Do you love wheatgrass juice, and want to make your own? This easy tutorial will show you How to Grow Wheatgrass, and then also How to Juice Wheatgrass (without a juicer!).
Do you ever have moments where you pause, and realize that if your younger self saw what you were doing, they’d be completely bewildered? I have. If you were able to travel back in time, and tell college-age me that one day I’d be growing and juicing my own wheatgrass, here’s what would have happened. First, I’d have put down my Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper (gag) and my baked potato chips, and then I would’ve said, “What’s wheatgrass?”
What’s my point? First of all, making my own homegrown wheatgrass juice reminds me that I’ve been slowly morphing from a city-loving, high heel-addicted fashionista into an herb garden-growing, nature trail-hiking foodie– and that confuses me. Second, you don’t have to be a fabulously talented gardener to grow wheatgrass. If you want to give it a try– this tutorial will show you how to grow your own wheatgrass, and then how to juice it without a juicer!
Why drink Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is one of those plants that has fanatical followings. People claim it can do all kinds of fabulous things– from increasing blood oxygen levels to curing cancer to slowing down the aging process. Do I believe all of those things? Not necessarily. It is, however, a great source of chlorophyll, amino acids, iron, and vitamins, so if you’re trying to include more nutrients or greens in your diet, wheatgrass is a great way to do it!*
As you’re reading this, keep in mind that you CAN buy wheatgrass pre-grown. If you’d rather skip the growing part, and go straight to the juicing– go right ahead!
How to Grow Wheatgrass
Sprouting the Seeds:
- Start by deciding how many seeds you’re going to use. A 10″x10″ tray will use about 1 cup of seeds. I use about 1/2 a cup of seeds for each of my 11″x4.5″ containers.
- Put seeds in a jar with 2/3 times more water than seeds. Cover jar with cheesecloth, and secure the cloth with a rubber band. Set them out of direct sunlight (example- in a cabinet) and let them soak for 8-12 hours.
- Drain water from seeds and rinse. Leave seeds in the covered jar, and set jar in indirect sunlight (example- on a kitchen counter). Do not put seeds back in the dark– they’ll grow faster with sunlight.
- Rinse seeds every 12 hours until seeds have begun to sprout. This should take 1-2 days.
Planting the Sprouts:
- Prepare your planter by putting a thin layer of soil in it and getting the soil very wet. Allow any puddles to drain before adding the seeds.
- Next, rinse your seeds again, and then spread the seeds in a single layer ON TOP of the soil. It’s okay if some seeds overlap each other. Don’t bury the seeds. Do not pour water over the seeds.
- Set the planter in indirect sunlight, in a well-ventilated area. (Humid areas, such as bathrooms or above refrigerators, can encourage mold growth.)
- For a standard planter or wheatgrass tray: Once or twice a day, depending on how humid the environment is (and how damp the soil is), spritz the seeds with water. You want the soil damp, but not soaking or puddling. For a self-watering planter: Check the water reservoir every day or every other day, and make sure it’s still full.
- Once the grass is about 9″ tall, it’s ready to harvest.
- If you’re using your grass for juice, cut the grass off just above the base. Next, pull out the roots, and start over. (The wheatgrass would continue to grow after you harvest the grass, but most sources state that the first growth has the most nutrients.)
Tips for avoiding Mold in Wheatgrass
- Wheatgrass is highly susceptible to a type of white mold that grows in the soil below the grass. This probably is the biggest (and maybe the only) problem you’ll have while growing your wheatgrass. To combat mold, keep your grass in well-ventilated areas, avoiding humid spaces like bathrooms or above refrigerators. Keep your seeds and grass slightly cooler than room temperature by using cold water when watering. (TIP: If you’re using a self-watering planter with a water reservoir, try adding 1-2 ice cubes to the water! This will keep the water cool and make the environment inhospitable to mold.)
- If your wheatgrass DOES get mold, don’t give up! Simply try moving your planter to a more ventilated area, an area with more sunlight or keeping the water colder.
- Don’t overwater the soil. Keep the soil damp, but not soggy. It’s better to underwater than overwater.
- Some sources say to cover the planter with plastic wrap to keep the moisture locked in, but I don’t care for this method because it can encourage mold growth.
If you’re using your wheatgrass for decoration, or for your cat to nibble on, you can stop here. If, however, you want to turn your wheatgrass into juice, keep reading!
How to Juice Wheatgrass (Without a Juicer)
To use your wheatgrass, you need to juice it. You can use a juicer– and there are even specialty juicers made specifically for wheatgrass– but if you don’t have a juicer, you can still juice your wheatgrass!!! All you need is a blender.
- Rinse off your wheatgrass and make sure to get rid of any dirt that’s still on the grass. Add the wheatgrass to a blender, and add about 2 cups of water for each 1/2 cup of grass. (You can add more or less water to taste.)
- Set a piece of cheesecloth or muslin over a jar or other container. I like to fasten it in place loosely with a rubber band. Pour the blended wheatgrass slowly through the cheesecloth.
- As you pour, the pulp will get caught on the cheesecloth. Discard the pulp, and drink the juice!
- Store extra wheatgrass in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it in an ice cube tray to add to green smoothies.
Have you tried growing wheatgrass and juicing it? Let me know in the comments!
*A Note on Allergies: Since wheatgrass comes from same plant as wheat, avoid it if you’ve got a wheat intolerance or celiac disease. People with mold allergies should also be careful about wheatgrass that’s had any mold growth. Also note that I am not a doctor, and nothing here should be considered medical advice.