White Fungus growing on blades of Organic Wheatgrass
Has anyone ever encountered a whte fungus that grows ontop of the wheatgrass blades? It almost looks like a powder that if you run your hand over to brush it off it creates a white dust. It is making the wheatgrass turn a greenish-yellow and the blades are not as juicy as they once were. This fungus shows up the last 3 days of the grow cycle. I have been successfully growing organic wheatgrass for the last year and have not had this problem until now. I have tried watering less, increasing the airflow, watering with hydrogyn peroxide, and watering with baking soda.
A picture might help but if using a small fan on the grass doesn't solve it then I can only suggest changing the growing medium and growing in a different area - eg the bathroom rather than the kitchen or if you grow out doors then a different area of the garden.
I wonder if this could be a issue with the seeds. Do you have any mold underneath on the roots. Are you using a fan and watering it heavy in morning and light at night?
Originally Posted by ktrimble2010
trying to upload pic.... having a hard time uploading pics, it keeps comming up as to big of a file but its under the jpeg limit? here is a link to the pic -----> http://www.ppws.vt.edu/stromberg/sma.../wpmildew2.gif <---------
anyways... i believe i have found the name for the fungus that i have it is "Erysiphe graminis" most people see this on their lawn, not their wheatgrass! i am trying a different seed supplier but it takes weeks to see results. so, in the mean time can anyone reccommend an anti-fungus spray to try? ---- or something !? thanks!
Last edited by ktrimble2010; 07-22-2012 at 10:37 PM.
Just a few suggestions, based upon personal experience (I'm sure I'll think of more, after I've posted, but this is all that springs to mind at the time of writing):
*Make sure you use good clean seed (moulds and toxins can grow on poorly-stored seeds). This is one reason why it is worth buying seeds from several different suppliers to begin with, to find out who provides the best quality seed. Believe me, there really are differences between suppliers. Remember that you want to be buying your seed from a supplier with a good turnover of seed - if you buy it from a healthfood store that doesn't sell much seed, then their seeds may have been on the shelf for quite a while, with the potential for microscopic mould levels to have increased during that time. This will, of course, vary from one shop to another.
*Make sure you use good quality soil
* Do not oversoak your seeds - this is a major one! 8-10 hours MAXIMUM (so basically, this is just overnight while you are sleeping). Under some circumstances, it can be beneficial to allow the seeds to slightly sprout before placing them on the growing soil, but this is something each person needs to experiment with and find there best option.
*Do not be tempted to apply too much seed to the soil. I've seen people using rediculous amounts of seed in an effort to obtain maximum yield for a given amount of soil / size of tray. This is a fool's approach. When seeds germinate, they create heat. Heat promotes growth of moulds. Therefore, it is critical to allow each seed to not get too hot. This means don't pile seeds on top of one another, just spread an even layer of seeds on the soil, no more than one seed deep.
Planting density of your seeds is also relevant from the point of view that you need there to be sufficient space between each stem/blade of grass for air to circulate and thus avoid build up of mould-promoting humidity.
*Ensure abundant ventilation. This is a major reason why growing outdoors can be a good option, provided one lives in a temperate climate. If your climate or living situation forces you to grow indoors, then do be sure to ensure good air circulation using a fan of some kind (although be careful not to allow a fan to 'dry' germinating seeds - the fan is mostly of use once roots have formed below the soil and blades of grass are growing
*Try to avoid direct sunlight
*Ensure good drainage of your soil. Whilst it is tempting to deliberately stop trays from draining, so as to minimise the need to water the soil, this is a fool's approach. You need good drainage, even though this means watering the trays slightly more frequently.
*Don't re-use soil for the next batch (if you've properly composted your old growing soil and root mats, then that's different).
*I can tell you from personal experience that wheatgrass DOES grow differently depending on how much soil you use. If you use only an inch of soil, the roots cannot develop very well and the grass experiences much greater stress than if you use a good 2-3 inches of soil. I assure you that it is absolutely worth paying a little more in order to use at least 2 inches of soil.
*It's not really a good idea to try to get a second harvest from a trayful of wheatgrass seeds/roots. It'll be less nutritious than the first batch and the risk of mould running rampant is increased, since it may already have begun during the first growth cycle.
*It is possible to soak seeds in hydrogen peroxide or grapefruit seed extract ('GSE') in an effort to reduce the likelihood of moulds forming on your wheatgrass seeds and blades, but it is naive to believe that this is a complete solution in itself - there is no substitute for good ventilation and following the other recommendations above. Do yourself a favour and get the fundamental basics of healthy wheatgrass growing (described in the points above) correct, rather than ignoring them and hoping for a magic bullet solution to kill mould problems. If you grow your grass properly, respecting it's needs for ventilation, 'breathing space', and sufficent soil depth, you should find, as I do, that there is no need for hydrogen peroxide or GSE, unless you live in unusually challenging environmental conditions (e.g. very hot/humid). Grass likes to grow in cool conditions. It grows more slowly in cool conditions, but don't look at this as a bad thing, just have a little patience and you'll see that cool growing is generally far superior.
*a SMALL amount (i.e. very diluted) of liquid kelp and/or OceanGrown Solution sprayed onto your wheatgrass (once it has begun to grow some green blades) will help support it's healthy growth.
*it is a rookie's mistake to apply too much liquid kelp/ OceanGrown Solution. More is not better!! Use it very diluted and you'll stand the best chance of getting satisfactory results.
*It is a rookie mistake to grow a flat of wheatgrass thinking that you can use just a little each day - for maybe 2 days this approach can work, but any longer than that and problems occur, such as mould or the wheatgrass imply becoming too mature and the soil not being able to sufficiently support it's health anymore - in this case, the roots may experience black mould and/or some slime, and the grass blades may become very bitter and the chlorophyll may degenerate to a paler colour.
Lastly, do be aware that the taste of your wheatgrass will vary, depending on many factors:
*Don't let it grow too old and bitter
*Try different cereal grains. For example, some people like the sweetness of wheatgrass but I find it rather sickly (though I am able to handle the taste if there's no alternative). I prefer oatgrass juice as it is not sickly sweet, but the downside is that it can leave a bit of a burning sensation in the back of the throat. Barleygrass juice is rarther bitter but fairly clean-tasting. Kamut tastes much like wheatgrass in my experience. Don't be fooled by people claiming that 'wheat is the best' - that's old dogma. All the major cereal grasses produce extremely nutritious and potent juice, with great similarities in nutrient profiles, so find one that you find most palatable because a potent juice which you can't bear to consume won't do you anywhere near as much good as one that you are happy to regularly consume/implant.
Hope that helps you a little.
Last edited by Arky; 07-23-2012 at 10:41 AM.
Arky...you covered everything I was going to say :)
The only thing I will say is that you actually can grow a flat of wheatgrass and just juice a little each day, although it's not ideal. You just have to start juicing before the grass is fully mature so that you finish the tray before it matures too much.
I too prefer barleygrass and oatgrass to wheatgrass, I've never been a lover of very sweet things. I juice them all anyway because they each have slightly different nutrients.
I highly recommend an out-of-print, and very unassuming, book on the topic of cereal grass nutrition-
'Cereal Grass What's in it for you!' - Ron Seibold (ed.)
You can pick up a secondhand copy on Amazon for just a couple of bucks and it's a very informative read.
Sometimes, it can be found (legitimately) in digital form on the internet, so you may get lucky if you hunt around, but I was happy to spend a couple of bucks and get a hard copy.
Originally Posted by Living Food
Hmmm... well, I agree with you 25% ;-)
If you have somewhere very cool to store the wheatgrass, then it is more viable to use it over a few days, but I still feel that the wheatgrass harvest period is optimal during an apprimately 48-60hr window of time. I'm only saying that on the basis of personal experience. If you can store it really cool (i.e. in a cellar or fridge) then there is some scope for extending this timeframe to some extent. I know some people suggest harvesting the entire flat and then storing the blades in stay-fresh bags, in the refrigerator. If I was going that far, I think I'd prefer to juice the entire harvest on the day of cutting, and then freeze the juice in icecube bags, even though I fully understand the compromises involved in freezing a living juice.
Each to their own... :)
Oh, I agree with you. There is an optimal time for harvest, and it's a fairly small window. I juice and drink the whole tray all in one sitting, when it's at the peak of its nutritional value. That's absolutely the best thing you can do, but most people don't drink that much juice.
Juicing a little at a time isn't ideal...I was just saying it could be done.
LOL - I remember drinking over a quart of wheatgrass juice once (ironically, it was one of my attempts at hydroponic growing, which didn't turn out well, but that's another story) - anyway, the point is that this particular large dose of wheatgrass juice had a profoundly cleansing effect upon me, even expelling some parasite material. Grass juice is incredibly powerful stuff; it's definitely not hyperbole! :-)
I'm actually gutted that I can't tolerate grass juice at present, so it's well over a year since I had any. Hopefully my body will become able to tolerate it in a couple of years (or less) from now. Only time will tell.
I hope you get worthwhile results from consuming the stuff.
Absolutely amazing benefits. I drink 2 glasses a day in conjunction with a glass of sunflower greens, a glass of chia greens, a glass of some other microgreen or green sprout, and a few glasses of weed (wild greens) juice.
I hope you get worthwhile results from consuming the stuff.
Could you tolerate sunflower green juice, chia green juice, or pea shoot juice? They're all amazing potent and nearly as nutritious as grass juice.
thanks, thats a lot of good info! i had one more questioin, what are your thoughts on the plastic domes that cover the trays during germination? right now i use news paper on top of the seed, after i mist the seed i mist the paer to get it wet. again - its been going well _untill now_
Originally Posted by Arky
Last edited by ktrimble2010; 07-25-2012 at 03:32 PM.
I wouldn't recommend using newspaper as that could leach on the grass. Here is the steps that I do and it works great.
1. I take a pint glass container and put 1.5 cups of organic wheatgrass seeds in it. I fill it with water just above the wheatgrass seeds. I let that soak for 10 hours or so. Overnight
2. Dump that water that was soaking for 10 hours out and now rinse with fresh semi warm water like 3 or 4 times. Then flip the pint over and let all the water drip out. Do this for
1.5 days or so and twice per day. By this time you will see the seeds sprouting.
3. Now plant in your tray with organic dirt. Then take another tray and put it on top so it covers the seeds. Let the seeds stay in dark a few days or until its lifting on the cover. Continue to water twice per day.
4. Once the grass is growing and touching the flipped tray, then remove the tray and add to window for light. Water twice per day and add a desktop fan if possible.