In the past decade or so, wheatgrass has become popular in health and wellness stores because of the things it can you your body with. You’ve probably seen it in juice bars are well as nutrition stores. But what if I told you that you can make them at home? Here’s how to grow wheatgrass in your garden.
The benefits of wheatgrass stem from its rich nutrient and antioxidant properties. This allows it to replenish your body to help it get healthier.
Just as importantly, many experts believe that it has the ability to lower cholesterol, help regular blood sugar, kill cancer cells, let you lose weight and reduce inflammation. All of these things are major health issues that we face today.
What Do You Need to Grow Wheat Grass?
One of the best things about wheatgrass is you don’t need a lot of space to grow them. You’ve probably seen the servers in the juice bars carry them out in trays. And, frankly that’s all you’ll need to house your wheatgrass.
Here are some of the important things to have when growing wheatgrass at home.
- Wheat sprouting seeds. Wheatgrass are the first leaves that sprout from wheat. So, to grow them you’ll need the seeds.
- Growing tray. This is where you’ll plant the seeds. Ideally, the tray will have holes to allow excess water to drain out. Trays come in different sizes. We recommend starting with something small and increasing the size if you feel you need to grow more for your juicing needs.
- Soil. You’ll need soil to plant the seeds in it. Just a bit of soil to fill the tray would be enough. You don’t need a lot like you would in your garden or for plants.
- A bowl or container to soak the seeds. You can also use a mason jar. I don’t like small openings which make it difficult at times to handle things.
- Spoon to measuring things with.
- Trowel for handling the soil.
- Scissors to cut the wheatgrass when you harvest them.
- Juicer. You’ll need a masticating juice or a wheatgrass juice to get the juice out of them. We don’t recommend the more standard centrifugal juicers for wheatgrass.
How to Grow Wheat Grass at Home for Juicing
Before starting here are a few things to know about them. This gives you some estimates of what to expect. I like knowing this beforehand, so it gives me an overview of what’s happening.
In general, wheatgrass needs light. So, it’s a good idea to prepare a place that gets direct sunlight. In the beginning indirect light is good enough. But later on, you’ll need more direct light.
Water is another requirement. But, you won’t be using a cup full. All you need to do is sprinkle some water on it twice a day. Mist of water is enough to help it grow.
The plant has a germination time of about 2 days. It will then take 7 to 10 days to harvest.
Like most plants, it like moderate temperatures. Ideally, somewhere between 60 o 75 degrees Fahrenheit is good. But, it is fairly resilient as well, so both moist and dry conditions aren’t a problem.
Now, here are the steps to grow wheatgrass in your tray.
- Start by filling the bowl or container with water half full. Then, place the seeds into the bowl or container. The goal it to cover all the seeds and have an extra inch above the top of the seeds.
- Let the seeds soak in the water overnight. The soaking process helps soften the outer layer of the seeds preparing them for planting.
- Get your growing tray and fill it with half and inch to an inch high of potting soil.
- Strain the soaked seeds to get rid of all the water. Then, place the seeds over the tray of soil you prepared. Arrange them into a single layer and press them down against the soil
- Fill a spray bottle with water and use it to mist the seeds on the tray. This is a great way to control watering without overwatering the seeds.
- Cover your seeds with paper. You can use an old newspaper for this step which makes it easy. Then, wet the paper so that it is completely soaked.
- For the next two days, mist the top of the paper twice or thrice a day. This helps maintain moisture in the dark environment which is ideal for wheatgrass to grow.
- On the fourth day, take the newspaper out and move the container to a place that has direct sunlight. By this time, the wheatgrass would have already grown to an inch high.
- Continue to spray the plants with water twice or thrice a day.
- Between days 7 and 10 you’ll see an entire ray of wheatgrass ready to be juiced.
How to Harvest Wheat Grass for Juicing
Once you have an entire tray of wheatgrass, it’s time to harvest. The goal here is to get some of the grass for juicing and let the remaining keep growing.
You can start harvesting when the wheatgrass is about 4 to 6 inches tall.
Use the scissors to cut the top two-thirds of the grass making sure to leave the area above the roots.
Once you’ve cut them, it’s time to juice.
For maximum effect, wheat grass should be juiced right after harvesting. You’ll need a juicer for this purpose. The juicer will squeeze all the liquid out of the plant.
If you don’t have a juicer, you want also cut them up and use a mortar and pestle to build them into a paste or ground them. This requires more hand labor but it’s just as effective.