Growing wheatgrass in soil?
I've finally managed to grow wheatgrass where the grass grows faster than the mold, but still no mold free grass (I was at least able to keep part of my last batch as there was more grass than mold).
I'm now starting to think perhaps a sprouter isn't the place to grow wheatgrass, they aren't sprouts after all. So I'm growing some in soil now to see if it goes better.
My question is, once the grass is grown and cut, is there a way to re use the same soil? How would I get rid of the roots? If I have to throw out the soil each time, I'll figure out how to do it hydroponically in my sprouter without mold.
You can throw the soil with the roots in it into your compost pile, and it will soon become even more nutrient dense soil than you began with. You can also add orange peels, etc. to the pile and get even more soil. I highly recommend composting, especially if you will be regularly growing lovely foods.
~I am only interested in results. If something works, then an explanation is really just an intellectual exercise. ~
i dont think you can reuse the soil; wheatgrass puts down a pretty big web of roots so you end up with more like a "mat" when you lift up the soil and roots off the tray in the end. i think it would be super-difficult and not worth your time and effort to try to loosen the soil from the roots, plus the soil would probably have mold spores in it. i grew wheatgrass inside in soil and still ended up with mold sometimes. sometimes i got beautiful grass, sometimes, some mold at the base. think it had to do with watering, humidity, etc. have you tried seeds from another source? maybe try getting some good quality wheat berries from a mail order instead of the bins at the hfs, if you havent already. they will probably be fresher and different sources may be less inclined to mold. its not really predictable. i got mine from the mail order catalog for healthy eating. pretty cheap.
also, if you DO decide to grow in soil, even though you cant re-use it its not actually that expensive. i got a couple bags of organic soil without any chemicals/plant food added from home depot, and a bale of peat moss. i mixed these (i think half and half but i dont remember. you could probably find instructions online) in a big plastic trash can, and bought a pack of cafeteria trays from a restaurant supply company which i used as trays. if you did this and drilled holes in the bottom that would probably be even better. the dirt/peat lasted a long time, wasnt that big of an investment, and i got some beautiful wheatgrass growing it in this stuff inside in a really well lit room. make sure you have somewhere to compost the used wheatgrass roots/soil though because it would be a shame to toss it all away. even if that means dumping it in a wooded area or forested park or community garden every so often.
btw, i tried growing it hydroponically in an automatic sprouter; i forget what kind --easygreen or greenlife or something--it was a big round tub with water in it and another tub on top that you put the seed tray in. the grass grew ok but there wasnt alot of space to grow alot; i was far more satisfied with growing it in soil trays. similarly, this summer i planted some in the ground. that worked too.
All good responses. I grow mass amounts of wheatgrass. Mold happens when there isn't enough air flow(the white stuff at the root). Try fans first. You don't need a lot of soil at all. Just thin layer. The roots keep a lot of the water. Compost the flat, regrow it for second growth,though not as potent as first, we are using it for fill, and a friend uses it to feed the turkeys in the back yard. Some farms will use it to feed chickens or pigs. Any around you? Farms that is, not chickens or pigs. :) Check out my site for pictures of the planting.
I'd rather juice my grass! :cool:
Well after the responses and the results from soil growing, I'm definately back to hydroponic. Here's why:
-In soil, after 3-4 days, they barely started sprouting (in the sprouter they are already grass by this time)
-Hydroponically, I got a near-mold free batch by applying almost all the mold preventing tips in the manual
-I was told to keep the temp below 70 F, wasn't quite sure what that is to the rest of the world but I just checked and it's 21 C, I was at 22-23 C, so I'll set the heating down and wear a sweater if I get cold
-Too messy in soil
The most dramatic difference is really the grow speed, they are growing about 5 times faster in the sprouter.
By the way, I have the Easy Green sprouter, it's a HUGE machine with plenty of space for wheatgrass. It also doesn't recirculate contaminated water over the sprouts like the round ones so they get only fresh water.
Thanks for the tips.
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