Since the Coronavirus outburst, the concern about eating healthy foods is on the rise. And wheatgrass has become one of the most recommended health foods these days.
Wheatgrass is cheap and easy to raise. Thus, some people come up with an idea: Why not grow it at home to ensure freshness?
In this article, let’s discuss how to grow wheatgrass without soil. No need to waste more time; let’s start!
- What You Should Know About Wheatgrass
- How can I grow wheatgrass at home? The step-by-step guide
- Soak The Wheatgrass Seeds
- Rinse And Drain The Sprouts
- Store The Seeds In A Cool Environment
- Prepare A Coconut Coir
- Transfer The Grass Wheat Sprouts Into A Coir-based Basin
- Flourishing The Sprouts Periodically
- Distribute The Seeds Evenly On The Coir
- Wrap The Container In Plastic Wrap
- Daily Care For The On-growing Grass Wheat Sprouts
- Move The Container To Sunny Spaces
- When to harvest wheatgrass?
- Will wheatgrass regrow after cutting?
- Tips On Growing Wheatgrass Without Soil
What You Should Know About Wheatgrass
Benefits Of Eating Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is famous for being a healthy food and easy to use in daily meals. To be specific, how healthful is wheatgrass?
Breakdown the nutrition facts, wheatgrass contains a high amount of vitamin A, C, and E and eight essential acids. With such nutrition, the wheatgrass is good for developing the immune system.
Additionally, the wheatgrass has various antioxidants, preventing cell damage and oxidative stress. You can also avoid heart disease and cancer issues. The most special point about wheatgrass is that it is packed with chlorophyll to reduce inflammation, blood reformation, and detoxing.
Finally, the wheatgrass may reduce harmful cholesterol and aid weight loss. Just drinking a cup of wheatgrass juice a day, and your hunger will disappear immediately.
How To Use Wheatgrass
Fresh wheatgrass is widely used in many households for its versatility. As mentioned above, this green contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals, so you should blend the food and drink its juice every day to improve the immune system.
Another surprising function of wheatgrass is to make dying color. After blending the wheatgrass, you can consume the juice extracted directly or use it as a food coloring.
How can I grow wheatgrass at home? The step-by-step guide
Before we answer your question, you must prepare some necessary tools to replace the function of soil.
Besides wheat grains and water, it’s a must to have glass jars, containers, or plates to create a storing environment for sprouts. In this post, we will choose the coconut coir as storage.
To add-in, you need a tray to distribute sprouts under sunlight. A measure cup is helpful because the more precise you measure, the more likely you receive the best growing result.
Finally, we advise you to prepare a plastic wrap in the last days of the growing procedure so that you can moisturize the sprouts and urge its flourishing stage.
Soak The Wheatgrass Seeds
The first stage to do is purchase seeds from a reputable retailer. There is a big gap between high-qualified seeds and cheap ones because the higher “class” the ingredients are, the lower chance they will be spoiled during the growth procedure.
To add-in, you can buy seeds in bulk for a better price. It’s unnecessary to worry about spoilage because the wheatgrass seeds, if stored properly, can stay up to 2 years or more.
After carefully selecting the wheatgrass seeds, put them into a container and coat them with a thin mesh. Add about 1 cup of fresh filtered water and dip the seeds until all seeds are soaked into the water.
We also advise you to secure the mesh with a rubber band or collar ring, then cap the jar with a fitted lid so that there is no water leaked out. You can shake the container 2 to 3 times to ensure that all seeds are coated with water.
Rinse And Drain The Sprouts
The ideal soaking period is about 8 to 12 hours, so the best time to do the previous step is before going to sleep. When you wake up the next day, the seeds are soft enough, and you can conduct other stages.
After 8 to 12 hours of soaking, take out the container. First, open the lid, then incline the jar slightly so that all water will pour out. Remember to keep the mesh still to “protect” the wheatgrass seeds from falling out.
Consequently, refill the jar with cool filtered water until all seeds are coated in water. Then, secure the mesh and put in on the lid.
Store The Seeds In A Cool Environment
Now, put the container into a cool, dry storage space. Please avoid placing the jar under direct sunlight or humid places as much as possible because sunlight and heat will urge the oxidation and bacterial multiplication.
Repeat the soaking procedure 2 to 3 times a day. Typically, after doing the soaking process within three days, the wheatgrass seeds start sprouting. You will notice it immediately when seeing tiny white sprouts grow.
Suppose you haven’t seen any sprouts after three days, remove that water, change the mesh and lid. Then refill the jar with cool filtered water and wrap it with mesh and lid again.
Prepare A Coconut Coir
Many people may get confused about what a coir is. Let us clarify: coir or coconut coir is a natural fiber found between the internal shell and the exterior “coat” of a coconut. It is widely used in making floor mats, brushes, and mattresses.
So, why should you use coconut coir? In short, coir retains water perfectly, maintains a neutral and stable pH point, making it suitable to replace soil in cultivation. Most importantly, coir is inexpensive and easy to find in any agriculture store.
We could introduce the perlite-vermiculite mixture as another alternative for soil, except coconut coir. Cotton and hemp are also acceptable. However, compared to coconut coir, bacteria can grow stronger in these mixtures, so we still select the coir.
Transfer The Grass Wheat Sprouts Into A Coir-based Basin
Let us take our experience as an example. First, prepare a 7 cm (2.75 inches) basin, and fill it with 1 inch of coconut coir. Later, after moistening the coir with fertilizer mixture, top the coir up with 1.27 inches of wheatgrass sprouts. So, the ratio is about 1:2 regarding the seeds: basin.
To add-in, in the bottom of the basin, make 3 to 5 holes so that the water and moisture can release out, reducing the likelihood of waterlogging.
In short, there must be three layers in the basin, which is: coconut coir – fertilizer mixture – sprouts, in order from the bottom to the top.
Flourishing The Sprouts Periodically
Sprouts are considered the easiest when it comes to growing requirements. Unlike other plants, you don’t need sunlight, nutrients, or soil to keep the sprouts survive and develop. What you have to do is only water it periodically.
First, please prepare a package of fertilizer. In a small jar, mix cool or lukewarm filtered water with fertilizer, then sprinkle the mixture on the wheatgrass seeds basin to moisten the plant.
There are many other ways to mix the fertilizer-water combinations. The more fertilizer you add, the more nutritional abundance the plant is. However, we advise you to apply the ratio of 1 fluid ounce (30 ml) of fertilizer to 3.8 water liter.
Please remember that the purpose of watering the sprouts is to keep them moist and damp, not soggy. Therefore, avoid overwatering the seeds.
Distribute The Seeds Evenly On The Coir
The first step is to make small holes for better transpiration. Then, you place the coconut coir and spray fertilizer on the coir to keep it fresh. The final layer that you have to add is wheatgrass sprouts.
The wheatgrass seeds are quite fragile, just like its sprouts family clan. Therefore, when spreading the plant, work gently and slowly in order not to break any branch.
We need to remind you about distributing the wheatgrass seeds. If you spread the seeds evenly, there will be enough space for each seed to grow up healthily. Otherwise, the growing medium can be regressive and spoiled.
Wrap The Container In Plastic Wrap
Consequently, take out the plastic wrap as mentioned in the preparation section above. First, mist the sprout coir, and check whether any spoiled branch remains in the basin. If yes, quickly remove it cause the spoiled plants will release a toxic smell, urging other branches to die soon.
After misting and checking the tray, then loosely coat it with a plastic wrap. Remember to stretch the wrap to cover the container fully, as oxygen can expose into the sprouts jar and cause spoilage.
Remember that the transpiration process will happen slowly in an airtight environment, so you should water the plants super slightly with a proper water amount.
Daily Care For The On-growing Grass Wheat Sprouts
Now that the greens are well-kept in an airtight environment, your daily job is to provide proper care for them. So, what is “appropriate treatment,” though?
Typically, the best environment to grow sprouts is at normal room temperature (around 70 to 75 Fahrenheit degree, 21 to 24 Celsius degrees) without direct sunlight. You can keep in the room’s corners, far away from the windows, but can still receive light sunbeam.
Every day, water the growing medium twice in the morning and afternoon to keep it moist. Avoid watering it at night or in the middle of noon as the plant cannot transpire well at these time slots, making it easier to spoil.
Move The Container To Sunny Spaces
After 1 or 2 days, the sprouts are strong enough to expose to sunlight directly. Now, you can move the growing medium to sunny and dry spaces to help it grow faster.
So, how to know if the sprouts are eligible for sunlight exposure? Just pay attention to the branches. If you see tiny green shoots poking out from the seeds, then it’s time to take the seeds to sunlight.
Please don’t forget to remove the plastic wrap, though. The ideal sunbathing period is about 4 to 6 hours a day.
When to harvest wheatgrass?
You may wonder about when to harvest wheatgrass now as we have discussed such a long, complicated procedure. Well, let us clarify.
Typically, you just continue growing the plant until the green grass reaches about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) tall. Based on our experience, it takes about 8 to 10 days to achieve that height.
We advise you to cut the grass with sterilized scissors. What is it, anyway? Well, the sanitized scissors are made by wiping into alcohol or bacteria-killing chemicals. Using this type of scissors to cut wheatgrass, you can avoid bacteria exposure and kill some microorganisms living on the plant.
Will wheatgrass regrow after cutting?
The answer is: Yes, if receiving proper protection. Using sterilized scissors helps prevent diseases so that the greens can grow back for a second clipping.
Tips On Growing Wheatgrass Without Soil
- Compared to other greens, wheatgrass takes a longer time to grow, so please be patient.
- After 5 to 6 days of growth, the nutrients remaining in seeds will run out, so you may have to add fertilizer then.
- The best place to store sprouts is in the middle of the room or room’s corners as these places don’t receive strong sunlight and the highest heat.
- It’s recommended to water the sprouts twice a day in the morning and afternoon, but one time in the morning is also acceptable.
Wrapping It Up
Through this post, we have learned how to grow wheatgrass without soil. In fact, there are many different ways to grow wheatgrass by yourself at home, but according to our experience, the 11-step procedure above is the most effective and in-depth.
Wheatgrass belongs to the sprouts family clan, so they are quite fragile. Therefore, please pay attention to your plant whenever watering and changing its storage place in order not to expose it to harmful environments.
Hope this article provides you with resourceful insights for growing wheatgrass without soil at home. Happy planting!