Wheatgrass can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
Wheatgrass grown from wheat seeds is a powerful food source. While the plant is part of the common wheat species triticum aestivum, when harvested and consumed at the right stage, it is rich in chlorophyll and full of essential nutrients.
After intensive agricultural research, several chemists like Dr. Schnabel, Dr. Kohler and others found that wheatgrass was the finest grass and contains a wide variety of amino acids, vitamins A, C and E, antioxidants, enzymes, essential fatty acids and minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium etc.
Growing wheatgrass at home is a simple and cheap way to get the benefits of this plant.
Growing wheatgrass indoors allows us to control the growing environment and harvest the plant just at the right time to enjoy the best nutritive value. By growing them indoors, you can even make sure it does not form mold and you can use soil free of pesticides.
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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 a 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.
How to use homegrown wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is used in powder form, tablets, tincture or juice. Homegrown wheatgrass is best used for making juices and smoothies. All that you need is a wheatgrass juicer and some good recipes and you can make various different types of drinks.
Leaving wheatgrass for longer periods than 10 days will reduce its nutritive value besides increasing the chance of mold formation.
If you cannot use your wheatgrass quickly, cut off the yellowing parts and put it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It can be used a week after this.
While consuming homegrown wheatgrass juice is healthy, do not drink more than the recommended quantities. This may cause side effects like nausea, headaches or hives.
Be careful when consuming raw for you can get infected by bacteria and mold. Cleaning it properly before consumption is essential.
If anyone in your family has grass or wheat allergies, gluten intolerance, and celiac disease or are pregnant and breastfeeding, check with their doctor before taking any form of wheatgrass.
Grow wheatgrass at home, for if you do so, you can save money, it is simple and easy, it is fresh and fast, you can enjoy toxin-free refreshing drink, wheatgrass is a complete food, you can make tasty and delicious drinks that are highly nutritious, low in calories and full of essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, build up your body’s immunity against various infections and diseases and you can enjoy its detoxification benefits.
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