Have the bottom of your sprouts grown 'strange' thin roots?
Do they look like white mold, although the seedlings smell healthy?
This is called root hairs and they are quite normal.
Root hairs on sprouts
Sprouts of Broccoli, Mustard, Brassica and Grain develop - after the first three days of germination - fine white hairs on the roots.
The tiny hairs are easiest to see before you rinse the sprouts, as the water makes the hairs cling to the main root. These fine roots are not mold, although they may be similar to the confusion.
Mouldy roots on the sprouts?
Ok, if the hairs are all over the sprouts, it is no longer root hairs. If the sprouts even have a smell like wet soil you can be sure that it IS mold!
Should there actually be even the slightest mold or mildew in your sprouts, you should discard them all.
Since both mold and mildew spreads very quickly, you should wash and disinfect sprout container or bag, as described under Clean sprouts.
By the next round of sprouting keep an extra eye on the sprouts, so you are assured that all mould spores are gone.
More hair on thirsty sprouts
Back to the root hairs ... You will notice that your sprouts develop more root hairs, if they do not get quite enough moisture.
This is because the root hairs are intended to absorb moisture for the tiny plants. If you do not keep the seedlings moist enough, then they will grow extra hairs to get extra benefit from the small amount of water you do give them.
Conclution: Rinse your sprouts a little more often.
They can be eaten
Roots with root hairs can be eaten without worry. You can cut the roots off, but is it not just a waste of good sprout? Because the whole sprout contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, and fiber.
Want to know more?
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Are you thirsty to know all the basic techniques to grow over 40 varieties of sprouts - with and without root hairs?
Then you will probably be glad to hear that Fresh Sprouts have gathered all the basic knowledge on sprouting in a fully illustrated and colorful e-book. Read more >