Automatic seed sprouter

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by BBQJOE, Oct 10, 2015.


    BBQJOE Songster

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    I will try to explain this as simple as possible, bear with me.

    First you will need to find, or build a large wooden box with a hinged door. Mine was made with 2x4's and plywood.
    I built mine about four feet tall and maybe 1 1/2 feet wide. You'll have to decide for yourself how big you want it.
    Next you need to decide how many shelves and sprouting trays you want. I believe mine had four or five.

    You will need to install 2x4's or 1x2's on each side for your sprouting trays to slide onto.
    Then you will need to build your sprouting trays. I used 2x4's again, and stapled plastic house screen on the bottom.
    In my drawing I only show 1 sprouting tray in place.

    Next is the heart of the matter, and it's not that hard, but it's a bit tricky, and will involve some experimentation.

    I used some heavy wire for my frame, and an old cookie tin for the auto waterer. Again, you might have to use your imagination, or whatever you can for the materials.
    Mine sat outside unattended for about ten years, and just fell apart, I managed to salvage the waterer for the picture, it's pretty beat up and rusty, but you'll get the idea.

    The object is to drill two holes across from each other, off center, so when the catch pan is in the frame, it hangs in a tipped down position.

    Next you will need to install a counter balance on the backside of the catch pan. I used some kind of bolt and added washer until I achieved the proper results.
    What you want to have happen, is when the weights are added that the pan returns back to a level position.

    Now start adding water to the pan. Ideally, you want the pan to tip over when it's just about full. You may have to add or subtract weights to achieve the proper results.

    Next we need a water supply. I used a five gallon bucket, because we didn't have running water at the time, and fitted a small valve to the bottom which then protruded through a hole in the top of the box. You might be able to use a garden hose and maybe one of those adjustable drippers like you might use in your garden.

    Now you need to find a baking sheet or something similar that will completely fill up the space on your top shelf. This needs to have a zillion holes drilled in it, or you might be able to locate a perforated baking sheet. I used a cake pan, but in hindsight I should have used something much bigger.

    Once you have your pan balanced, and your drip system in place, you'll probably need to attach it some how to your perforated drip sheet. Obviously, place it in the center.
    You also need to find a tub or something to place in the bottom of the box to catch the used water, or get creative and make a drain system.

    Now to set your drip rate. You want to set it so it fills and spills at least 6 times a day. Your mileage may vary.

    Once everything is working and in place, it's time to add some seed. I originally set this up for making the wife and I sprouts for eating, and before we knew it, we had way more sprouts than we could use.
    Anyways, I found it easiest to soak the seeds for about an hour or so in a bowl, or jar or whatever, before spreading them evenly on a sprouting tray.

    Place your sprouting trays on the shelves, close the door and let 'er go!

    Hint: You may want to stagger your seed starts so they don't all sprout at once.

    If you have any questions, or if I left something out, please feel free to let me know.



    3 people like this.

    BBQJOE Songster

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    Holy banoonies! I spent an hour and a half drawing, composing and writing this post, and only one person has any interest?
    Glad I could help.
  3. SaCollins

    SaCollins Chirping

    Jul 20, 2015
    South Carolina
    Awesome! Thanks for that [​IMG] if I continue to grow my flock I will definitely be trying this!!
  4. K R 2709

    K R 2709 Chirping

    May 21, 2013
    BC, Canada
    This is super cool! Thanks for posting.
  5. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    Wow, you have no patience at all do you... Looks like you posted the first 2 posts on the same day. Some of us have limited time for messing around online. In my defense though, my computer was down for the last week because of a bug from the BYC site... I finally got it cleared out so my computer is back online.

    I appreciate your directions and illustration. I have been trying to design a self-watering sprouter and couldn't come up an answer. Your system is a really nice package. I will just need to learn to remember to fill the top bucket.

    Did you rotate the shelves at all?

    BBQJOE Songster

    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    Yeah I rotate the shelves now and then.

    Here's a new one I just put together.
  7. Copper Creek

    Copper Creek In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2015
    Good Job! Way to use your available resources.

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