Wheatgrass belongs to the Poaceae grass family.
The wheatgrass plant must be harvested before the jointing stage.
Once harvested, it can be immediately made into fresh juice or powdered into wheatgrass tablets, capsules or powder supplements.
Wheatgrass juice can be homemade or bought fresh at juice bars or food stores as bottled drinks. Wheatgrass powder must be bought from a manufacturer for it cannot be made at home.
To make wheatgrass juice, you can either grow your own grass or buy fresh fully grown wheatgrass and make your own juice.
For both, you need a wheatgrass juicer or a blender that makes juice from the grass.
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Simple steps to grow wheatgrass indoors
You can grow wheatgrass indoors by following these simple steps.
Take some wheatgrass seeds and soak them for about 8-12 hours in a sprouting jar after rinsing it several times.
Select a cool location and place a planting container there. Take enough seeds to fill the planting container.
After the required soaking time, drain all the water by covering the sprouting jar with a fine cloth, or through a strainer or colander. Rinse the seeds once more before planting them.
Spread a layer of organic soil in the planting container or other trays and plant the seeds close together but not in piles. Each seed must be separate from the other.
Use a spray bottle and gently sprinkle water on the seeds. Cover the tray with newspaper to retain moisture and keep out light.
The trays must be kept in a dark, warm spot for 2-3 days. Keep checking to see when the seeds begin to sprout and keep them moist always.
When the wheatgrass becomes 1 inch in height, move the trays to a sunny spot near a window, water them daily, making sure the soil is damp. Do not over water them to become saturated.
Wheatgrass grows very fast, so keep checking daily. When it is about 8-10 inches in height, it will be ready to harvest. This could take 8-10 days. Cut each stem at the bottom using scissors.
Wheatgrass is now ready to use. Although it can be refrigerated, the best benefits are enjoyed when wheatgrass is consumed fresh.
Wheatgrass kits are available at organic and food stores. These kits come with easy-to-follow instructions, wheatgrass seed, growing trays, organic soil, azomite and more.
Azomite is a mineral additive that is natural and provides your homegrown wheatgrass with the necessary trace minerals the body requires.
These stores also carry all that you require to make your own homemade wheatgrass juice like juicers.
These kits can be used even in apartments. Now, you can grow your own wheatgrass under hygienic conditions.
Important Wheatgrass Growing tips
Mold: The main problem faced by homeowners who grow wheatgrass is that it is prone to mold. If you consume wheatgrass with mold, you can develop side effects.
To avoid mold, do not soak seeds for longer than 8 hours and plant them as soon as this time is over. This prevents mold from developing.
Add azomite or mineral salt to water (1tbsp / gallon). Use this to water young wheatgrass shoots. Adding grapefruit seed extract to the water you soak seeds in before planting can also prevent mold. Make sure you maintain an ideal growing temperature that is dry and around 70 degrees. In spite of these precautions, if you still develop mold, then power rinse the wheatgrass before juicing it.
Weather: Very cold weather (<50 degrees) will make wheatgrass grow very slowly. Temperatures below 32 degrees will freeze the plant and it will not grow.
This holds good for very high temperatures of 80 degrees and more. Hot weather also increases the chances of developing mold and wilting plants. Hence, ideal conditions to grow wheatgrass are – moderate temperatures of around 70 degrees and indirect sunlight.
Space: Once you enjoy the benefits of wheatgrass, you may wish to grow more and then space becomes a problem.
You make your own racks using PVC pipes or purchase racks from the hardware stores. This allows you to save space.
If possible, have a separate greenhouse.
The other option is to buy fresh wheatgrass for juicing or wheatgrass powder supplements.
Buying wheatgrass is quick and simple.
Wheatgrass powder does not take long to make into juice. Even those who wish to buy fresh wheatgrass and juice it can find it at health food stores.
This is of course the quicker and easier option as long as you know the manufacturing practices under which it is grown.
For this, you can read manufacturers labels to see if it is 100% certified organic or visit the website to see their farming practices.
For example, if you visit the website of ‘DynamicGreens’ you can read their entire farming practices.
Their wheatgrass is grown outdoors under direct sunlight to ensure maximum chlorophyll content.
Natural organic farming practices ensure that the product is pesticide and herbicide free.
Since it is grown outdoors during the seasonal growth cycle, it is virtually free of mold that contaminates indoor grass.
This makes outdoor grown grass taste better.
The main difference between growing and buying wheatgrass grown outdoors is the mold issue.
Wheatgrass grown outdoors under the right conditions ensures that it is virtually free of mold.
High humidity indoors means greater chance of mold to grown.
Buying outdoor grown wheatgrass means that there is lower density in planting, seasonal plans like frost cycles are followed and the plants get sufficient air and sunlight.
Buying good wheatgrass – fresh or powdered – is easier and safer option. Homegrown wheatgrass while it is cheaper involves greater effort in growing and maintaining the plants. Hence, consider the pros and cons and make your choice.