What is wheatgrass?
The name wheatgrass refers to the cotyledons (young leaves) of a germinated wheat plant. The wheat seed is sowed and before any flower growth can occur the cotyledons are harvested. It is the same species of wheat that is grown commercially, however it is only grown for a fraction of the time. Red wheat is typically the most common.
Materials needed to grow wheatgrass: Products Reccomended by GrowGreenMi!
- Wheat seed - many sources online, coming soon to GrowGreenMi)
- Mason Jar with lid - any large retail supermarket
- Plastic Tray (10”x20”) - http://growgreenmi.com/garden-supplies/cloning/tray-dome/mondi-propagation-tray-1020-no-holes
- Medium (Soil/Coco works best) - http://growgreenmi.com/growing-media/coco/roots-organics-coco-palms-1-5-cubic-feet
- Humidity dome for 10x20" tray (optional) - http://growgreenmi.com/garden-supplies/cloning/tray-dome/mondi-4in-propagation-dome-no-vents
How do you grow wheatgrass?
There are only a few steps before you are growing wheatgrass successfully:
- Germination – sprouting the seed
- Transferring – placing the sprouted seed in your medium [Some people prefer to germinate seeds directly in their medium, omit this step if desired]
- Vegetative Growth – allowing the wheatgrass grow
- Harvesting – collecting the lush wheatgrass
Germination - 2 different ways to germinate your seeds
Place your seed in the mason jar, and then pour fresh water into the jar until the level of water is just above the level of seeds.
Place the lid on top of the jar and allow the seeds to absorb some of the water for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, pour the old water out and replace it with fresh water.
The lid can be used to prevent seeds from falling out while draining.
Wait 12-24 hours, or until the roots emerging from the seeds are about ¼ inch long.
The seeds are now ready for transferring.
If you want to germinate your seeds directly in your medium, just wet the medium generously and spread the seeds evenly over the surface.
Place a humidity dome over the top to keep the water from evaporating too quickly, and the seeds will begin to sprout in the humid air of the tray.
Skip the transferring step below if you choose to use this method instead of germinating in jars.
Fill your tray with at least 1 inch of media so the roots will be sufficiently anchored. Try to make sure it is evenly distributed in the tray. A variety of media may be used to grow wheatgrass, peat moss or coco based media absorb water and are common media.
Dump out the sprouting seeds and try and spread them evenly over the surface of your soil with your hand. Pre-wetting the medium will help to avoid disturbing the seeds before they are stable and rooted.
Wheatgrass grows best with moderate light. Ambient light in most homes is generally enough to grow wheatgrass, but placing the tray near a window or in a well lit area will yield the best results. Avoid direct sunlight as this can cause the seeds to get too hot.
Diffused light is best, so if you are using a light make sure to place it 24-48 inches above the trays.
Keeping the tray medium moist is also important. Misting the tray generously twice a day with a spray bottle generally is sufficient. Excessive moisture can encourage mold growth so dont water too much.
It takes 10-20 days for wheatgrass to grow, and when you are satisfied with its size you are ready for harvesting.
There are many ways to harvest wheatgrass. A sharp pair of scissors is easy to find and works well. Holding the scissors horizontally, cut sections of the fresh wheatgrass as close to the root as possible.
The nutritional contents of wheatgrass are difficult to preserve once separated from the root, so it is recommended to only harvest what you are going to use immediately.