Wheatgrass makes a fun and edible centerpiece.
Brighten the short wintry days by growing some grass indoors. It’s an instant lift to run your hand over a pot of green, lush turf while dreaming of warmer days and grass beneath your feet.
Although you can grow most any type of typical lawn grass seed you may have sitting around in the garage, why not grow a grass that is good for you too? Wheatgrass has long been touted the mother of greens for those health nuts (like myself) who like to use their juicers. It is living food that is full of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll with a reputation as a general body detoxicant.
According to Ann Wigmore in her book Be Your Own Doctor, chewing a blade of wheatgrass freshens breath, controls your appetite and acts as an energizer. She also recommends snipping a little wheatgrass into your pet’s food along with a fresh sprig in their drinking water to help prevent ailments.
Ms. Wigmore writes about the discoveries of Dr. Earp-Thomas, who was a strong proponent of wheatgrass. Dr. Earp-Thomas used wheatgrass in water to sterilize lab equipment. He found that when wheatgrass was added to wash water, it softened skin on hands and face. Wheatgrass added to the bath stopped bleeding, eased itching and helped sores to heal. He also used a sprig of wheatgrass in the water used to clean fruits and vegetables to remove chemical toxins.
All this and more from a plant that is so easy to grow indoors; here’s how:
- Find a clean container, one with drainage is nice but not necessary. Don’t be afraid to be creative; flower pots are great but I’ve seen unique indoor turf growing in drinking glasses, vases, tea cups, shallow terra-cotta flower pot saucers, baskets (may need a shallow dish in the bottom), urns, bird baths, feeders and in old chipped serving bowls. Recycled junk becomes suddenly chic with green grass growing out of it.
- Any type of potting soil or compost will work to grow seed. It doesn’t take a lot to grow a nice little patch of grass – an inch or two in a shallow container to several inches deep is fine.
- Sow wheatgrass seed (or whatever type of grass seed you choose) generously on top of soil; we want thick and lush so don’t get stingy with the seed. Sprinkle a bit more potting soil over the top just to cover seeds, water gently so as not to wash all the seed to one side.
- Some folks put a piece of plastic over the container to act as a mini-greenhouse to germinate the seed. This practice is fine, and it does help to keep soil from drying out, but I don’t usually worry about it. Wheatgrass (and other types of grass seed) germinate quickly as long as the soil is kept moist, usually in 4-5 days. I generally keep it near the kitchen sink until the seed starts coming up (so I remember to keep an eye on it).
- Place the container(s) in a sunny location, watering when necessary to keep soil moist (not sloppy wet).
- Wheatgrass is ready to harvest when it is about 5 inches tall. Clip how much you want to use about a ½ inch from the soil line and juice, munch, feed to Fido or whatever.
Wheat seed produces wide blades of green that are a treat to grow just for the fun of it (that’s right you don’t have to eat it). Give it a trim now and then with the scissors – don’t you wish mowing your lawn was so quick and easy?
Plant grass seeds every couple of weeks during the winter months for a constant supply of green; it’ll put a smile on your face! Toss the old stuff in the compost pile to give nourishment to your garden later.
Grass seed planted thickly is a green slice of turf that reminds us of summer on a dreary winter’s day.