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What Should I Know About Growing Wheatgrass?

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  • Written By: Vasanth S.
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Successful wheatgrass gardeners typically use a well-drained, multi-trayed cart since wheatgrass can grow from 12 to 40 inches (about 30 to 100 cm) tall and features underground stems, also known as creeping rhizomes. Generally, wheatgrass requires 14 hours of direct sunlight daily; growing lamps can be used to substitute for the lack of sunlight during low-light seasons. Soil preparation is a key ingredient for growing wheatgrass: sphagnum peat moss is used to provide structural support for the plant and seaweed fertilizer can be used to provide nutrients that are easier for the roots to ingest. Mold buildup is a concern when growing wheatgrass. Drops of citricide can be combined with water to help keep mold infestation at a minimum.

Gardeners that use a standing shelf or cart system typically can expect six trays of wheatgrass to produce 3 to 4 ounces (about 90 to 120 ml) of juice per day. The cart should have a drainage basin to collect any runoff from the trays and a screen or mesh to protect the wheatgrass from insects and household pets. For optimum growth, the cart should be placed in an area with a temperature of 65 to 75° Fahrenheit (about 18 to 24° C).

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In addition to the cart, a lighting apparatus is required to ensure that an adequate amount of light is absorbed by the wheatgrass, especially during the fall and winter seasons. A floor lamp is generally placed 2 feet (about 61 cm) above the cart and the light is directed at a 45-degree angle. A full-spectrum light bulb is typically used since it can replicate natural light better than other types of bulbs.

Each tray is typically layered with sphagnum peat moss instead of soil to provide structural support and sustenance for the wheatgrass seed. The roots of the wheatgrass seed are not strong enough to efficiently extract nutrients from a soil-based medium. To aid the development of growing wheatgrass, seaweed fertilizer is typically added to the water. Generally, growing wheatgrass seeds require water once a day. As the grass grows taller, it requires less water, usually every two or three days.

Preventing the buildup of mold is a big concern when growing wheatgrass. One way to control mold is to add some drops of citricide to the water. It is similar to grapefruit seed extract, but is much more potent. The acidic properties of citricide are responsible for reducing mold growth.

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fBoyle
Post 3

@ysmina-- I tried the paper towel method and it was a disaster. It took forever for the wheatgrass to grow and it grew mold half-way through. Wheatgrass should be grown in soil, preferably organic soil.

ysmina
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I've never used one, but have you thought about investing in a wheatgrass grower? It's basically a tray system with greenhouse lids that help wheatgrass grow with minimal sunlight. Apparently, it doesn't even require soil and could be used with paper towels.

I'm not sure if it works well but if the growing lamp costs a lot, the wheatgrass grower might be a better investment.

I grow wheatgrass too but we get plenty of sunlight year-round where I am so I've never had an issue with this. My only problem was not having enough wheatgrass and I resolved that by buying a ten tray cart.

ddljohn
Post 1

I think I'm going to have to get a growing lamp for my wheatgrass. I have several trays of wheatgrass and they were growing well in the summer and autumn. Now that it's winter, they're barely growing even though I've placed them by the windowsill where there can get the most sunlight. I haven't been able to juice any wheatgrass in the past three weeks. I love my organic wheatgrass juice, so I need to find a solution for this problem.

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