Wheatgrass is called by many “liquid sunshine”, and with good reason! With health benefits ranging from gaining most of your vitamins and minerals in one single ounce, keeping blood sugar in check, and curbing hunger cravings, it’s more like a liquid miracle.
But although wheatgrass juice is one of the easiest, healthiest things you can add into your daily diet, it can cost some serious dough.
Just one little shot of wheatgrass from a smoothie shop or juicery can cost anywhere from 3.50 to 5 dollars! Since it’s recommended to drink 2-4 ounces a day for maximum health benefits, multiply that by a few times a week, that can add up to several hundreds to a thousand dollars a year.
This becomes a frustrating dilemma: do you sacrifice your health to save money? Or can you incorporate the wonders of wheatgrass into your life without breaking the bank?
This is where the art of growing your own wheatgrass can come in handy.
Don’t run away yet! Not everyone has a green thumb, it’s true. The idea of growing something from nothing with no prior experience in gardening is intimidating and sometimes even impossible. However, the simplicity of growing wheatgrass may be just what the doctor ordered for you to have a healthy life and a happy bank account.
The best part? You don’t need a garden or even an outdoor space to grow wheatgrass. Yes, all you city-dwellers can grow your own wheatgrass without compromising much of your indoor living space.
So how do you go about it? Here’s the easy-peasy guide to get started on your wheatgrass growing adventure.
Step #1. Supplies
First, you’ll need some easy-to-find supplies (click links to shop ’em):
- Organic wheatgrass sprouting seeds
- Organic potting soil
- Plastic gardening trays with holes (there are various sizes depending on the amount of space you have available – you can also get trays without holes and poke your own)
- A simple spray bottle to keep the soil moist but not over saturated
- Optional: Organic fertilizer
Note: If shopping for all the individual supplies are too much of a pain in the butt, just know that you have even easier options. There are pre-prepared, all-in-one wheatgrass growing kits that can get you started quick. These typically tend to be smaller so you’ll need to purchase several if you’re juicing for the whole family but they are generally an intimidation-free way to get started.
Not to mention, there are wheatgrass growing kits that come with decorative trays so you can kill two birds with one stone by using them as beautiful potted plants for your home and a source of antioxidant juices.
Step #2. Let’s Germinate!
Now that you’ve got all your supplies, it’s time for some germination fun. In essence, the germination phase is just about sprouting the seeds.
This pre-step is an important one, ensuring that the wheatgrass you grow will have maximum vitamins and minerals, grow faster and more plentiful, and be yummily sweet.
So let’s get started, shall we?
- Pour the organic wheatgrass sprouting seeds into a bowl, measuring approximately enough to fill one thin layer of seeds on your plastic gardening tray later.
- Pour water onto the seeds and rinse thoroughly, and then drain the water. Then, put the seeds in a container with water 2-3x the amount of the seeds. Let the seeds sit for 8-10 hours.
- Drain the water, and repeat process two more times, letting them soak again for 8-10 hours, totaling about 24-30 hours of soak time, 3 times total.
- Finally, check to see if the seeds have sprouted roots during this time. Roots should be at least 1/8th – 1/4th inches long.
Step #3. Give the Wheatgrass a Home
Now that your wheatgrass seeds are sprouted, let’s move them to their own home so they can put down roots and grow tall, green and full of nutrients!
- In your plastic gardening tray, place unbleached paper towels (chemical free, recycled paper towels are available at most health food stores) so the roots from the seeds cannot fall through the bottom holes of the tray.
- Pre-moisten the organic potting soil with your spray bottle and fill the tray to 1 in a half inches with the organic potting soil.
- Pour the sprouted seeds evenly onto one layer on top of the organic soil – try to distribute them so there are no clusters of seeds. It’s fine if the seeds are close neighbors, just keep in mind that each seeds needs space to grow.
- Gently press them into the soil. No need to completely bury them – just a gentle, firm press will do.
- Finally, move your tray carefully into indirect sunlight with proper ventilation. Wheatgrass does well indoors, so if you have a free windowsill that doesn’t get direct sunlight, this might do the trick!
Step #4. Keep It Moist
As soon as you plant the wheatgrass sprouts into the tray, you’ll want to give them a light watering with the spray bottle, making sure that each seeds gets a little bit of sprinkle.
But that’s not the last of this watering business – these delicate wheatgrass sprouts need constant moisture, especially in the first few days after you plant them.
To prevent them from drying out, you’ll want to:
- Cover the tray with a few moistened sheets of newspaper to protect the seedlings.
- The seeds must be watered at least twice a day with a spray bottle to keep them moist but not overwatered.
- To avoid dryness, keep the sheet of damp newspaper over the tray until the shoots reach approximately 1 inch in height.
- Once the shoots are about an inch tall, you can cut back the watering to once a day – just make sure the soil is always damp, not dry or overwatered.
Step #5. Juice It
Wheatgrass is a relatively easy plant to grow and as such, your first harvest should be ready for juicing in about a week or two.
In about 10 days’ time, your wheatgrass should be taller – around 6 inches or so. And you’ll know if it’s ready for harvesting if it’s started to split, i.e. if a second blade of grass has begin to grow out of the first shoot.
At this point, you can harvest your fresh wheatgrass for juicing by cutting it above the root.
Although wheatgrass will keep in the fridge for a few days, it’s really best you harvest right before you juice since you’ll get the freshest, most nutrient-rich juice this way. Plus, you have the wheatgrass growing right in your home so why not take advantage of it?
Of course, to juice wheatgrass at home, you’ll need a wheatgrass juicer. A dedicated wheatgrass juicer can start at $50 and up, where the top quality juicers that can juice pretty much anything average around $200+.
However, it is well worth the money as you’d be making it back within a month or two. Considering you would be spending 800-1000 dollars a year if you purchase your wheatgrass juice elsewhere, this is a time worthy investment.
Moongiantgo Manual Wheatgrass Juicer
This juicer is the best value – it’s perfect for people who are just starting out juicing and want to test out the waters.
It’s very affordable compared to other high-quality juicers and it performs superbly – it’s great at juicing wheatgrass and other delicate leafy greens such as spinach, parsley, kale, collard greens, etc.
The juice yield is high and the pulp is usually dry, so it does an excellent job of really extracting the juice from the produce. You can also juice harder produce like carrots and apples on this juicer, but it’s real strength lies in leafy greens.
This is the perfect start-out juicer. The best part is that when you decide you want to move on to juicing a wider variety of produce and invest in a more advanced juicer, you can still use this one as a travel juicer!
But again, there’s no need to invest in an expensive juicer if all you want to juice for now is wheatgrass.
In fact, our favorite wheatgrass juicer is very affordably priced and it’s great for wheatgrass as well as a whole host of fruits and veggies – carrots, celery, tomatoes, ginger, apples, as well as more delicate greens and herbs like parsley, cilantro, spinach, kale, chard, fennel, collard greens and so on.
Wheatgrass has had a long history. Nearly 5000 years ago, Egyptians used to cultivate this plant for it’s health benefits, and in the 1930s it was revitalized for the modern world in supplements, powdered form, and an integral part of the Raw Food movement.
Hippies and health nuts alike drink it and grow it for consumption in efforts to live a long, vitamin rich life. However, one doesn’t have to be an enthusiast to enjoy the value that wheatgrass provides. There is value not only in your future of living a healthy lifestyle, but in your savings with money and resources.
Growing wheatgrass can be a fun and interesting project, something to take pride in considering all of the positive benefits. So, instead of buying a potted plant to spruce up your kitchen windowsill, why not invest your time in growing some liquid sunshine?