamins C, D, E, and K, as well as a large amount of beta-carotene. The minerals contained in alfalfa, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and calcium deserve special attention. In addition, alfalfa leaves have a high concentration of phytoactive substances such as alpha-carotene, chlorophyll, coumarin, cryptoxanthin, daidzein, fumaric acid, lemon, lutein, saponins, stigmasterol, and many others. The substances contained in alfalfa promote the absorption and absorption of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and iron from the lumen of the digestive system.
Particular attention should be paid to the chlorophyll found in alfalfa. It is a phytochemical, natural plant dye that prevents the formation of cancerous lesions and supports their treatment. Alfalfa is mainly used to treat cancers located in the digestive system, such as anal cancer, colorectal cancer, or colon cancer.
The plant has also been credited with other health functions, including:
- improving the sexual function of both women and men,
- support for the treatment of diseases of the bladder and kidneys,
- relief of rheumatic pains,
- promoting the lactation process,
- improvement of hemoglobin in blood serum,
- improving overall well-being.
Alfalfa is called the queen of forage crops in most countries. This is true, because the plant, with proper care and irrigation, gives at least 35 tons of hay per hectare during the growing season.
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