Wheatgrass is also known as winter wheat or wheat berries. Sprouted seeds have many health benefits and can also be use in home decor projects and used as a stimulant for your cat’s digestive system. This tutorial shows everything you need to know about growing wheatgrass at home.
Kitty is not the only one who loves wheatgrass! Many people add a healthy dose of it in their juicing schedule to get the medicinal benefits that wheatgrass provides.
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Tips for Growing Wheatgrass Seeds
It is very easy to grow your own wheatgrass. Be sure to get seeds from a good source to make sure that they have not been treated with pesticides and will grow into healthy grass. I purchased a pack of Magic Grow wheatgrass seeds that are non GMO and all natural organic. Using organic seeds is especially important if you plan to use the wheatgrass for juicing.
Rinse the seeds first
The seeds will need to be rinsed before they can be grown. Measure out an amount that will create a light layer on the container that you choose. I plan to sprout mine in an 8 x 8″ pan so I used about 1 cup of the seeds. This will make enough for about 10 ounces of wheatgrass juice.
Rinse the seeds in clean filtered water (I used water from my Brita Filter pitcher to make sure it is very pure. I placed them a bowl covered with water in the morning and then covered the bowl with a plate and let it sit all day (for 8 hours.)
In the evening I drained the wheatgrass into a strainer, covered it with a tea towel and allowed the water to drain away. I repeated this process again that evening so they were rinsed two times over a two day period.
Soaking the wheat berry seeds
If you soak your winter wheat seeds, it will stimulate germination of them. It takes a few days but once you have finished the rinsing process, the seeds will already have sprouted some small roots and you’ll know for sure that they are viable. Take care not to over-root the seeds, or they may not grow in the soil medium. ( You want just a tiny little root that is starting to grow, not long roots.)
For the last soaking, pour some more filtered water into your bowl of seeds. You will want to add 3 cups of water to each cup of wheatberry seeds. Once you have added the water, cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and leave it to soak on the counter till the next day.
Check now to see if the seeds have sprouted. Mine just formed tiny white bits on the ends of the seeds. Some varieties have the root more prominent. If they have sprouted, they are ready to plant! Drain the water and get ready to plant the seeds.
Let’s Grow Some Wheatgrass!
I used a normal 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish to plant my seeds. It has no drainage holes, so I placed a thin layer of gravel on the bottom is used for drainage so that the soil does not get too wet. If your containers has drainage holes, you can skip this step.
Add about 1 inch of seed starting soil on top of the gravel evenly. Lightly compress the soil and moisten it well. I used a plant mister so as not to have the soil too wet. Organic seed starting soil is best if you plan to use the wheatgrass for juicing.
Planting the seeds
You will notice that your 1 cup of seeds have swollen from the rinsing and soaking process. You’ll now have about 1 1/2 cups of seeds. Spread them evenly over the top of the seed starting soil. Press them lightly into the soil, but don’t add soil over the top or bury them. Don’t worry if the seeds touch, but try to spread them thinly if you can so that they are not growing too much on top of each other.
Use the plant mister or spray bottle to water the whole tray again making sure the seeds gets a good misting. Cover the tray with moistened tissue paper or newspaper to protect the seedlings. This will give the seeds a dark, moist environment that is perfect for growing.
Keep an eye on the moisture level, especially for the first few days. You will not want to let the winter wheat seeds dry out. Use the spray bottle to moisten the paper covering to keep the seeds damp as they start to root in the soil. I sprayed mine 3 or 4 times a day, whenever I noticed the tissue paper was drying out.
After about 3 days, the seeds will start growing, remove the paper so the seeds won’t attach themselves to it. Keep watering once a day. My seeds are really growing after about 5 days. The color is very pale green right now. This project is fun for kids. Wheat grass grows very quickly and they will love to see the roots forming down into the soil when they look through the sides of the glass container!
How much sunlight do wheatgrass seeds need?
A normal kitchen with indirect light is the best place for growing wheatgrass. Once my seeds started growing, I kept the seed tray on the counter in a corner of the kitchen that gets bright light and just a bit of sunlight later in the day, but not in front of the window.
Too much sunlight will damage the seeds. A spot with filtered light is best. The room should be in the 60-80 degree range. If it is too cold the seeds won’t sprout well.
How long will it take for wheat berries to grow?
It can be as little as just two days for the seeds to sprout once you have the seeds in the soil. Normally it will take the grass 6 to 10 days to reach a size that you can harvest. You will know that they are ready to use when a second blade of grass splits out of the first shoot. The grass is usually about 5-6″ tall at this point.
Harvesting a wheatgrass plant
It is super easy to harvest the wheatgrass blades. Just use some small scissors to harvest the grass by snipping it right above the root. (I used small manicure scissors!) The harvested grass will keep in the fridge for about a week but is best used fresh by cutting it right before you plant to use it.
Use a scissors to harvest the grass by clipping it just above the root and collecting it in a bowl. The harvested grass is ready to be juiced.
After you cut the wheat grass, you may get a second crop (this is called cut and come again gardening!) The later crops are not as tender and sweet as the first batch, however.
Is Wheatgrass gluten free?
Pure wheatgrass blades without any of the seeds are naturally gluten free since gluten is only included in the grains which, in this case, are the seeds. You can enjoy wheatgrass juice on a gluten free diet without worrying. It is also Whole30 compliant and Paleo.
Tip: If you enjoy using wheatgrass juice, have three of four containers of it growing. Plant a new one every 4 to 5 days so that you will always have a fresh supply of wheatgrass on hand for your juicing or smoothies.
Cats love to much on wheatgrass and will devour it! They are attracted to all chlorophyll-rich plants and wheatgrass is full of it. Outdoor, they are always muning on green grass like plants. Don’t be surprised if kitty heads for the tray of wheatgrass when his tummy is upset. That is just nature’s way!
Using wheatgrass for decor projects
The grassy look of wheat grass is prefect to use in fun Easter projects. It make a nice base for displaying colorful Easter eggs! The kids will love to find some goodies in your latest batch of wheatgrass!
How to juice wheatgrass
Many people enjoy the benefits of wheatgrass juice as a part of a healthy breakfast routine. If you purchase the prepared juices at Health Food Stores, it can get very expensive. Wheatgrass is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients is a healthy way to start your day.
Grow your own instead and add it to a special wheatgrass juicer or your blender to extract the juice. (Wheatgrass will clog a normal juicer and may cause it to break.) Mix until the grass is completely blended and then use a strainer to remove the solids. Enjoy a wheatgrass shot as it is, or add the grass to a smoothie recipe.
Here is an easy Wheatgrass smoothie recipe (gluten free, Paleo)
Wheatgrass acts in the same what that spinach or other dark leafy greens does when you use it in smoothies. For a great morning pick me up that is gluten free, try this recipe.
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1/4 cup of fresh wheatgrass
- 1 orange
- 1/2 banana that has been frozen and cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup of ice
- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup if you like it sweeter
Pour everything into a blender. Add the lid and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and drink.
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ cup of coconut milk
- ¼ cup of fresh wheatgrass
- 1 orange
- ½ banana that has been frozen and cut into chunks
- ½ cup of ice
- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup if you like it sweeter
- Pour everything into a blender. Add the lid and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and drink.
Supplies for growing wheatgrass at home
Everything you need to complete the project is easily available at your local home supply and hardware store, or shop for supplies on Amazon.
Have you ever tried to grow wheatgrass at home? How did you make out with your project?
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