Wheat is a cereal grown outdoors for its edible grains and production of bread and other wheat products. On the other hand, wheatgrass can be grown indoors and harvested within 9-10 days of growth. It refers to the young blades of wheat.

Dubbed “the green gold” or “green blood”, many people are switching their attention to learning how to grow wheatgrass at home due to its soaring health benefits.

With wheatgrass’s nutritional value closely related to barley and alfalfa sprouts, it is gaining prominence for its use to boost health and vitality in the United States of America. It can be consumed in the form of wheatgrass juice, or it can be dried to wheatgrass powder.

Growing wheatgrass at home also benefits cats as they can self-select some blades, which is associated with several potential health benefits. Additionally, you can grow wheatgrass for decoration.

This article discusses how to grow and maintain wheatgrass at home to reap the most out of it. You will learn diverse ways of growing wheatgrass indoors, including growing it for juicing and cats, how to grow without soil and how to keep it growing.

Let’s dive in.

How to grow wheatgrass at home [in a tray]

Here is what you need to grow wheatgrass at home, from acquiring the seeds to harvesting:

  • Organic wheatgrass seeds
  • A strainer/colander
  • a bowl
  • a lid/plastic wrap
  • a seed tray with 3-4 holes for drainage
  • paper towels (4)
  • potting/organic soil
  • a spray bottle
  • filtered water
  • Scissors

Have the materials ready? Here is a step-by-step guideline to grow and harvest your wheatgrass:

#1: Acquiring organic wheatgrass seeds

You can source organic wheatgrass seeds, also called red hard winter wheat or wheat berries, from reputable online stores such as Walmart and GotSprouts.

#2: Preparing the seeds for soaking

The growing process begins with soaking the seeds till there’s a sign of sprouting roots to fasten the growing process. To prepare the seeds for soaking:

  • Measure a significant amount of wheatgrass seeds, say two cups for a 16 by 16 tray.
  • Wash the seeds in a colander/strainer twice. Your seeds are ready for soaking.

#3: Soaking the seeds

  • Pour the washed wheatgrass seeds in a bowl.
  • Add thrice as much water as the seeds.
  • Allow the seeds to soak overnight (about 10 hrs)
  • Check for any signs of sprouting roots. If not, drain the water, drain the water and add more water, as much as the previous amount. Let the seeds soak further.
  • It can take around 3 soaks (10 hours each) for the roots to sprout. 
  • Drain the water so you can transfer the seeds to a growing tray.

#4: Preparing growing tray

  • Spread a layer of paper towels on your tray before pouring in the potting mix/soil. This is meant to prevent the wheatgrass’s roots from growing through the tray.
  • Add a 2-inch layer of the potting mix and spread evenly. The potting mix should be pre-moistened.

#5: Planting the wheatgrass seeds

  • Spread the earlier soaked wheatgrass seeds on the potting mix, ensuring they are thinly and evenly spread.
  • Press the seeds lightly into the moist soil such that they are not deeply buried, and water them lightly. A spray bottle with water will help.
  • Cover the tray with moistened paper towels to protect the growing seeds from direct sunlight.

#6: Caring for the seedlings

  • Keep the seeds dumb for the first three days after planting the seeds. You can do so by spraying water in the morning and evening.
  • Remember to moisten the paper towels, too, to preserve the moisture.
  • Remove the paper towel on the fourth day so the seedlings do not grow under it, as they may turn yellow due to lack of sunlight. However, ensure the tray is under a shade since direct sunlight can dry the young seedlings.
  • Continue watering the seedlings till a second blade grows over the first shoot (splitting).

#7: Harvesting wheatgrass

Splitting occurs in about 9-10 days and signifies that your wheatgrass is ready for harvesting. To harvest:

  • Cut the wheatgrass some inches above the potting soil using scissors to avoid moulds. 
  • Collect the cut grass in a bowl, ready for juicing.

How to grow wheatgrass without soil

We will follow the process discussed above (except steps 4 and 5) to grow wheatgrass at home without soil. However, we’ll need fertilizer and will also replace the potting soil with a growing medium. 

Hence, here is what you need:

  • Organic wheatgrass seeds
  • A strainer/colander
  • A bowl
  • A lid/plastic wrap
  • A seed tray with 3-4 holes for drainage
  • paper towels (4)
  • A fiber medium (Coconut coir)
  • Kelp fertilizer
  • A spray bottle
  • Filtered water
  • Scissors

Note: The process below assumes you have followed steps one to three above (sourced the seeds and soaked them for growing in an artificial medium).

It’s time to transfer the pre-soaked seeds to a growing medium. But before then, let’s prepare the growing medium.

#1: Preparing the growing medium

You can source soil alternatives for growing wheatgrass, such as Coco coir, in stores like Walmart and eBay. Once you have it, it’s time to prepare the growing medium:

  • Spread a layer of paper towels on the base of the seed tray.
  • Add an inch layer of coco coir on the paper towels.
  • Mix water with a liquid fertilizer such as kelp fertilizer and spray on the coconut coir until moist.

#2: Planting the wheatgrass seeds

  • Spread your earlier soaked wheatgrass seeds thinly and evenly on the coconut coir.
  • Sprinkle another thin layer of the coconut coir on the seeds such that the seeds are not deeply buried.
  • Again, spray your mixture of water and fertilizer to moisten the layer.
  • Cover the tray with a paper towel and moisten it.

#3: Caring for the sprouts and harvesting

Follow steps 6 and 7 discussed on growing wheatgrass at home for caring for the sprouts and harvesting.

You may also want to check out this 3.5-minute Youtube tutorial on how to grow wheatgrass at home without soil for an alternative.

You can also check out this article for medium alternatives for growing wheatgrass.

How to grow wheatgrass for cats

Remember the process we discussed on growing wheatgrass at home? Whether using soil or a growing medium, you will need the same materials and process to grow your cat’s wheatgrass.

However, you shouldn’t wait up to 9-10 days. In 6-7 days, your wheatgrass is ready for your cat to consume.

  • Place it where your cat can easily access it.
  • Let the cat self-select as much as it may.
  • You can also cut and chop a few blades into pieces to feed the cat.

You can find more information on growing your cat’s wheatgrass here.

How to keep wheatgrass growing

Wheatgrass regrows after your first harvest. However, the nutrients grow thinner with the second and third harvests. Here are a few tips to keep your wheatgrass growing healthy:

  • Keep the potted grass moist by spraying water in the morning and evening. Avoid clogging as it may cause molds.
  • Use a liquid fertilizer to improve the soil/growing medium nutrients, as the first harvest consumes most of the nutrients in the soil.
  • After the second and third harvests, replace the growing medium/potting soil with a new one.

Note: The wheatgrass may grow rough and bitter with the third, second, and third harvests. If you are looking for a fresh supply of wheatgrass year-round, consider growing wheatgrass from seeds at different times.

For instance, you can have some wheatgrass seeds soaked for planting before harvesting your first planted wheatgrass.

Over to you

Did you just harvest your wheatgrass for the first time and want to make wheatgrass juice? Here is a guide on how to make wheatgrass juice.

Let us know what else you need to know concerning growing wheatgrass at home.