How To Grow Wheatgrass For Juicing
The first time I took a shot of wheatgrass I thought I was going to gag! So why would I ever want to grow wheatgrass? Refer back to my last post, ABC’s Of Juicing Wheatgrass: Benefits Of Wheatgrass. I must admit, I just didn’t do it right the first time, or the second time for that matter. It took some time and experimentation, but I have a few good recipes now. It’s not hard to grow wheatgrass for juicing and it can be done indoors or outside with the proper seeds, a growing tray, some soil, water and a little sunlight. You can even buy a wheatgrass growing kit to make things easier.
The kit even has instructions, but if you don’t want a kit, you can buy the seeds and use what you have around the house to grow wheatgrass. I’ll show you how.
The seeds are sold online and you can get excellent organic seeds here: Certified Organic Hard Red Wheat – 5 Lbs – For Growing Wheatgrass to Juice, Sprouting Seed, Grinding to Make Flour & Bread, Growing Ornamental Wheat Grass & More. Makes Excellent Food Storage. Outstanding Germination Rate.
In addition to the seeds you’ll need soil to grow wheatgrass. I buy organic soil at my local garden store. It has worked fine for me in the past. You can also just use some soil from your garden. My garden has compost made from my juicing pulp. It is excellent!
Trays are next. You could buy a couple of 10″x10″ trays (no drain holes) and these work great indoors and there are larger trays (with holes), 21″x11″x2″ that I use outdoors. I found my large trays at a nursery and the gentleman let me have them for free. So you could try that before buying some. A local nursery might have everything you need and give you trays to grow wheatgrass in for free.
To grow wheatgrass indoors I suggest using a small tray (10×10) or something similar in size. You’ll need one cup of seeds. Let them soak overnight in water. If you’re using a large tray, 2 cups of seeds should be enough. You’ll want to completely cover the soil in a layer of seeds. I found this unusual, but that’s how it works.
Prepare your tray with soil and then take the seeds that have been soaking and spread them out on the soil. They lay on top of the soil, uncovered by the soil. See photo A. Then take a couple of paper towels and layer them over the seeds. This is to water them. Spray (soak) the paper towels with water. See photo B.
Now all they need is a little light. Surprisingly, (at least to me) it doesn’t require a lot of sunlight to grow wheatgrass. I put mine on a plant cart and have it sitting near the window. There’s no direct sunlight there. Water (spray) the paper towel down occasionally so it doesn’t get dry. My house is dry, so I have to do this 3 or 4 times a day for the first few days. When growing it outdoors, I put it in a mostly shaded area, but it does get direct sunlight in the morning. Too much direct sun might kill it. When I grow wheatgrass outdoors I watch it carefully so that it doesn’t burn up.
After a few days you’ll notice the seeds sprouting. See Photo C. Leave the paper towels on, just keep them wet. Mine usually start to push the paper towels up after 4 or 5 days and then I remove the paper towels.
Continue to water the soil in the tray. I use a spray bottle when the sprouts are just coming up and a pitcher or hose as it grows higher. Water it once a day to keep the soil damp at the roots. The tray I use indoors doesn’t have holes in the bottom, so I have to be careful I don’t add too much water . When growing wheatgrass outdoors (it’s hot here in the summer) I can water until it seeps through the bottom of the tray and it’ll just drip to the ground.
The wheatgrass will be ready to harvest when it’s 5 to 7 inches high. If it gets too tall it won’t taste good when it’s juiced. It’ll be too strong or bitter. It’s better to cut earlier than too late. Trust me, it’s harsh when it’s grown for too long.
I take mine outside on the back deck to cut it, because the grass goes everywhere. I use grass shears to cut mine. Cut the grass off near the soil, about an inch up. It’ll have no problem coming back for a second time.
Note: Watch out for mold. I haven’t had any trouble with mine except when growing indoors in a planter, but if it does get mold you can wash it off before you juice it. And if you have a wheat or grass allergy, check with your healthcare professional before drinking wheatgrass juice.
There are of course different ways of doing things, but this is how I’ve done it in the past and it works for me. It always grows fine and I usually grow too much. I encourage you to experiment. Like my grandmother used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
I have beautiful, nutritious wheatgrass for my juicer whenever I want it. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. Have you grown wheatgrass? How do you like it?
In the next post I’ll go over how I juice the wheatgrass with my Omega J8004 juicer and I’ll have a couple of recipes for you. Thanks again for reading and happy juicing.