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How to Grow Wheatgrass: Grow and Care Guide For Beginners

Are you new to gardening? Wheatgrass is a great place to start for beginners. Find out how in this growing guide for wheatgrass…

Growing wheatgrass at home is a simple and rewarding endeavour suitable for beginners. In this growing guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully cultivate your own wheatgrass, from the essential tools and equipment to detailed step-by-step instructions. Whether you’re looking to improve your diet with its rich nutrients or enjoy its vibrant greenery indoors, learning how to grow wheatgrass can be a quick and cost-effective project.

Tools and Materials

  • Working Time: 15 – 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 week
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: £24 (approximately $30)

Before diving into how to grow wheatgrass, ensure you have the right tools and materials. You’ll need:

  • Nursery tray.
  • Spray bottle.
  • Clean white cloth to cover the tray.
  • Sharp, clean scissors. 
  • Organic, sterile potting mix.
  • Liquid kelp fertiliser.
  • Wheatgrass seeds.

Wheatgrass is not just for health enthusiasts; it’s an easy-to-grow plant that fits perfectly in a mini kitchen garden, thriving year-round under minimal care. Begin by understanding what wheatgrass really is: it is the young shoots of the wheat plant, harvested before they mature fully, typically 7-10 days after sprouting.

Where To Grow Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass thrives indoors, making it a perfect plant for home gardeners looking to add a nutritious boost to their diet. Here’s how to create the perfect environment for your wheatgrass plant.

1. Preparing for Planting

To ensure the best start for your wheatgrass, soak the seeds in room temperature water overnight. Ensure all seeds are submerged by at least an inch of water. This softening process is crucial as it helps break down the tough outer coating of the seeds, setting the stage for successful sprouting.

  • Choosing the Right Container: Select a nursery tray that allows ample room for growth. The next day, after soaking, thoroughly rinse the wheatgrass seeds to remove any impurities. This preparation is key to encouraging healthy sprouts.
  • Soil: Fill your tray with a 1/2″ to 1″ layer of organic, sterile potting mix. Spray the soil with a water mister to achieve even moisture—aim for damp, not soggy. Level the soil by gently tapping the container on your counter.

2. Sowing Seeds

  • Planting: Disperse your seeds in a single layer over the soil. The density of your planting will determine how thickly the wheatgrass will grow, so adjust according to your preference.
  • Covering the Tray: Use a clean white cloth or a sheet of newspaper to cover the tray. This will maintain moisture and protect the seeds. Mist the cover lightly with your spray bottle.

3. Germination and Growth

  • Dark, cool environment: Keep the tray in a dark area where temperatures are stable between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Misting: This temperature range is optimal for wheatgrass and helps prevent the growth of mould. It’s vital to keep the cover moist during the germination period, which typically lasts 2-3 days. Regular misting prevents the seeds from drying out.

4. Caring for Sprouting Wheatgrass

  • Light: Once sprouts are visible, remove the cover and transfer the tray to an area with indirect sunlight. This gradual introduction to light helps the young wheatgrass acclimatise without stress.
  • Fertilising: Enhance growth by misting your wheatgrass with a diluted solution of liquid kelp fertiliser every other day. This not only waters the plant but also feeds it essential nutrients.

Harvesting

Your wheatgrass will be ready to harvest when it reaches about 7 inches in height, typically within 7 to 10 days of sprouting. Use sharp scissors to cut what you need at the base. This method ensures the roots remain undisturbed, allowing the plant to continue growing.

Wheatgrass can be harvested multiple times; however, trimming it regularly is necessary to promote fresh growth and prevent the development of seed heads.

Ways to Use Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass isn’t just a health supplement; it’s a versatile addition to your daily diet. Here’s how to incorporate homegrown wheatgrass into your routine and fully leverage its health benefits.

  • Wheatgrass Shots and Juices: The most direct way to enjoy wheatgrass is by juicing it. Fresh wheatgrass shots are a potent source of vitamins and can kickstart your morning with an energy boost. For a gentler introduction, mix a smaller quantity of wheatgrass juice with other fruit or vegetable juices to ease your body into its intense detoxifying properties.
  • Smoothies and Salads: Sprinkle finely chopped wheatgrass over salads or blend it into your smoothies. Its mild, earthy flavour pairs well with sweet fruits and hearty greens, adding not just nutrition but also a vibrant colour to your meals.
  • Culinary Uses: Experiment with wheatgrass in salad dressings or as a garnish for savoury dishes. Its fresh, grassy taste can enhance the flavour profile of your recipes.
  • Skin Treatments: Wheatgrass has anti-inflammatory properties, making it excellent for skin care. Add wheatgrass juice to your bathwater to help soothe irritated skin, reduce acne, and promote healing of scars. For scalp care, massage wheatgrass juice into your scalp before rinsing to alleviate dandruff.
  • Applying: Apply wheatgrass juice directly to the skin to soothe bites, cuts, or scratches. Its antibacterial properties help prevent infection and speed up the healing process, while its moisturising effects soften the skin.

Check out some more benefits of wheatgrass in this article.

How to Grow Wheatgrass Without Soil

grow wheatgrass

For those interested in a cleaner and more decorative way to grow wheatgrass, the soilless method is an attractive alternative.

Setup and Sprouting

Similar to the traditional method, start by soaking and rinsing your wheatgrass seeds. Instead of soil, spread the seeds at the bottom of a shallow tray and cover them lightly with water.

Creating the Right Environment: 

Cover the tray with a cloth overnight to create a dark, moist environment, conducive to sprouting. This mimics the greenhouse effect, which helps in the early growth stages.

Maintenance and Harvesting

To prevent mould and ensure healthy growth, it’s crucial to rinse and drain the seeds multiple times a day. Keep the environment ventilated and maintain a consistent temperature.

Wheatgrass grown without soil usually sprouts within a few days and is ready to harvest by day 8 or 9. Ensure the shoots are green and lush before harvesting.

  • Pro Tip: Some growers use a layer of wet kitchen towel beneath the seeds topped with clingfilm to enhance the greenhouse effect. This method requires careful monitoring to avoid mould growth.

Benefits of Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is packed with nutrients, including iron, calcium, and magnesium, and rich in vitamins A, C, and E. It boasts a high concentration of chlorophyll, which is known for its health benefits such as boosting energy, detoxifying the body, and even aiding in digestion and cholesterol management.

Are you confident enough to take your gardening efforts to the next level? Learn how to grow a monkey face plant.

Wheatgrass Care Tips

Growing wheatgrass effectively means knowing how to manage the environment it thrives in. Here are key care tips to ensure your wheatgrass grows healthy and is ready for consumption in no time.

  • Light: Wheatgrass should be placed in an area that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be too harsh and may damage the delicate grass, so a spot with filtered light is ideal.
  • Water and Soil: Use a lightweight potting mix, as standard garden soil can be too dense and retain too much moisture, which isn’t ideal for wheatgrass. The potting mix should be kept slightly damp. Regular misting, up to twice a day, will maintain the ideal moisture level without over-saturating the soil.
  • Temperature and Humidity Control: Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity is crucial for preventing mould and ensuring vigorous growth. Keep the growing area at around 68°F and use a fan to promote air circulation. This helps keep the air dry and prevents mould spores from taking hold.
  • Fertilising: Wheatgrass benefits from regular feeding with a diluted liquid kelp fertiliser every other day. This provides essential nutrients without the risk of over-fertilization, which can harm the delicate roots.
  • Pruning: Wheatgrass doesn’t require complex pruning; simply trim what you need using scissors. It’s important to note that the nutritional quality may decrease after the first harvest, so starting a new batch periodically is beneficial.
  • Pests and Problems: Indoor wheatgrass is generally pest-free, but if grown outdoors, be vigilant of black grass bugs, which are difficult to control without chemicals. Indoors, the primary concern remains mould; however, proper air circulation typically mitigates this risk.

Propagating Wheatgrass

Once your initial batch of wheatgrass seeds has sprouted and grown sufficiently, you can propagate new batches. Follow a similar growing process as shown above first, and then spread the sprouted seeds in a dense layer over fresh potting soil. 

Lightly mist the surface to keep it moist but not waterlogged, and cover the tray loosely with plastic wrap to conserve moisture. 

Keep this setup in a warm area but out of direct sunlight. Monitor daily, and you should see active growth within three to five days. 

Once the seeds have established themselves, remove the cover and move the tray to a location with bright, indirect light.

Simple Ways To Grow Wheatgrass At Home

In conclusion, growing wheatgrass at home is a straightforward and rewarding process. By following simple steps to prepare, plant, and care for your wheatgrass, you can enjoy a continuous supply of this nutrient-rich plant. With the right conditions—proper lighting, moisture, and temperature—you can harvest your wheatgrass in just a week or two. Incorporate it into your diet for its health benefits or use it topically for natural skin and hair care. 

Protect your wheatgrass against pests such as rats by learning how to get rid of rats naturally.

FAQs


How long does it take to grow wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass typically takes about 7 to 10 days to grow sufficiently for harvesting.

Will wheatgrass regrow after cutting?

Yes, wheatgrass can regrow after cutting. It often has the capacity to regrow several times if watered and cared for properly.

How do you grow wheatgrass at home in the UK?

To grow wheatgrass at home in the UK, start by soaking wheat seeds overnight. Then, spread them evenly in a tray filled with potting soil. Keep the soil moist and place the tray in an area with indirect sunlight. The grass should be ready to harvest in about 7 to 10 days.

Is it hard to grow wheatgrass?

Growing wheatgrass is not difficult. It requires minimal equipment, just seeds, soil, a tray, and consistent watering. It grows quickly and can be done indoors, making it accessible for most beginners.

How long after planting wheatgrass is it ready to use?

Wheatgrass typically becomes ready for use in decorative projects or as a dietary supplement within six to eight days after planting.

Can I use a blender to mix wheatgrass into a drink?

To fully extract the nutritional benefits from wheatgrass, a masticating juicer is required because a standard blender may not be powerful enough to effectively juice the grass.

Is wheatgrass useful as an outdoor plant?

Wheatgrass is effective as an outdoor groundcover and is suitable for areas with livestock, as they are prone to grazing on it, making it an excellent choice for agricultural settings.

Sources


Gregory, N., (2023) 4 Expert-Backed Benefits Of Wheatgrass. Forbes. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/health/nutrition/benefits-of-wheatgrass/ [accessed 30/05/24]

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