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sprouting microgreens to use leftover seeds

Tricks for Using Leftover Garden Seeds and Plants

After the growing season is done, what do you do with leftover seeds and garden plants? Here are a few trips to help you use everything up with no waste.

Sprout Seeds

Sprouts are a healthy and easy way to use certain types of leftover seeds. Place seeds in a clean glass jar, and then cover the seeds with lukewarm water. The next day, pour out the water and rinse the seeds.

Put the seeds back in and put a clean, breathable cloth over the mouth of the jar. Use a jar ring or rubber band to hold it in place, and then store the jar on its side. Rinse and drain the sprouts one or two times a day. Your sprouts should be ready in less than a week.

You can add sprouts to salads, soups, sandwiches, coleslaw, stir frys and anything else you can think of.


Microgreens are similar to sprouts, but they’re not exactly the same. You grow microgreens in soil, and sprouts germinate in water. When they’re grown, you can use them in similar ways. Microgreens make particularly delicious garnishes.

To grow microgreens, get a place to sprout the seeds. You can use plastic takeout dishes, pie plates, salad boxes, or seed starting trays. Punch a few holes in the bottom and put it in a container or on a tray to prevent spills.

Add an inch of potting soil and sprinkle the seeds inside. Cover the seeds with some potting soil and water just enough to get the soil wet — don’t drown the seed. Place your microgreens in a place with light.

You can harvest the microgreens when they are two inches or longer. They can be harvested for three weeks.


The easiest way to put leftover plants to work is to compost them. Any fruits and vegetables can be composted, and the compost can go in your garden next year to add nutrients.

Don’t compost anything that has a disease; that you don’t spread it to your next harvest. You can use a covered bin or an open pile in your backyard. Don’t use an open pile if you have rodent problems or wildlife in the area.

Save for Next Year

Some seeds last long enough that you can save them for the next year. Hard, round seeds often last the longest. If you’re worried about planting them, you can do a germination test before you put them in the garden next year.

To increase chances of the seeds lasting, keep them in a cool, dark place. Freezers and fridges are good places to store leftover seeds to keep them viable.

With these tips, you can put your leftovers to work so that you can get use from these items again.

Summer Clayton

Summer Clayton has always loved getting her hands dirty. Ever since she was a kid playing in her grandparents’ garden, Summer wanted to learn everything she could about plants. Now she wants to help you grow a bigger, better, greener garden.

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