holes needed. Better to have to water often than get mold forming water-logging. I water mine and grow it outside. I get no mold even though I don't use fans. I do get snails! I cover the bottom of the tray with soaked seed so that they are closely side by side but not on top of each other.
Better to grow it outside, if your local climate permits this.
Originally Posted by Ravenna
Also, be sure to NOT overseed your trays. Time and time again I see websites and youtube videos recommending to cram in loads of seed, to maximise juice yield per tray, but you don't get something for nothing; all this does is stress the grass, reduce available soil nutrition for each seed, and dramatically increase the likelihood of mould, since the thermal energy generated by each seed during germination has less chance to dissipate, and the density of overseeded grass means airflow between each blade is impeded.
As I'm sure you're already aware, there are plenty of related threads here on RFT, a couple of which are as follows:
Good luck; let us know how you get on!
Thank you for the responses, guys. You are very helpful!
I agree that growing outside is better but most of us don't have access to that. I am on my 8th grow tray now and I don't get no mold. The key is to water the roots (i spray water on bottom of tray). Then lightly spray the top and make sure the fan is blowing or your ac is running at 70 degrees. I use around 1 1/2 cups on my trays and dont use more than that. You want the seeds to fill the try but not be over crowded. Water heavy in morning and light at night. Keep the fan running 24/7. A multi speed fan is better as after you water heavy you could turn it up a little more and run it low at night. Growing wheatgrass is easy once you get the hang of it. If you have any questions while trying to grow, then please ask and i will help you as much as i can.
Originally Posted by Arky
Right i bought solid trays but then cut my own holes with my drill. I added 2 trays together and put the one with holes on top and then a piece in between the solid one so the water will run thru the holes to the bottom and not water log the roots.
Originally Posted by MysticTree
Originally Posted by dmb2002man
Keep us posted on your results!
I have a similar arrangement except we've had so much rain this year that I haven't bothered with any drip tray for the most part. The trays sat on a slatted wooden table and I only used drip trays when we were forecast spells of dry weather - which has been rare. The trays I used had holes to start with.
Originally Posted by dmb2002man
Thank you so much for responses! Now, since I have no-holes trays we have an argument with my husband. Trays have grooves. Shall we drill holes on the bottom of grooves or on the top. I propose to drill on the bottom so water will run off, but my husband says we shall drill top of the grooves and that the holes will be for ventilation only. I guess we better try both ways and see what happens. What do you think?
Right now fans are going, no holes, we have less mold but it's still there. I think I should try to order good wheat berries online, the problem could be with berries too as somebody here said.
Will keep trying. Thanks, everyone!
By the way, searched online but still could not get how to determine the jointing stage.
That's very simple - there is some disagreement on the technicalities of what the jointing stage truly is, with some proponents saying that true jointing actually only occurs in relatively mature cereal grass (when a 'knuckle' forms on the stem, by which time there may already be 5 or 6 blades on the plant) in the sense of the mature cereal crops a farmer would grow. In light of this, one can see that there has been something of a misunderstanding perpetuated in the rawfood community, where their use of the term 'jointing stage' is referring to something quite definitely different. In Ronald L. Seibold's excellent book 'Cereal Grass - What's In It For You!', it is stated:
Originally Posted by Ravenna
"Laboratory analysis clearly indicates that the nutrients found in young cereal plants vary with the stage of growth, rather than with the age or height of the plant.....The Jointing stage is that point at which the internodal tissue in the grass leaf begins to elongate, forming a stem. This stage represents the peak of the cereal plants vegetative development.....After the jointing stage, the stem forms branches and continues to elongate. The chlorophyll, protein, and vitamin contents of the plant decline sharply as the level of cellulose increases. Cellulose, the indigestible plant fibre, provides structural stability for the growing stem".
From a raw-foodist perspective, the jointing stage is simply intended to imply when the first glimpse appears of a secondary leaf. Therefore, just check your grass each day to see when it begins to show the very beginnings of a secondary leaf. It's quite funny, actually, because you look at it and think - there's absolutely no sign of a second blade and then, seemingly out of nowhere, just one day later, the beginnings of one can be visible.
Anyway, it's not mega-critical to catch it absolutely before that point - just cut it as soon as you notice the very beginnings of a second leaf (or ideally use it even before that point). I always find my grass is luscious and ripe for use at least a couple of days before it even gets as far as the beginnings of a second leaf. Happy days...
You will find that if you let your wheatgrass grow for more than a day or two past the first appearance of a secondary leaf, it may tend to get skinnier and paler, because there is only just so much root space and nutrient content in a tray with an inch or two of soil (speaking of which, as I mentioned, in a linked thread, you would be wise to ignore the silly recommendations by some, wheatgrass enthusiasts, to use only an inch of soil in your trays - it may seem to be more economical but it stresses the grass, and if you grown one tray with 1 inch of soil and another tray with 2 or 3 inches of soil, as it gets closer to maturity, you'll soon see the difference in how luscious the grass is in the deeper soil). Anyway, the taste will quite rapidly get more bitter and sickly as this paling and 'slimming' of the grass blades occurs. So, as I said, as soon as you see the first beginnings of a second blade, you know you need to cut it within a day or two and, ideally, no longer.
Thank you, Arky! so informative! Thank you very much!
Just finished more trays. 0 mold! I have found over the last month that the key is airflow. You have to have some kind of fan (air) blowing on the wheatgrass after watering in the morning with drainage. 70-75 degree temp is critical. You are more likely to get mold with higher temps even with a fan on it! This will prevent the mold from occurring. Water it thick in the morning and check it at night and if it is still damp then don't even water it. I also only water the bottom of the tray so it gets to the roots as that is what needs it. I'm planning to build a 3 tray rack system out of pvc with a custom air flow/drainage part and a 27w full spectrum light on top. You really don't even need a light for wheatgrass either as it will grow 100% fine in a window that just gets light. It doesn't need the sun. I am going to test with a full spectrum light and see if that even makes a difference as mine grows fine just sitting in my window with no sun.
I use a dehumidifier set to 50% next to our indoor garden. It acts as a fan as well as lowering humidity so evaporation occurs readily off the plants, containers, and soil surface. I have also found a high intensity discharge light like metal halide help keep the plants healthy, compact, and also helps with evaporation so the dehumidifier can then capture it. When growing indoors you really have to keep an eye on humidity and try to keep it below 60% or mold may take hold in the grow space, or worse, in nooks and crannies you can't see inside your home.
As far as full spectrum lights, there are only a few types that can really mimic the sun's spectrum well. We use a Hortilux blue metal halide that cost triple what a standard street light type metal halide costs, but have found the results worth the premium. Metal halide have a useful life of one year of continuous use. We use our older bulb on a sun timer that mimics the outdoor sun's winter cycle to keep the potted herbs thriving and compact. Then in late winter/early spring when the risk of frost recedes the pots go back outside. We lower the light and switch to the newer bulb on a 15 hours on / 9 off schedule for starting seedlings for the garden. Once the seedlings go outside we take apart the setup, clean everything, and leave it off till the fall frost threatens the pots again. This methodology requires buying a new bulb and recycling the oldest one every 4 years.
Standard Metal Halide
Hortilux Blue Metal Halide
Don't forget, everyone, that there are some good wheatgrass vids on youtube. Zach's are amongst the most informative:
Also a good one from John Kohler (This vid seems to have been shot at a franchise start-up according to the methods of Michael Bergonzi):
Of course, there are many others, too.
I was thinking of getting a 27w full spectrum 5600 lumen bulb at home depot to try out. I googled Hortilux blue metal halide bulbs and they only come in high wattage. I am only building one for my wheatgrass stand that im building.
Originally Posted by Supa
Just as a point of reference in terms of efficiency
Originally Posted by dmb2002man
The 400 watt MH puts out 29000 lumens which is 72.5 lumens per watt
That 27 watt CFL puts out 1400 lumens which is 51.8 lumens per watt
The 5600 was the color temp in Kelvins not lumens
But florescent tech has been getting cheaper, more living space friendly, and more efficient with the intro of T5. You should consider a twin 24w 2ft T5 tube fixture as it will put out more then twice the lumens over a wider area of your tray. Home Depot has Lithonia Lighting Mini Strip 2-Light Utility Light that comes with ballast and 2 foot T5 bulbs for $25 bucks. You have to wire up your own the cord FYI. You can then upgrade to horticultural full spectrum bulbs when your ready. Home depot sells single cool white T5 replacement bulbs for $10, but for $52 you can get Sunleaves VitaLUME Grow Tube T5 2' 4 Pack, so like $12.80 a bulb. I use this type of setup as an under the counter light for our kitchen sprouter.
At 24 watt they each put out 2000 lumens at a 6,500K color temp.
83.3 lumens per watt!