Trying new edibles in the garden is just one part of the fun of it. This year we started “juicing” and decided to grow a few plants that are healthful additions to the mix. Wheatgrass, aka Liquid Sunshine, is easy to grow and packed with nutrients. It is reputed to have a positive influence on red blood cells, help to lower blood pressure, cleanse the liver, improve diabetes, increase metabolism to help promote weight loss and more. It contains vitamins A, C and E, iron, magnesium, calcium and amino acids. If you do a little online research, you will find numerous other claims of its health benefits. Be warned that not all claims have been substantiated. Good sources for more information include WebMD and the Mayo Clinic website.
Wheatgrass is as easy to grow as, well, grass. Simply plant some of the seed in a container and lightly dust the top with soil. Water. You can soak the seeds overnight in water to speed up the process. In just a few days you should see the grass coming up. Harvest as needed by cutting blades. Wheatgrass can be started any time of year and grown indoors. We intend to bring our potted plant inside for harvesting in the fall months. Water as needed, but don’t overdo it.
Wheatgrass needs to be juiced using a masticating juicer. This is important as juicing it in another type of juicer could be harmful to both you and the juicer. There are many models available; some even have special attachments for wheatgrass.
If you intend to juice for the health benefits, you will need to have three flats growing in different stages. Start one flat of wheatgrass seeds each week in order to have a continual supply.
How else can you use this plant? Well, it is also wonderful in floral arrangements. Our friends at Botanical Interests added that the grass makes a great live addition to Easter centerpieces. We can just picture one featuring naturally colored green, blue and brown eggs.
So now we’re excited to give it a try, by adding a little to our juice at first and increasing that over time as we learn to enjoy the taste. Green? Yeah, it’s what’s for breakfast.
Botanical name: Triticum aestivum
Yield: One blade per seed, up to 3 harvests.
Use: Best fresh, can be refrigerated.
Gardening Jones is a master gardener in Pennsylvania. Learn more at gardeningjones.com/blog.
Grow some treats for your cat with the Cat Treats Gourmet Mixed Greens seed pack. It includes wheatgrass, too!
Learn ways to save your harvests with the book Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables.
Brew up some unique beverages with Making Wine with Fruits, Roots & Flowers: Recipes for Delicious & Distinctive Wild Wines.