One of the fastest and easiest plants to grow is wheatgrass. Ready to harvest—and juice—in about 7-10 days, the highly nutritious plant also provides pure oxygen and cleans the air as it grows. Wheatgrass is gluten-free because it’s cut before the grain forms.
Wheatgrass is easy to grow, and actually does best indoors. Just six simple steps and you’re on your way!
- Soak. Choose hard (winter) wheatberries. Soak your seeds in purified water 6 to 8 hours to germinate or sprout.
- Sprout. Rinse seeds twice a day for about 24-36 hours. Allow rinsed seeds to drain.
- Plant. Put sprouted seeds in trays, right on top of the soil once a little “tail” is visible.
- Water. Usually once a day, generously, but gently.
- Harvest. As soon as a second blade of grass appears, or when the grass starts to split at the bottom of the blade, clip using scissors or a kitchen knife. If you wait too long, the taste will become bitter.
- Store. Cut wheatgrass will keep about a week in the refrigerator. Store in a re-sealable zipper storage bag.
- A glass canning jar with a mesh screen top works well for soaking and sprouting.
- Plastic growing trays are convenient for planting your germinated seeds.
Ideal wheatgrass growing conditions
- Best grown indoors
- Temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit and less than 50% humidity
- Lots of indirect light for up to 12 hours a day (a full spectrum artificial light source may be needed to accomplish this)
The purpose of growing your own wheatgrass is to be able to juice it.
There are several kinds of juicers available, but some are better suited for extracting the wonderful benefits of this delicious plant. Each model has its own features, and you’ll want to do some research before deciding which is right for you. Whatever style of juicer you select, simply feed the wheatgrass into the juicer with pointed tips first. A single serving is a two-ounce shot taken once or twice each day.
Wheatgrass Juicers. Available in both electric and manual models, these juicers are exclusively for extracting the juice from wheatgrass and other leafy greens.
Single Gear (Masticating) Juicers. An auger literally chews fruit and vegetable fibers and breaks up the plant cells. They will also extract juice from most fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens and herbs.
Twin-Gear (Triturating) Juicers. Among the most expensive type of juicers, twin gear machines offer the most benefits, extracting larger volumes of juice from fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens and herbs.
So good for you
Below are just a few of the reported health benefits of the earthy-sweet nectar called wheatgrass.
- Contains 103 vitamins, minerals and amino acids
- One of the best sources of living chlorophyll available
- Chlorophyll arrests growth and development of unfriendly bacteria, rebuilds blood, helps balance blood sugar
- Just two ounces contain the nutritional equivalent of five pounds of raw, organic vegetables
- Some dentists suggest a wheatgrass gargle after tooth extraction, to prevent infection
- Helps prevent graying hair
- Improves digestion
- Can be used as a deodorant
- Applied topically, can help heal skin conditions, including bed sores and burns
- Neutralizes toxins in the body
Maximizing the benefits
A few more pointers to ensure you receive the full advantage of wheatgrass.
- Consume within fifteen minutes of juicing for best results
- Drink wheatgrass juice undiluted, and on an empty stomach, so the nutrients are efficiently absorbed
- Powdered and freeze dried wheatgrass supplements, although convenient, are not as effective as fresh wheatgrass juice
For the whole family!
Wheatgrass is safe for pets, including dogs, cats, hamsters and others. Unlike us, cats and dogs digest the actual grass fiber quite well, so they can munch on the blades of grass. When sharing your wheatgrass juice with your pet, give them less then 1/2 oz to start, and work up from there. Wheatgrass juice is not for everyone so if you’re pregnant or nursing, refrain. And of course, always talk with your healthcare provider before you use wheatgrass to treat any condition.