Are you tired of winter and ready for some spring? Then how about bringing a bit of spring inside early by planting your own wheat grass!
Wheat grass is versatile. Not only can you use it for spring decorating, but with a little planning (it takes about 2 weeks total) you can use it to replace that awful crinkly plastic stuff in your Easter baskets.
You can also juice it, nibble on it raw, and feed it to chickens, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.
So how do you plant wheatgrass? Where do you find the seed? Well, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I spent two years, on and off, looking for “Wheat Grass Seed” in the gardening section of big box stores and home improvement centers. . .
And then, finally, I realized. . . You have to buy wheat kernels or berries. You know, the kind you EAT. They sell them in the bulk food section of health food stores and such. I got mine at the Mennonite bulk food store-paid around $2 for a good sized bag.
Growing Decorative Wheatgrass
Planting container with drainage holes
Soil (organic if you plan on juicing or eating the grass)
Wheat Kernels, sometimes called Berries
Plastic wrap or bag large enough to enclose your container
Container with lid for pre-sprouting
1. Decide if you want to presprout your kernels/berries/seed or not. The seed I presprouted for 2 days took right off and grew. The ones I just planted took several days to catch up.
2. To pre-sprout: Take enough seed to eventually thickly cover the surface of your planting container. Place it in a jar and completely cover with warm to tepid water. Let soak for about 10-12 hours, then drain the water off. Rinse and drain with tepid water once or twice a day until you see the seeds begin to sprout.
3. Fill your planting container with soil. The soil should end about an inch below the edge of your container for the most attractive appearance (the bottom of the grass will eventually turn yellowish white-this way the green stays up where folks can see it.
Note: I decided to walk on the wild side and plant one container up that didn’t have drainage holes. It was an attractive round basket and I just lined it with a plastic shopping bag (it took me about 4 bags before I found one without a hole). I was very very careful not to overwater this container since there was no drainage.
4. Water and cover the containers with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in while the grass begins to grow. Do not over water-the damp soil and the wrap should keep the seeds moist enough.
5. Once the sprouts are up move into the sun and let it grow!
6. To make your grass last longer you can give it a “haircut” 2 or 3 times. Go slow and start out cutting it a bit longer than you think you will want it~it’s harder than you think to cut across it nice and straight. Our guinea pig was thrilled to get the trimmings
So don’t fret~you still have plenty of time to grow your own wheatgrass for Easter! I will be starting another couple of batches soon, not only for my own Easter table, but in little pots (which I picked up at Dollar Tree, 4 for a dollar) to be used at the church Easter Dinner for decorations.
If you want to see some other great ideas for using wheatgrass in decorations check out Martha Stewart’s Wheat Grass Centerpiece, Rosy Posy’s Eggcellent Easter Grass, Earth Affair’s collage of Wheatgrass Wedding Decorations, Limelight Floral’s Baby Shower Centerpieces and Occasions by Lisa’s roundup of Wheatgrass Decorating.
And even better~any of the wheat kernels you don’t sprout you can EAT! Check out this great pdf from the Utah State Cooperative Extension on Whole Kernel and Bulgar Wheat.