Help! Wheatgrass -- Growing and Juicing Questions
Hello All Wheatgrass Lovers!
After the wonderful inspiration from the folks on the sprouting and fasting threads, I decided to try my hand at growing wheatgrass.
It was a marginal success. Marginal because it did grow, but.... There's always a "but" when something doesn't turn out the way I expected it, lol!
It took about 10 days, that was okay. But it didn't stand up straight, it fell over. Is that normal? In other words, it doesn't look like all of the pictures I've seen, nor the "professional" wheatgrass I've seen.
Also, although I haven't been consuming it on a regular basis, I remember wheatgrass tasting pretty good... green, but good. Rather pleasant. Well, my crop tasted so bitter! It tasted so bad I was actually afraid to drink it! My friend, however, says it tastes like any wheatgrass she's ever had.
One last question. In the event that you report, that bitter is normal, do you have any suggestions for make it more paletable? Lemon, perhaps?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.
Originally Posted by spicyfull
Thanks for your kind words. I sprouted the seeds before planting. I had it rooted in about 1 inch of soil. I let it grow to 7-9 inches; but the truth is, it started falling over at around 4 inches. It didn't act "wilted", it just didn't want to stand straight. It was almost like it was a different "variety" of grass.
I watered it with a spray bottle twice a day. The underside of the tray was always damp. I had no mold. I considered changing to hydroponic, but something in me says "dirt,"..... good dirt. Maybe I should use compost?
I know what you mean about being critical because I grew it. And, while I can be that way, I'm also just as likely to rave about my own creations when I really like them, lol! But in this case, it was just plain nasty, and bitter. In fact, I gave the whole flat to my friend. She was willing to "down" the stuff, straight (a real woman, lol!). I just couldn't bring myself to consume it. I think I'll go to the HFS and purchase a shot, just to compare.
In any event, I'm trying different dirt and a 2nd crop. I'll know in about a week. It's already got about 1" green shoots!
I will keep you posted!
Also did you use "Winter Wheat Berries"? They are the kind you use for Juice. 7-9 inches is too long to Juice. I keep it at 3 inches. DIRT is always Good and Compost is excellent, I mostly just use potting soil. Sometimes I just sprout it and let it grow.
Check out Books by the Mother of WheatGrass....Ann Wigmore. I have read her Stories and I feel as though I know her. She has several Books, she is no longer with us but left us a wealth of Knowledge.
Everytime you grow a Flat, that is what I grow mine in. I get them from the Nursery. The Flats they sell Flowers in which is Black and cris-crossed at the bottom. Again everytime you grow Grass, you will learn something, even with your mistakes, you will learn something.
Damp is fine, not soggy. Also is it in a Sunny Location? It does need SUN.
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Our PLANET is so Precious. God created this and its up to us to respect it. Did you know the Water we use today is the same water Moses used? RECYCLE everything you can at least once.... Let's keep this going...........
i read this before about a persons wheat grass laying over and they discovered they had a mouse that was eating and trampling it
You should juice your wheatgrass after it gets the divided stem. Sometimes it will be 3" tall, sometimes it will be 8" tall!
If you juice it before that, it will be bitter. I heard this on an audio interview with the guy that runs Hippocrates (Dr. Brian).
Also... don't let it get direct sunlight. Filtered sun is best (I have a lace curtain on the window my wheatgrass grows in).
Don't sprout them before planting. Soak overnight, and then just lay them on the soil, one layer, thickly. You shouldn't see any dirt when you are done! Water well every morning, like flood them! then let it drain all off (not sitting in water).
I will feed mine, too, even though Dr. Brian feels that is useless... I put a little kelp powder in the water, or a bit of worm tea. Not every day, but maybe twice during the growth cycle.
Obsessively, fanatically, gung-ho efforts to live a moderate, mellow life...
Regarding the wheatberries, my friend purchased them, so I can't be certain. In fact, if this crop doesn't turn out better, I plan to purchase new wheatberries, and make sure they are the hard winter variety. Wouldn't that be something.... the wrong berries, lol. Regarding planting container, I am using the garden flats, as well, and using organic potting soil, peat moss with perlite.
No mice here, I hope!
Yes, I read about the divided stem, and am looking for that on this crop, and will cut at that point. It's not in direct light, and not sprouted before planting.
Thank you all for your hints and tips, eventually I will get this right!
Hi Mangolei, your post prompted me to try some of my first tray of Wheatgrass.
I found this video on you tube to be helpful.
My tray took about 8-9 days to get to a juice able size.
It was nice and sweet. I got hard winter wheat berries from a health food store.
I find my wheatgrass falls over:
If it has not received DAILY watering
If, despite daily watering, the seeds have still managed to dry out. This can happen if you don't sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top of the seeds (although this does, unfortunately, mean that when you cut the grass, you tend to have a little more earth to clean off it before you can juice it). Some people place upturned growing trays on top of the earth-filled growing tray, to act as a 'lid' to keep moisture in for the first 2-4 days. Other people place water-soaked sheets of newspaper on top of the seed trays, again to help the seeds sprout in a moist environment. Paper doesn't work for me because I grow mine outside and the wind invariably blows it off.
If it has not been planted in sufficient soil/compost
If it has been undernourished (I water my wheatgrass with a capful of liquid kelp added to each watering can)
If the seed is poor
If the grass has been exposed to frost as it grows (this doesn't usually kill it but it does seem to reduce it's vitality)
If the grass has been allowed to grow for too many days - you may notice it beginning to turn yellow, for example, as it runs out of root space and nutrients. If you're unsure, it's best to use it slightly too early rather than slightly too late, and also bear in mind that there is less warmth and sunshine during winter, so this will alter growing times. During winter, here in the UK, I find mine takes about 12-14 days to mature, whereas it takes 6-7days during the summer months.
If it has received too much DIRECT sunlight (I now grow mine next to a north-facing wall, which effectively means that the sun is unable to shine directly as it arcs in the sky from east to west, from a slightly-southerly direction (I'm in the UK, so you need to check whereabouts you are, with regard to the equator). It's not rocket science, just look where the sun shines least in your garden, when it is at it's peak (e.g. midday). My grass still receives plenty of sunlight but most of it is ambient, diffusely-bounced through the atmosphere. Apologies if that sounds a little weird; I hope you know what I'm trying to say! :)
Also on the subject of direct sunlight, do make sure that you don't grow it close to glass, as sunlight can bounce of glass, sometimes becoming more intensely focused, and can make your grass wilt like crazy!
I have found that organic seeds are noticeably more vigourous in their growth than non-organic. I didn't expect to see such a noticeable difference but there's no doubt about it, from the various seeds that I've used.
Lastly, I should add that I have found that the winter-grown wheatgrass, perhaps due to it taking longer to achieve maturity, seems to have much, much higher EFA content, and also 'tastes more nutritious', odd though that might sound. Again, note that I live in the UK, so your results will differ if you live at a different latitude (and will obviously differ, too, if you grow yours indoors).
Last edited by Arky; 04-15-2009 at 11:13 AM.
my wheat grass used to fall over too - I started planting more densely and now they stand up nicely...
(and will obviously differ, too, if you grow yours indoors).
You grow out doors?
Originally Posted by T-Bird
If you ever randomly stumbled upon any of my older contributions to the forum, on the topic of sprouting wheatgrass, you might notice that I recommended a certain DIY hydroponic sprouter for the purpose. However, as time wore on, I became increasingly discontented with mould issues and general inconsistency of results - it basically always felt like an uphill battle to get a good grass crop. Instead of simply abandoning this method, I decided to simultaneously go back to the traditional outdoor method of soil-in-trays. It quickly became apparent that, in my particular circumstances, this way was far superior to my hydroponic set-up and was well worth the inconvenience of having to go outside every other day and get my hands dirty. Therefore, I continued with outdoor soil and discontinued my hydroponic efforts.
However, it was important for me to actually TRY the hydroponic method for myself - if I'd always grown only in soil, outside, I'd still be wondering if hydroponic would suit me better, so in short, I've tried both and I find the effort and mess of growing outside, with soil, IS worth it for me, and the results are (mostly) excellent. I do occasionally get a little mould but nowhere even remotely close to the levels of mould I used to get when growing hydroponically. Of course, it depends on how much money you are willing to throw at a hydroponic set-up (e.g. full-spectrum grow lamps, potent mould-inhibitors such as bulk G.S.E., and temperature control methods such as fans or refrigeration etc.). Many people do report excellent results with hydroponic systems.
You need to know your geographical climate. In my part of the world (middle of the UK), I get sufficient, but not excessive, sunlight, and the same goes for outdoor temperature, except in 2-3 months of the year - Winter, when my grass struggles with frosts etc., so I now skip growing wheatgrass altogether during this time of year (which gives my body a healthy break from wheatgrass juice, anyway).
Last edited by Arky; 04-21-2009 at 10:54 AM.