Growing wheat grass At Home is easy: here’s how To Grow Wheatgrass Indoors
Growing wheatgrass is easy-peasy that you’re ready to harvest in just 10 days! (if you follow this guide)
But watch out for one common mistake or all your effort, time, and money goes straight down the drain. Don’t worry though it is 100% preventable as you’ll soon see.
Put your curiosity to rest, and let us show you how to grow wheat grass at home in five simple steps!
What You Need
- Wheatgrass seeds (Experienced wheatgrass growers recommend winter wheat seeds for home growing)
- Glass jar or bowl
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda
- Kitchen towel, paper towel, newspaper, or a lid
- Pair of scissors
Option 1: Planting Wheatgrass Using Soil:
- Growing tray, or any container with holes
- Potting soil
- (Optional) Liquid kelp fertilizer
Option 2: Planting Wheatgrass Without Soil:
- Glass baking dish, or any container without holes
- (Optional) pH test strip, liquid test kid, or digital pH meter
How To Grow Wheat grass
Wheatgrass is one of the cheapest and easiest plants to grow at home. It also has one of the fastest turnovers. Mint, which grows relatively fast indoors, will take around 90 days for your first harvest, but wheatgrass is ready just ten days after planting. Here’s how to start.
1. Prepare Your Supplies
Before you start, make sure the containers you’ve set aside for sprouting and growing your wheat seeds are very clean. If you have any doubts, prepare your supplies by cleaning them with diluted bleach to kill any contaminants. As wheatgrass is a food product, you want to be sure the plant is free of impurities you might otherwise ingest through the growing process.
2. Measure Out Your Seeds
Measuring out how much wheatgrass you will need to fill your growing container is not an exact science. You’ll want enough seed to lightly cover the surface of your chosen growing container with seeds touching but not overlapping.
Slightly under fill your container as your wheatgrass seeds will expand over the next steps before planting.
One cup of unprepared wheatgrass seeds will yield around 10 ounces of wheatgrass juice, which is more than enough to enjoy the health benefits of this superfood (1).
3. Rinse Your Seeds
To begin growing wheatgrass at home, you’ll need to start by preparing your seed. The first step in preparing your seeds is rinsing.
In this context, rinsing your seeds doesn’t mean quickly running them under some water to clean off debris but leaving them to soak in water for 8 to 12 hours.
This process will need to be completed two or three times before you move onto the next step. Here’s what you need to do:
a. Add wheatgrass seeds in a jar or bowl of water
Fill your glass jar or bowl with clean filtered water and add in your wheatgrass seeds. At this early stage, the biggest threat to your plants is mold growth. To give your seeds a little protection, you can spray them with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a half-liter of water.
You will need to reapply the mixture every time you change the water and throughout the growing process for the best results.
b. Cover seeds with newspaper or paper towel
Cover your seeds with a newspaper or paper towel and use your spray bottle to thoroughly moisten the top layer, creating a damp, dark barrier for the seeds to kickstart germination. If you’re using a lid, mist the tops of the seeds with your spray bottle before gently placing the lid on top. Unless you’re using a ventilated cover, you don’t want to seal the container, or you’ll restrict airflow and increase the probability of mold growth.
c. Soak for 8-12 hours
Once you’ve set your seeds up, leave them to soak for 8 to 12 hours before giving them a quick wash, draining the water, and starting the process again.
After the second or third day you’ll begin to see tiny sprouts forming, they’ll look like little white hairs poking out of the seed. Once you spot these sprouts, you’ll know your seeds are viable and ready to plant.
4. Soak Your Seeds
Following the rinsing process, you may want to give your wheatgrass seeds a final soak to ensure they are all sprouted and ready for planting. This step isn’t always necessary, so use your best judgment. If most of your seeds have already sprouted, feel free to skip this step to avoid over-rooting your plants.
If you want to soak your seeds, put them into a clean glass jar or bowl of water at a ratio of one part seeds to three parts water, meaning for every cup of seeds you have rinsed, you’ll want to add three cups of water. Cover the container as you did when rinsing and allow your seeds to sit for another 8 to 12 hours.
5. Plant Your Wheatgrass Sprouts
There are 2 ways to plant your wheatgrass sprouts: using soil, or without soil. Pick which one is suited for you.
a. Planting wheatgrass using soil
Got your container and soil ready? Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to grow wheatgrass using soil:
i. Spread soil in container
Spread out 1 inch deep of potting soil, potting mix, or your chosen alternative along the bottom of a planting tray with drainage holes or a container lined with gravel to allow for water runoff.
ii. Mist the soil
Using your spray bottle, mist the soil until thoroughly moistened but not overwatered. If you begin to see water pooling, you’ve gone too far. Keep the soil damp without adding too much water.
iii. Spread sprouted wheatgrass
Spread your sprouted wheatgrass in an even layer over the top of your soil or potting mix, taking care to avoid too much overlap. Gently press your seeds into the top layer of soil without burying them.
If you notice your wheatgrass is changing from a healthy green to a pale yellow, you can add some liquid kelp fertilizer to your water to introduce more nutrients.
iv. Cover sprouts with paper towel, newspaper or lid
Cover the sprouts with a moistened paper towel, newspaper, or lid that allows a bit of airflow while providing darkness. If you’re using a lid, you’ll want to mist the tops of your seeds before covering them.
v. Place in area with plenty of indirect sunlight
Place your tray in an area that receives plenty of indirect light but doesn’t get hot from the sun.
Water your seeds using the spray bottle once or twice a day, removing the covering when your sprouts have grown to 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in height.
vi. Harvest your wheatgrass
When your wheatgrass reaches around five or six inches tall, usually around day ten, it’s time to harvest. If your plant has ‘split’ and begun to grow a second sprout off the first blade of grass, you can use it for producing a new batch.
Be sure to harvest your wheatgrass as soon as it’s long enough, as the quality will quickly decline if it’s overgrown. If your wheatgrass is long and beginning to turn from a healthy green to pale yellow, it may be overgrown.
b. Planting wheat grass without soil
Here are the steps on growing wheatgrass without soil:
i. Use a container without holes
When growing wheatgrass without using soil, you’ll need to use a container without holes as the seeds need to be kept in water. A glass baking dish works well and allows you to watch your grass as it grows.
ii. Pay attention to the soil PH level
Since there is no growing medium to balance things out, you’ll also want to pay attention to the pH level of the water you’re using.
To check the pH level, you can purchase a test strip or a liquid test kit. Both of which are inexpensive and available in most garden and farm supply stores. But, if you want a more accurate reading and is reusable, you can get a digital pH meter.
Most filtered water should work, but if you want to be on the safe side, a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5 is ideal for most hydroponic plants (2).
The longer your nutrient solution spends outside of this ideal range, the greater the chance that your flowers or vegetables will suffer a plant deficiency.
iii. Spread your wheat grass evenly
Just as if you were planting the seeds in soil or potting mix, spread your wheatgrass seeds evenly over the growing area. Once your seeds have been laid down, thoroughly mist them until they sit in a small pool of water, about halfway submerged.
Instead of using a paper towel or newspaper to start the germination, cover the container with a clean cloth or kitchen towel for a few days to create a warmer, darker area for them to grow, similar to what they might get in potting mix or soil. Once the sprouts have grown to about 1 inch in length, you can remove the towel.
v. Let there be (indirect) light
Place your container in an area that receives plenty of indirect light but remains at room temperature. When tending to wheatgrass without soil or potting mix, it’s important to refresh the water and lightly wash the seeds once or twice a day to prevent mold growth. By day 8 to 10, or once your grass has grown to be five to six inches tall, it’s ready to harvest.
If you’ve enjoyed growing your own wheatgrass, you might also be interested in learning to grow cilantro indoors, it’s just as easy!
Bonus Tips: Caring For Your Wheat Grass
Now that you know how easy it is to plant wheatgrass at home, here are some tips on how to care for them.
When starting a new crop of wheatgrass, mold and fungus growth is the biggest concern. To reduce the risk of mold growth, keep your container in a room that remains temperate and offers adequate airflow. If you’re having trouble controlling the temperature below 75 degrees, add a fan to your growing area to improve air circulation and prevent mold problems.
You may also want to treat your wheatgrass seed with a mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a half-liter of water. This won’t affect your wheat grass’s taste or quality and can be applied once every twelve hours or whenever you water your plants.
Here’s how you can use baking soda to prevent mold:
The best way to protect your wheatgrass from mold and fungus is to avoid overwatering it. You can use spray bottles are an excellent way to control the amount of water you give your plants while ensuring even coverage for the seeds and potting mix.
Harvesting Your Wheat Grass
Once your wheatgrass plants are ready to harvest, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut the wheatgrass blades just above the root. The majority of the plant’s nutrients are near the roots, so clipping it close to the surface ensures you’re getting all of the amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins the plant has to offer.
Wheatgrass can be eaten or juiced as soon as it’s harvested and should be used as soon as possible to preserve the plant’s quality and health benefits.
Storing Wheat Grass
Wheatgrass is at its best when fresh, but it’s possible to store it in a pinch. Make sure your grass clippings are completely dry before transferring them to an airtight container and placing them in the fridge for up to seven days (3).
If your wheatgrass is close to going off and you won’t be able to use it in time, it also makes an excellent treat and digestive aid for cats and dogs, sold commercially under the name of cat grass.
Wheatgrass juice should be consumed right after juicing, as it loses flavor and health benefits quickly after it’s been processed. If you’ve made too much wheatgrass juice, you can freeze any excess (4).
What freezing does is dramatically slow down molecular activity, it doesn’t stop or kill it. The lower the freezer temperature, the slower the molecular activity and better quality of the food.
Frozen wheatgrass juice will retain most of its nutritional value and health benefits, provided you drink it quickly after thawing.
If you need to store your frozen wheatgrass for more than a few days, transfer the ice cubes to an airtight container to prevent them from picking up tastes and smells in your freezer. If you’d like to mix things up, you can also freeze wheatgrass juice in popsicle molds to make juice bars or blend cubes to make smoothies.
The Bottom line
It’s official. You now know everything you need to grow wheatgrass at home. Once you’ve seen how easy and rewarding wheatgrass growing can be, you won’t want to stop there! No matter what you choose to grow, we’ve got you covered at Ecopeanut.
If you liked this article, please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Caring for indoor wheatgrass plants at home is easy! After planting your sprouts, find a spot for your planting tray that offers plenty of indirect sunlight. Wheatgrass needs lots of light to grow but is very sensitive to the high temperatures of direct sunlight.
Once you’ve found a good place for your wheatgrass, it requires very little care, only needing water a few times daily. Since wheatgrass is a short-term crop, you only need to care for it for between 6 to 10 days before harvesting. This makes wheatgrass an ideal crop to keep on rotation, planting a new tray every couple of days as you near harvest for a constant supply. If you’d like to keep multiple trays on hand, consider setting up a vertical wall garden, it’s the best way to garden indoors without a lot of space.
Wheatgrass grown with soil results in a more nutrient-dense product as the grass can take nourishment from the soil or potting mix you use, but that doesn’t mean that growing wheatgrass without soil is without its merits. If you’re working in a small space or on a limited budget, growing wheatgrass without soil is cleaner, easier, and cheaper.
Wheatgrass grown without soil requires a little extra attention to avoid mold growth. To reduce the risk, you’ll need to drain and refresh your water once or twice daily. If you’d like to boost your hydroponic wheat plant’s nutritional content, you can add a little liquid kelp fertilizer into your water to provide the nutrients it would otherwise get from the soil.
Wheatgrass will take an average of six to ten days to grow from seed to harvest. This will vary based on the type of seed used and the growing conditions such as moisture level, room temperature, and light. For example, Winter Wheat seed is a high-quality non-GMO option that takes an average of four days to germinate and is ready to harvest in an average of ten days.
- Getting best results from wheatgrass. Retrieved from: https://www.wheatgrasshealing.info/getting-the-best-healing-from-wheatgrass-extract/
- Preventive Measures. Retrieved from: http://www.ohio-hydroponics.com/hydroponics/preventive.html
- How to Store or Freeze Wheatgrass. Retrieved from: https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-store-or-freeze-wheatgrass/
- Fresh Vs Frozen WheatgrassP Is Flash Frozen Juice Really Better. Retrieved from: https://www.dynamicgreens.com/wheatgrass-facts-and-faq/fresh-vs-frozen-wheatgrass-is-flash-frozen-juice-really-better/
Hannah Gregorio has been active in the writing industry since 2010. She holds a BA Journalism degree from the Manila Times College.