Wheat grass (also known as cat grass) is slowly gaining popularity. I’ve seen offerings for wheat grass shots in several different smoothie shops for $6 per shot. SIX FREAKING DOLLARS for a teeny, tiny shot 2oz of wheat grass. I tried it one time, thought it was pretty cool, but realized that there was no way I could afford this luxury on a daily, or even weekly, basis.
Years later, when I started my herb garden, I began to notice that wheat grass is commonly offered as a potted plant. I saw prices anywhere from $2 – $4 for a small or medium-sized plant, which would provide weeks of nourishment. Hell yeah!
What I didn’t realize was those plants were only going to last about 2 harvests before the plant would start to whittle away. I really loved the nutritional boost, but this plant was still an expense I couldn’t afford.
I then decided to research how much it would be to grow my own wheat grass. It turns out that wheat grass seeds are extremely cheap. There was a moment of me thinking, “Is this unrealistic? Can I actually do this? Is it going to be too much for me to handle?” Despite my initial doubts, I took a big gulp and took the plunge.
Spoiler alert: Wheat grass is incredibly easy to grow and produces fantastic results. Best of all, you can grow it indoors! Apartment dwellers, rejoice!
Still in doubt? Don’t worry. I’ve provided step-by-step instructions with tons of photos on how to grow the perfect wheat grass.
What is wheat grass and why should I ingest it?
Wheat grass comes from wheat seeds (also known as wheat berries) that traditionally grow into the same wheat we eat with bread, barley, oats, and rye. When wheat grass is harvested at its nutritional peak (when it’s dark green and looks similar to lawn grass), it has an extremely high concentration of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, living enzymes, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients. For the glutards out there, wheat grass is prior to its development of vital wheat gluten, making wheat grass completely gluten-free!
Why should I drink it instead of just eating it? We don’t have the same digestive system as, say, a cow, who can eat pounds of grass and convert it into energy. Our bodies don’t work that way. In order for our bodies to extract the nutrients from this nutritious plant, we must either juice it or blend it. Think of that process as “chewing.” In fact, after drinking wheat grass juice, our body doesn’t need to any further digesting to break down the juice. It can be immediately absorbed, which means our bodies receive full nutritional benefits from this drink using a small amount of energy.
What are the nutritional benefits you keep mentioning?
- 2oz of wheat grass juice is nutritionally equivalent to consuming 2 pounds of greens.
- Wheat grass juice contains 70% chlorophyll.
- Chlorophyll is the basis of all plant life. It is high in oxygen, allowing the brain and all body tissues to function at an optimal level.
- Chlorophyll arrests growth and development of unfriendly bacteria, so it’s perfect when you’re sick.
- Chlorophyll rebuilds the bloodstream (perfect for anemics).
- The high magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore sex hormones.
- Wheat grass contains over 100 elements needed by man. If grown in organic soil, it absorbs 92 of the known 102 minerals from the soil.
- Chlorophyll washes drug deposits from the body.
- Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins, helps purify the liver, and improves blood sugar problems.
- Helps prevent acne and helps heal acne scars
- Prevents hair from graying
- Helps to treat skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis
- Improves digestion and keeps you fuller longer
So, in a few words, wheat grass kicks ass.
How do I grow my own wheat grass?
First, you need to buy the seeds. I bought my seeds from a website called Todd’s Seeds. Todd’s wheat grass seeds are non-GMO, organic, and the best price you’ll find anywhere. These seeds are high germinating seeds, so even idiots can grow these seeds. With Todd’s Seeds, you have the option of ordering 1 ounce, 1 pound, or 10 pounds. Knowing that I was going to be growing a lot, I opted for the 10 pound bag, which is also the best value. I dare you to search around, but I assure you that won’t find a better deal.
I received my seeds in less than a week. Inside the package was the 10lb bag. Here is what the bag looked like:
Part of the reason why Todd’s Seeds is such a great price is because the packaging is nothing spectacular. It’s double-bagged and insulated, though, so it’s good enough. What do I care about fancy packaging?
Find a container that you will place your seeds in. Instead of buying something new, I opted to use an old plastic bin I had laying around my house.
To see how many seeds I would need, I poured enough seeds in my container until the seeds almost filled up the entire bottom. The seeds can be touching, but make sure the seeds aren’t stacking on top of each other.
Great! That’s how many seeds you’ll need. By the way, this amount barely made a dent in my 10 pound bag, meaning I’ll have wheat grass seeds for months and months to come!
Next, you’ll want to rinse off these seeds. My colander had holes that were too big for my wheat grass seeds, so I used a cheese cloth to keep the seeds from squeezing through.
After that, you’ll want to soak for your seeds in cold water 3 times for 10 hours each time. The water amount should be at least 3x the amount of seeds you have. Make sure your bowl/container has a lid.
I started my first soak in the morning:
That night, I drained the water, filled it with new, cold water, and let it soak overnight.
The next day, I drained the water again, filled it up one last time, and let the seeds soak all day.
That night, I was ready to plant the seeds!
I lined my plastic container with cardboard or heavy recycled paper. I used an old Chipotle take out bag, which worked perfectly.
Next, fill up your box with organic soil or potting soil. Fill it up about 2 inches in height.
After that, I scattered my seeds on top of the soil. Just like before, I did my best to make sure the seeds weren’t stacking on top of each other.
NOTE: Pushing the seeds down into the soil is not necessary. I didn’t, and the roots ended up finding their way downward.
You’ll need a spray bottle. That trusty spray bottle will help you throughout your journey. Wheat grass seeds should stay moist, but they don’t like to be drenched. Therefore, spray bottles are the perfect solution.
Spray your seeds so the soil and seeds are wet. Remember, these seeds can’t swim, so don’t drown them.
After the initial spray, find recycled paper to place on top of the seeds. You’ll need this paper to cover your seeds while the shoots are growing, as it’ll help keep your seeds moist throughout its growth. Spray the recycled paper with water on both sides, place it on top of your seeds, and you’re done for the day!
By the way, the hardest part is done. Now onto the fun part: watching it grow!
I placed my seeds in a spot where direct sunlight would not be on the plant, but where sunlight could generally be seen. Wheat grass does not do well in direct sunlight, which is why I advise you to keep your wheat grass plant indoors. To me, it’s just easier that way.
IMPORTANT INFO: If you plan on having a constant flow of wheat grass, you should start soaking a new batch of seeds today and start from Day 1 on your next batch. That way, you’ll always have fresh, green wheat grass to eat every single day!
The next morning, I was thrilled to see that my wheat grass had tiny little tails! It’s so exciting to see growth! The tails will eventually be the shoots.
Look at those tails!
By this point in my seeds’ growth, I was realizing that my newspaper seemed dry by in the middle of the day. I started spraying my newspaper (not the seeds) in the middle of the day, too, just to keep the seeds a little more moist.
I think this was the most exciting day for growth. Overnight, the tails grew into shoots! I took a picture in the morning and at night, and WOAH, those babies were growing quickly!
What a HUGE difference, right? Nature is amazing, people!
This was the last day I had the newspaper on top of the shoots. Once the shoots were long enough to peek over the sides of the container, it was pointless to keep it on.
I continued to water my seeds every morning and every night with the spray bottle.
Just a week ago, it was only a seed, Now, the wheat grass had a cute little buzz cut going on!
Uh oh, I’m personifying the wheat grass. I am way too involved.
By the way, he seeds will be ready to harvest when the shoots start splitting into two pieces. This won’t happen for a few days, but it’s something to look out for.
The grass is looking taller! Everything is still great.
By this day, my patience was being tested. WHEN WILL THOSE DAMN SHOOTS SPLIT? As Veruca Salt would say, “I want it now!” It looks so yummy, but it’s just not ready yet.
I forgot to take a picture this day. Whoops! Nothing new or exciting happened. Just standard growth.
The day has finally come! After days of searching, I finally found my first sign of shoot splitting. It’s time to make our first wheat grass shot!
I cut my wheat grass using a pair of standard scissors. Cut right at the base of the plant, near the root.
Don’t be afraid to be generous here. You have a 10lb bag of wheat grass seeds, so there will be plenty of wheatgrass to come. Cut between 5 “pinches” of grass per person.
I’m using my Nutribullet’s Milling bade to cut my wheat grass, which is the equivalent of using a strong blender.
NOTE: If you’re using a juicer, you’ll need a masticating one. A centrifugal one will not work with wheat grass.
When you place your wheat grass in the blender, cut it up into smaller pieces. If you put whole shoots in, you might be left with chunks afterward, and no one likes chunks of grass.
When I pour in my filtered water, I fill it up just enough to cover the wheat grass. This will provide a very concentrated version of the wheat grass with very strong flavor. If you’re not used to the taste, you might want to add a little more water to dilute the flavor a little bit.
Mix for about a minute. If you find you still have chunks at the end, you can pour the juice through a mesh strainer and squeeze out the juice with the chunks left behind.
With my Nutribullet, I barely see chunks. I was A-okay with my drink!
I split my shot between Matt and I. We always clink our glasses together and say, “For the healths.” I always plug my nose and take my shot. No, it doesn’t taste great. It tastes like straight up grass. Matt always pours his with orange juice to dilute the flavor, and that works, too. You can also put the juice in smoothies or mix it with coconut milk.
I must say, though, that this wheat grass was the sweetest, most delicious shot I have ever tasted. I can’t wait to have more every day! Thanks, Todd’s Seeds. Your seeds really rocked, and I’m so happy with my purchase.
Not only that, but I felt great today. I had a lot of energy. Wheat grass is my favorite way to start the day!
How long does the wheat grass last?
This post was done in the middle of summer in Florida. Apparently, wheat grass grows faster in heat. If I tried this same experiment in winter, it might take twice as long for the wheat grass to grow.
You should aim to use all your wheat grass within five days of harvesting the first batch. With each passing day, the grass starts to lose its vibrant green color and transition into a sea of yellow. This is because the seeds have already extracted all the nutrients from the soil.
To try to preserve the wheat grass, you might consider putting it in your refrigerator overnight and taking it out for sunlight during the day.
You can always pre-juice the wheat grass and place the juice in the fridge for another day, but keep in mind that wheat grass is the freshest and most nutrient-dense after 5 minutes of juicing. After that, all the good stuff will begin to deteriorate.
The first harvest will produce the most nutrient-dense wheat grass. It is grass, so when you cut it, it will grow back a second, or even a third, time. With each harvest, the grass becomes more bitter and provides less nutrients. Because of this, you will probably want to start a new tray after your first harvest.
Hence, why I bought the 10lb bag. In fact, I started soaking my second batch of seeds the day I harvested the first shot of the first batch!
Do you have any questions? Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you love wheat grass shots as much as I do, is there anything you do differently? I’d love to hear from you.