Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grow Your Own Wheatgrass

Every kid has planted a seed or two to learn about Spring or how plants grow. But how many of those seeds actually get remembered long enough to grow into a plant?

I have a fun solution that only takes a couple of days to see results, and about a week to have a "full" plant. It's wheat grass. Plus, it's cute enough you can use it as a Spring decoration for your house. (Quite unlike those nasty looking plastic Ziplocs with wet paper towels in them.)

Lets get started:

1. Find a container about 3-4 inches deep. It's best to have draining holes in the bottom if you're a beginner at the whole sprouting thing, but if you think you have a good idea of how much water they need the holes aren't necessary.

2. Fill your container to about 1 inch below the rim with pre-moistened potting mix.

3. Sprinkle the top with wheat seed. Leave a little space between the seeds so they're not touching and competing for food. Press the seeds into the soil and cover lightly with a more potting soil. Then water lightly.

Some tips for buying wheat seed:
  • Purchase your wheat from a reputable source that sells food-grade organic seed that is meant for sprouting. 
  • Never use agricultural seed, especially any seed that is coated with fungicide. 
  • Wheat seeds are sometimes sold as wheat "kernels" or as "Hard Red Wheat". 
4. In about 3-4 days, you will begin to see sprouts emerge. It's now time to move the container to a sunny location. Sunshine not only allows the young sprouts to manufacture more chlorophyll, but it helps to keep them stocky and short. Wheatgrass grown in the dark or in poorly lit areas tends to be quite pale and lanky and in no time at all, the sprouts begin to fall over.

5. By about day 7-10, the sprouts are the perfect height to use as a Spring centerpiece or Easter baskets. Scatter some speckled candy Easter eggs in the grass or hide chocolate bunnies for a festive look.

Spring flowers are beautiful, but this centerpiece is a little unexpected and will last long after the holiday. Happy Spring!

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