Craving a Rustic Indoor Look – Grow WheatGrass Indoors
Wheatgrass is one of the most tolerant grains to grow indoors or out. It has so many healthful uses. It’s loaded with vitamins and nutrients most doctors recommend for daily intake. Ann Wigmore, author of “The Wheatgrass Book,” published in 1985, was a chief proponent of wheatgrass juice to promote good health.
It’s surprising that wheatgrass has not become a gardening “must have.” It’s so easy to propagate wheatgrass. It’s one of the low maintenance plants for indoor or outdoor gardeners. Indoors, fully ripened wheatgrass creates a great rustic look that’s so popular in many homes today.
Where to Buy Wheatgrass
There are several sources for where to buy wheatgrass seeds. They can be purchased online. Often, grocery and healthfood stores carry them in smaller quantities. For larger quantities check with a garden center that supplies various types of grains to rural farmers.
Growing Wheatgrass Indoors
Learning how to grow your own wheatgrass indoors is relatively easy. It grows in virtually any type of container. The larger the container you select, the more wheatgrass you can grow. Most indoor wheatgrass gardeners prefer a long tray. Wheatgrass like mung beans and barley grow from seeds. Begin by rinsing the seeds in a colander or fine mesh strainer. Drain thoroughly. Place the moistened seeds in a bowl. Add water. The ratio is three cups water to one cup seeds. Cover with plastic wrap to germinate the seeds. Allow the seeds to soak overnight. Repeat the process until the seeds have been soaked a total of three times. By the end of the third soak, tiny white sprouts appear. The seeds are ready to be planted in potting soil.
Healthful Benefits of Wheatgrass
There are many wheatgrass health benefits. It’s high in Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, I and K. It’s a major source of chlorophyll and helps increase red blood cells in the body. Study the health benefits of wheatgrass to understand the difference in growing methods that increase these benefits. Basically, live wheatgrass is a better source of nutrients than dried seeds. However, many health-conscious individuals prefer wheatgrass sprouts added to their salads. The bright green wheatgrass stalks also add a lot of nutritious color to salads. Today, many healthful stores carry wheatgrass in supplement form, although this is not necessarily as high in quality as freshly grown wheatgrass. A handful of seeds will produce enough wheatgrass for several ounces of wheatgrass juice. The juice of wheatgrass has many healthful properties that benefit the heart, mental acuity and some users claim a reduction in arthritic pain.
Grow Your Own Wheatgrass
Growing wheatgrass at home is fairly simple and easy. Once the seeds have been soaked and sprouts appear, it’s basically up to the indoor gardener to decide how far along they want the growing process to continue. Some gardeners prefer to use mainly the sprouts. Other gardeners like the idea of allowing the stalks to split and grow to about six inches before harvesting for juice. This stage takes only approximately ten days. If the stalks are cut an inch from the base, a second crop will continue from the first. Generally, wheatgrass will provide two to three viable crops with this method.
Wheatgrass can also be allowed to grow to full maturity and return to seed to create the next crop of wheatgrass plants. This can save on the cost of purchasing more wheatgrass seeds. After the last crop has been harvested from the tray, consider replacing the potting soil to give the new crop a fresh start. Potting soil can become depleted from multiple harvests that decrease soil nutrients required to produce a crop of wheatgrass.
Grow Wheatgrass Hydroponically
In addition to the method of germinating wheatgrass seeds by soaking and then planting them in potting soil in trays, another method that works well is to grow hydroponic wheatgrass. Growing wheatgrass in water rather than soil is similar to how alfalfa and soy beans are grown. As the name suggests, wheatgrass is grown in a tray of water that has a base of sphagnum peat moss. The peat moss helps the wheatgrass seeds to take root. Don’t pack the peat moss into the bottom of the tray. Add water to within a half inch of the top of the tray. Add in the drained and soaked wheatgrass seeds as with planting in soil. Wheatgrass favors nutrient enriched fertilizer like kelp to insure highest quality.
Another Growing Method to Try
There’s one other method of growing wheatgrass that is fairly simple. Purchase a length of cheesecloth that fits neatly into a seed tray. Most fabric stores carry cheesecloth, as do several department stores that sell cookware and baking tools. Before lining the tray, soak the cheesecloth and place in the seed tray. Soak the wheatgrass seeds as with the soil and hydroponic methods. Cover lightly with more cheesecloth and place in a warm, not sunny windowsill or on a table. It will take about a week for sprouts to appear beneath the cheesecloth. Check occasionally to insure the bottom layer of cheesecloth doesn’t dry out.
Indoor Gardens and Wheatgrass
The simple process of germinating, growing and harvesting wheatgrass makes it a perfect addition to indoor gardens. One of the best benefits is that the gardener has total control over the quality of the crop. Choose winter wheatgrass seeds for best results. Then, select chemical-free trays to germinate and harvest the seeds. Look for the best quality, chemical-free sphagnum moss for use in growing wheatgrass hydroponically. Wheatgrass growing can be a family project and for children, a great science lesson. It’s so easy to grow. Even a child can do it. There are no harmful chemicals to worry about. When children are part of growing wheatgrass indoors, it’s a great opportunity to focus their attention on good health.
Beautify Your Home or Office with a Wheatgrass Display
Wheatgrass is colorful enough to brighten a home or office. Consider adding it to an indoor herb or vegetable container garden.
When wheatgrass returns to seed, it can be dried and used in dried flower arrangements, wreaths and decorative swags. To create a rustic swag, simply secure a bunch of wheatgrass stalks together with florist wire and add a few sprigs of rosemary, sage and thyme. Add a pretty, colorful calico bow and hang over the kitchen entry or on a wall.
Wheatgrass in Recipes
When dried herbs or wheatgrass are needed for recipes, snip off a few sprigs from the swag. Dried wheatgrass can be used many other ways. For example, when it’s ground with a mortar and pestle, it becomes wheat flour that makes muffins, scones or bread. Give it a quick whirl in a food processor to use in morning cereals. Use a food processor to turn dried wheatgrass into fine powdery flour. To make a morning gratin, cook wheatgrass as you would oatmeal of farina and add cinnamon, raisins and slightly ground nuts, like almonds or walnuts. Ground wheatgrass can also be used in cookies, cakes and pie crusts to give these a wheat flavor. These are fairly common used for dried wheatgrass. Search for others to get maximum use from your crop of wheatgrass.
A Glass of Wheatgrass Juice a Day
The popularity of wheatgrass juice began more than two decades ago in the USA. However, wheatgrass juice has been around for centuries when it was used largely for medicinal purposes. It shouldn’t be surprising that many “cures” have been attributed over time to the use of wheatgrass juice. With such high levels of nutrients contained in wheatgrass, a single four ounce glass of wheatgrass juice a day shows a marked increase in the stamina and energy in individuals who choose to add it to their health regimens. After the last Ice Age, deposits of soils containing extraordinarily high minerals in the Midwestern states of the USA, wheatgrass came to be a staple of farming in this area. Today, wheatgrass has proven resilient enough to grow in a wider area of the country. For health minded individuals this allows greater access to wheatgrass seeds for indoor and outdoor gardening purposes.
Start Your Own Indoor Wheatgrass Garden and Enjoy Good Health
The cost to start a wheatgrass garden is relatively minimal by comparison to other types of indoor gardens. Here’s all you’ll need to get started:
- Wheatgrass seeds (buy in small packages or large bags depending on the size of your garden)
- Several seed trays that are at least ten inches long and six inches wide with a rim at least three inches high
- Sphagnum peat moss
- A clear cover or lid
- A bowl for soaking seeds overnight
- Cheesecloth (for growing in a tray with water)
- Ambient room temperature
- Moderate light after seeds take root and produce stalks
- A juicer to make wheatgrass juice
- A food processor to make large volumes of wheatgrass flour
- A mortal and pestle for smaller amounts of wheatgrass flour
Wake up with a glass of wheatgrass juice grown in your own indoor garden.