View Full Version : Wheatgrass mold?
03-22-2006, 02:24 AM
I have some mold. My wheatgrass book says hydrogen peroxide can be used, but do I use a straight 3% or do I dilute it or what? :confused:
03-22-2006, 05:23 AM
From what I have read, you can't use the 3%. You have to get the 35% and it has to be dilluted with distilled water. I was only able to find this on the internet. When I first started, I could only find the gallons of 35% that you have to dillute yourself, but I think you can get it already dilluted now at Nature's First Law. I haven't really checked this out because I have enough to last a long time. I would really recommend getting it already dilluted because you can get it in smaller quantities and also I read that you have to be really careful when you are dilluting the full strength not to get it on your hands, clothes, etc.
03-22-2006, 06:52 AM
I've never used hydrogen peroxide, so I cannot comment on that. But I have dealt with mold, and have the following observations:
1) mold is practically inevitable on wheatgrass, so don't freak if you get it. WHEN you get it.
2) it is much more prevalent when the temperature of the wheatberries get high, and sprouting generates heat, so I often use a fan to cool them
3) it can be inhibited a bit by using organic liquid kelp fertilizer in your water
4) it can be inhibited a bit by adding anything acidic to your water. I sometimes add a little lemon juice or vinegar
5) it can be inhibited a lot by using grapefruit seed extract, but this is hard to find locally and expensive to buy (though not to use, becaue you use it by the drop). Pam Free sells Citricide brand, which is excellent. http://www.growwheatgrass.com/citricide.htm
6) even with a lot of mold, the wheatgrass will still be ok if you don't cut too close to the roots. An inch or an inch and a half up, where the white turns to green, thats where to cut it.
Don't know whether this is true or helpful, but in the instructions that came with my sack of wheatgrass seed, it said that watering the shoots only down the sides of the tray helps to prevent mould forming. It's worked with my first batches, but it may be beginner's luck!
03-22-2006, 12:58 PM
Hi Lilly, in my experience that is good advice. With other sprouts you get used to misting them from above, but with wheatgrass it helps to water from below. I use a perforated flat (tray) to hold the planting mix, then place that inside an unperforated flat with a clear dome top. To water I run a weak kelp mixture down the sides and watch for it to saturate up to the wheatberries. If it gets too soupy I just drain it, toss the excess water, and continue. Works like a champ.
Sounds wonderful, Shivananda! I'm out to buy some kelp powder asap!
Like the sound of your set-up, too. I seem to have 'flats' of wheatgrass in just about every room of the house plus two lots in propagators in the greenhouse! Little did I know, when I started, how much space it would take to ensure a decent ongoing supply!
It's really fun growing it though and I'm thrilled because I've never grown anything successfully before!
03-23-2006, 05:02 AM
Shiva, thanks for this information. I wish I had known that before I spent the money and energy on the gallon of hydrogen peroxide. Your ways sound a lot better.
03-23-2006, 07:15 AM
I water with 10% sea water, and 90% regular water. No mould at all since I started with that. You can read more at http://www.oceangrown.com/
Some buy solution, some people use sea salt (not sure how much to use) and lucky ones like me that live near the ocean use fresh sea water!
Another bonus - more minerals in the wheatgrass! Tested and true.
03-23-2006, 07:46 AM
Sounds wonderful, Shivananda! I'm out to buy some kelp powder asap! OK, but look first at a good garden shop for liquid organic kelp fertilizer, it's ever so much easier to use. I put about 10 drops of it in a quart of water, plus the Citricide when I have it available.
A couple of additional points...
If you want to use grapefruit seed extract (GSE) the nutritional stuff you get at a vitamin shop is fine to use too, but it is only 1/3 the strength of the Citricide that commercial growers use. Do NOT use CitrAcide (A instead of I). I just ordered some myself from Pam Free and she sends along a bottle of MaxiCrop kelp fertiliser with it. Expensive, but top quality.
Use this "enriched" water from the first soak onward. Use it for everything. It really helps.
Disregard any instructions or hints you may see online about adding minerals or needing "organic mountain compost" to grow in or anything else except the water and kelp, plus any mold control, because the wheatgrass is biologically unable to uptake anything except water and nitrogen at the early stage of growth at which we harvest it for juice. That's what is so miraculous about it... everything comes from within that tiny wheatberry.
For those who have access to the coconut fiber "blanket" material some commercial growers are now using, I'll just say that I find it akward to use (and more expensive) than the perlite and fine milled Candian sphagnum moss mix I currently use, because I wind up having to put it in a growers flat anyway for handling. The big advantage to commercial growers is that they're growing on it and delivering the full grown grass to juicebars without using a flat.
BTW, you can use other containers for growing in, too. The standard 10 x 20 flat is just an inexpensive and easily obtained item many big nurseries use, and there are professional growers racks that hold them, etc. But I've seen people grow wheatgrass in cafeteria trays, Rubbermaid containers, all kinds of things. That's good to keep in mind if you have limited space, or can't easily handle 10 x 20 flats.
03-23-2006, 08:37 AM
I think it's a bit of a myth that wheatgrass doesn't take up anything... wheatgrass grown in 10% sea water has a hugely increased nutrient level as compared to that grown in water. I think it *can* grow with nothing but water, however grows stronger and more nutrient rich with extras. Isn't that what the kelp powder is being used for? I would only suggest natural more unprocessed additions.
Be careful with Grapefruit Seed Extract. Many are processed in a HUGELY chemical way, and one study of different brands showed that the ones with high levels of additives from the processeing were more active for anti microbal activity. Make sure you buy from a reputable suppier.
03-23-2006, 03:07 PM
I seem to have 'flats' of wheatgrass in just about every room of the house plus two lots in propagators in the greenhouse! Little did I know, when I started, how much space it would take to ensure a decent ongoing supply!
If you don't want to buy another green house think about the Juliana Grow Rack. I bought one for my wheatgrass growing. It hold 8 flats. :p
Good Luck :D
03-24-2006, 01:02 PM
Isn't that what the kelp powder is being used for?
Not really, just for the nitrogen and the slight mold suppression, because that is all that the seedling can really use AT THIS STAGE of its development. At least that's what my friend the research biologist says, which I've also read on reliable sites. It's important to realize we're using an immature plant, and only a portion of it at that. We're harvesting only the green top before the bottom has the ability to uptake anything else, so research having to do with growing wheat for a grain crop does not apply.
The claims I've seen that say otherwise are bogus. The claims I've seen that say tests prove otherwise are bogus. And yes, unfortunately there are just a whole lot of bogus claims floating around about wheatgrass.
Let me add here what I mean by bogus. I mean unsubstantiated, or plagiarized, or sometimes even totally fictitious claims. As just one of many examples I could give, I was reading one supposedly firsthand report on the analysis of fresh wheatgrass juice components and thought it somehow looked familiar. After digging around a bit I was able to find out why... because the analysis in question had actually been plagiarized 100% from Japanese research about fresh versus dried barleygrass! This kind of nonsense is all too common on the interent, especially around health claims.
Be careful with Grapefruit Seed Extract. Many are processed in a HUGELY chemical way, and one study of different brands showed that the ones with high levels of additives from the processeing were more active for anti microbal activity. Make sure you buy from a reputable suppier. Cheers,
Sheryl Yes, exactly, which is why I specified a supplier I know has high integrity around this issue, Pamela Free at www.growwheatgrass.com
Also, as I just shared on another thread, Pam is now selling a handcranked wheatgrass juicer for $37 that really works. I think that is a fantastic development for people who cannot afford an electric model but want to get started juicing wheatgrass now.
03-24-2006, 01:59 PM
Minnie, you rock!
I was literally going to build myself a new growing stand *today* to fit in a different location than I've been using and... voila... the Juliana rack is close enough to what I had in mind to be workable, and is a whole lot less hassle than building one from scratch, and maybe even cheaper!
So I ordered it. It's already been shipped. I'll report back on developments as they ocur.
Really, thanks, that was amazing timing.
03-24-2006, 02:15 PM
Sorry - that's just not true Shivananda. When I grow with sea water the wheatgrass is completely different and MUCH better, as well as no mould.
Personal experience shows me that it makes a HUGE difference and I will continue to do so. There is a huge movement with sea water agriculture around the world; you're welcome to read up on - it's quite amazing.
The fact that you're saying kelp is for nitrogen also implies the plant is using the nitrogen?
Thanks, Shivananda for the advice about the kelp fertilizer, and thanks Sheryl for telling us about the rack. Wow, what a fantastic source of information on this board! I'm most grateful -- you've raced me to buying the rack, Shivananda!
I can't tell you what pleasure it's giving me to see all my lovely wheatgrass sprouting! Crazy, isn't it!
03-24-2006, 03:16 PM
Sorry - that's just not true Shivananda. When I grow with sea water the wheatgrass is completely different and MUCH better, as well as no mould. Great, I'm happy for you. As I've said so many times, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.
But based on my experience I would bet my hat, shoes, and overcoat that if we would juice the green part of 5 - 6" wheatgrass grown with saltwater versus the same thing grown without, and immediately analyse them, the only difference would be a higher water content for the saltwater crop. I think that is what you are likely seeing. At least if you are harvesting YOUNG wheatgrass.
Remember, the whole point of this exercise is to harvest and juice and drink the GREEN SPROUT of a wheatberry, not the mature grass it will eventually become. Every bit of what it needs to grow, except the water, and air and light... and maybe a tiny bit of nitrogen from the growing medium if it is available... are already contained in the seed before you begin. We don't want to let it go all the way to full grown grass, because then the early sprouting enzyme store is already depleted. We just want it big enough that the chorophyl content is high.
If you are happy, keep doing what works for you, with my blessings. No worries. But after 6 years doing this, I'll say I've wasted so much time and money in the past chasing wild geese that I like to help others avoid the dead ends that haven't worked for me over time.
Lady Green Jeans
03-24-2006, 04:50 PM
Great thread with lots of helpful info. I also read where ensuring adequate fresh air around your wheatgrass crop will help or eliminate the mold. If possible, put in the fresh air for awhile each day. Hope that helps.
03-24-2006, 08:58 PM
Mold grows most actively on wheatgrass when it is dark, damp, warm, and the air is still. Adding a small fan to *lightly* waft air over your wheatgrass helps in 2 ways, not only by keeping the air stirring in the microclimate down at the root zone, but also by cooling off by evaporation the natural heat generated by sprouting grains. The down side is that you have to water a little more frequently and monitor everything a little more carefully because the moving air dries everything outt, not just the mold.
But if you do happen to get mold in spite of everything, don't panic. Just grab a bunch of wheatgrass as you cut it, and slosh the root ends briefly in a bowl of warm water, then juice. That will rinse off any residue.
03-26-2006, 11:06 PM
No regrets, but I shoulda waited, and I know really well who I shoulda waited for...
Charley's Greenhouse Supply in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Out where the tulips are grown. I used to go there when I lived in Seattle, and they're just the best. I got their new catalog yesterday. The same Juliana growing stand I just ordered for $59 with free shipping, is being sold by Charleys for $39, plus $9 shipping, an $11 savings.
www.charleysgreenhouse.com They also have a good email newsletter for gardeners.
03-26-2006, 11:43 PM
I have the same 4 tier grow tray!! They are great. I use them for growing wheatgrass. I picked them up at the standard price of $19.95 Australian at our local Bunnings (giant hardware/garden supercenter). They offer free shipping on the one sold at that link, which is likely why the price is higher - shipping something that large would be expensive. You might be able to get them cheaper at a local super hardware store though.
How is everyone going with growing wheatgrass??? Any improvements?
04-03-2006, 08:57 AM
OK, I got the Juliana rack. I will say, it is a snap to put together. Took maybe 5 minutes, no tools required. Kind of flimsy, but the right size, sufficient to the purpose and way easier than making one myself. But at $59 I feel it was overpriced by half.
I like that it came with a clear cover and a zipper door, although I am using mine indoors. I will replace the side panels with screen when I get some time and also box off the bottom to keep out vinegar flies. Sometimes in summer they are attracted to the acidic water I use for wheatgrass.
I also took my own advice and ordered Citricide (concentrated grapefruit seed extract) from Pam Free at www.growwheatgrass.com (I've been out of GSE since before I moved from NYC) and she included a bottle of her own liquid kelp that I have been using along with the Citricide, and the first batch of wheatgrass grown with the combination is the best crop I think I've ever gotten. I started the first soak with the solution and have used it for all waterings since, and I'm amazed that the result is so good. Very green and lush and no mold at all. Think I'll go juice some now. :)
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