- How to Grow Wheatgrass Indoors -

I had a packet of McKenzie wheatgrass sprout seeds that were probably two or three years old. They've been waiting to be planted. I haven't grown wheatgrass before, but had read about the health benefits - lots of vitamins, minerals, protein, plus super antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Wheatgrass sprout seeds

Day 1: I started the seeds on January 22. The package indicates 10-12 days to be ready to eat.

Wheatgrass seeds soaking

I soaked the seeds overnight, and then drained through a fine-meshed screen.

Planting wheatgrass seeds in reusable container
Day 2: To plant the seeds, I used a takeout food storage container, and put drainage holes in the bottom. You can drill holes, or use a hammer and a thick nail to hammer holes. (To prevent the container from cracking, I placed the container on top of a piece of cardboard with a wooden board below the cardboard.) Fill the container with approximately 1 inch of organic potting soil - only use soil that indicates it's for growing food. 

I placed the rinsed and drained seeds in the soil, spread out thickly and evenly, and then pressed them down with the flat side of a fork. Mist on top with water from a spray bottle. Do not cover with soil.

Covering wheatgrass seeds to encourage germination

Cover the seeds with a double layer of very damp newspaper and place in a dark location (e.g. in a cupboard), to keep moist and to encourage germination. You can place a weight on top for the first few days, to keep the seeds embedded in the soil. 

Days 3, 4, and 5: For the next 3 days, in the morning and in the evening, remove the newspaper and spritz the soil with water. Then wet the newspaper and place back on top, and place the container back in the dark location.

sprouted wheatgrass seeds

Day 6: By now, your seeds should have sprouted. If most have sprouted, remove the cover and move to a sunny location; otherwise continue to mist and cover until most have germinated. Since this package was a few years old, the germination rate may be lower, so I decided to move to a sunny location. I have a shelf unit that faces southeast; so it receives good light in the morning and early afternoon. I have an LED grow light that I use to supplement the light, beginning in the late afternoon, for 3 hours. If you have very little daylight, as during certain winter months, you can leave the grow light on for 5 or 6 hours. If you have a south-facing window, a grow light is not necessary.

Days 7-11: The wheatgrass has been growing well. Each day I mist with water, both in the morning and in the evening, to keep the seedlings moist.  

indoor wheatgrass in sunny window

Day 11
: Five days after moving to a sunny location, the wheatgrass is close to being ready to cut.

 Day 13: Wheatgrass grows quickly. Giving the grass two additional days resulted in a few extra inches of growth. The height is now approximately 7 inches, and ready to be cut.

I cut the grass about an inch above the surface, and then washed in a colander.

I juiced the wheatgrass in a juicer, and we enjoyed three shots of juice. The recommended juicer is a cold-press juicer that uses pressure to squeeze the grass, and results in less oxidation of the chlorophyll. I don't have a cold-press juicer, and tried my centrifugal juicer. But this type of juicer does not work well. I had to put the grass through several times to extract all the juice. If you don't have a cold-press juicer, I recommend using a blender, and adding water to the grass in the blender; then straining the juice through a fine-meshed sieve to separate from the pulp. 

You can drink a small amount of the pure juice, or mix with other juice such as pineapple juice. When the grass is cut, it smells wonderful - similar (but different) to fresh-cut grass! But I have to warn you that the taste is not good; however, knowing that the juice is so nutritious makes it easy to swallow a small amount.

Day 16: Three days after the initial cut, the grass has grown a few inches. You can get approximately three harvests; however, the nutritional value decreases with each harvest.

To keep a steady supply, you would need to start several containers at different times.


Popular Posts