Wheatgrass offers many nutritional benefits, including vitamins and chlorophyll, and can be added to salads or fruit juice. If you grow wheatgrass in your own garden, you can enjoy these benefits by cutting and harvesting the grass several times before you have to replant. In order to continue enjoying your wheatgrass, you must keep it healthy and productive.
The first cutting, or harvesting, should take place when the wheatgrass is approximately 7 to 8 inches high. This is when the wheatgrass is at its nutritional peak and typically occurs one week after the initial planting. It is best to cut the grass blades 3/4-inch above the soil level to promote continued growing after harvest.
When planting wheatgrass seeds, use ordinary potting soil with no added chemicals or fertilizers, though manure can be used if desired. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil before adding a second thin layer of soil over the top. The seeds need to be watered every day to keep them moist and kept in indirect sunlight for much of the day. For the first few days, keep a cover over the tray to lock in the moisture so the seeds don’t dry out. Keep your wheatgrass at a consistent temperature between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit while it’s growing.
The second growth of wheatgrass should spring up one week after the first cutting. It should once again be approximately 7 to 8 inches in height before harvesting. The wheatgrass may produce one more round of growth after the second cutting. If it doesn’t start to grow after a few days, it’s best to compost the soil and either reuse it or get new soil for the next planting.
When planting wheatgrass for home use, you may want to consider planting a second tray if you have indoor cats. They enjoy munching on wheatgrass as it reminds them of the grass outdoors. If you don’t want them eating what you’re going to use, go ahead and plant a tray just for them. Keep harvesting your wheatgrass for as long as it continues to grow. If you don’t harvest often, you run the risk of mold forming since the soil must stay consistently moist.