Wheatgrass occupies an exclusive position among health food options – it is known as a superfood, with many therapeutic as well as nutritional values.
An antioxidant, wheatgrass has substantial antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-toxin properties.
It can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and arthritis, improve energy, metabolism, and cognitive functions, boost your immune system and improve digestion.
All of these properties are present in more concentrated and better form in wheatgrass microgreens.
Depending on how they are grown, wheatgrass microgreens contain high amounts of vitamins (A, B complex, C, E, and K), essential minerals (iron, calcium, and magnesium), 17 amino acids, enzymes, proteins, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients.
This is why they are so good to the human body!
Growing wheatgrass microgreens at home would ensure a ready supply for your own consumption, or for supply to others. A few precautions may be necessary.
Wheatgrass Microgreen Profile
The table below captures the broad profile of wheatgrass microgreens.
Given that it is an actual grass variety, wheatgrass microgreens are fibrous to taste but also mild and sweet.
Wheatgrass seeds have a large shell – pre-soaking will help break the outer seed shell.
While wheatgrass microgreens do not necessarily need sunlight, they will get greener with more light. Typically, they have a distinctively green color.
Germination within 3-4 days after the seed has been soaked.
Within 7-9 days from planting.
Green Thumb Level (1-5)
1-2 – Easy to grow provided you watch out for mold.
Wheatgrass is among the easiest microgreens to grow at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some FAQs about wheatgrass microgreens is provided below.
Do Wheatgrass Microgreens Regrow After Harvesting?
Wheatgrass microgreens can be regrown after harvesting, though the second pot will typically not yield as much wheatgrass as the first batch.
Use the same seed quilt as the first planting but swap out the water for best results. The second batch may be more fibrous and shorter. There may be a taste difference also.
How Fast Do Wheatgrass Microgreens Grow?
Wheatgrass microgreens start to germinate by 2-4 days after planting and can be harvested within 7-9 days. Light, heat, and moisture do make a difference in the speed of growth. Warmer temperatures advocate for a better growth rate.
How Exactly Do You Use/Eat Wheatgrass Microgreens?
Wheatgrass microgreens can be used in teas and juices, which is one of the preferred modes of ingesting them – given their long list of health benefits. They can also be used therapeutically, for example, to make poultices.
You can also add them whole to your blender when making smoothies.
Are Wheatgrass Microgreens Harmful?
Wheatgrass is known to contain selenium, which can be toxic to humans if an adult ingests more than 400 micrograms per day on a consistent basis.
However, selenium is an essential non-metal that we need – which is why it is included in baby food and health supplements. You should be careful but not scared.
Equipment Needed to Grow Wheatgrass Microgreens
Wheatgrass is among the easiest microgreens to grow, which is why there are multiple methods that can be utilized. What we present below is a safe process that will ensure success most of the time, but there could be simpler approaches with some of the steps as noted.
The following pieces of equipment should be procured if you buy items separately:
Sealable Mason Jar(s): Wheatgrass seeds must be soaked for 12+ hours before planting. If you want them pre-sprouted, two days may be necessary. A 16 oz or quart-sized mason jar with a screw-top may be the best option:
Made in America by the Ball Mason Jar Company Great for candles, lotions, jams and jellies, preserves, herbs etc. Lid and airtight band included Set of 4 jars No shipping outside of the continental U.S. The line on the jar says 12oz but you can fill in to 16 oz.
Growing Medium (Coconut Coir preferred): While fine-grained soil can be used to grow wheatgrass, coconut coir is often preferred. Wheatgrass is extremely prone to mold. Coconut coir holds moisture in towards the bottom and leaves the seeds less soaked, so its ideal for wheatgrass microgreens:
Growing Trays (Bottom and Top): The easiest way to control water content and light in a wheatgrass tray is by using three trays, two without drainage holes and one with. Try these 20” by 10” trays (some prefer 10” square trays):
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Other Materials Needed to Grow Wheatgrass Microgreens
A number of wheat seeds can be used by amateur growers. With some of them, it’d difficult to distinguish whether they are in fact truly wheatgrass. True Leaf Market, the industry leader, has been suggesting a few reliable options over the past decades:
Wheat Hard Red Spring Grass Seeds
The #1 option among wheat seeds offered. It shows a high germination rate (98-100%) and even patterns of growth, as described here:
Below is a video showing a step-by-step process you can follow to grow wheatgrass microgreens:
The specific steps are described below.
Pre-Soaking and Planting Microgreen Seeds
Wheatgrass microgreen seeds must be pre-soaked prior to use. Throughout the process, care must be taken to avoid any possibility of mold due to overwatering.
Pre-soaking – Fill the mason jar to roughly ¾ its height with the wheatgrass seeds, allowing for them to sprout and expand during the initial soaking. You can fill the jar with water and close the lid. Leave overnight (8-12 hours), then drain out the water. Depending on how far you want to go, you can turn the jar upside down to drain completely, then soak one more time. In the end, the radicals should show and the seeds should fill the jar.
Use a double tray at the bottom – If watering from the bottom, place a tray with drainage holes inside (and on top of) a solid tray. If not using a watering tray, you can choose to use a solid tray only and water by sprinkling from the top only.
Use a growing medium such as coconut coir – As mentioned above, coconut coir is a favorite growing medium for many, since it tends to prevent mold from forming. Spread the coco coir evenly across the tray, up to approximately half the depth, and pat to compact.
Spread the seeds evenly on top – With wheatgrass, some overlap is ok.
Water moderately – Sprinkle water to wet the seeds and coco coir. If using a watering tray, make sure the water level stays low to avoid any possibility of waterlogging and mold.
Growing Wheatgrass Microgreens
In the initial stage, grow the wheatgrass microgreens in the dark – though this is not strictly necessary with grass.
Put a second, solid tray on top and weigh down – Take the second solid tray you are using to cover the seeds and weigh down. With wheatgrass, even a simple paper towel or newspaper cover could work as well – it’s a matter of how much photosynthesis you want to allow in the first few days.
Check that the seeds are sprouting after Day 2 – If you have covered the tray, the sprouts will be pale, whereas they will be greener if you use a light cover like a paper towel.
By Day 3, the seeds are germinated – Take off any covers you had on, check to see if there is enough water left in the growing medium (there should be). Spray water lightly or put a little bit of water on the bottom tray if required.
Place under lights – Place the tray next to diffused sunlight or a grow light and see them turn a distinctive green.
Over Days 5 through 6, continue monitoring – If the microgreens are doing well, avoid overwatering. There may be just one more round of light watering before harvesting.
Harvesting by Days 7 through 9 – By Day 7, most wheatgrass microgreens will have grown to about 6 inches tall. You can wait, but they are ready to harvest.
Harvesting Wheatgrass Microgreens
As mentioned below, wheatgrass microgreens should be ready to harvest any time after day 7 from when they have been planted. The longer they become, the less sweet they are. Most prefer wheatgrass microgreens to be between 5-8 inches long, though they will grow longer if you let them.
Harvest above the roots – Cut off the whole visible area above the soil, going down to the roots but above the seed level. Use a sharp knife.
Clean in cool water – You can clean the harvested wheatgrass microgreens with a quick soak in a basin, then wipe them off with paper towels. This way, you will get rid of any mold or other residues.
Storing (and Shipping) Wheatgrass Microgreens
Normally, wheatgrass microgreens placed in a refrigerator between paper towels should be usable for 2-3 days. To store longer, use an airtight container (e.g., sealed plastic bags) – which should keep them edible for up to 10 days.
To package and sell (ship) wheatgrass microgreens, wrap them in paper towels to continue absorbing excess moisture, then place them in sealed bags or containers to ship. While they should be used within 7 days for best results, they could stay usable for twice as long if packaged correctly.
Wheatgrass has become the ingredient of choice in smoothies, juices, and flavorings due to its excellent health benefits. Microgreens have the same effects but are sweeter and even more nutritious. Wheatgrass is easy to grow at home and will provide nutritious goodness for the whole family.