Another awesome beverage Grass with nutritional value very similar to that of Wheat!
Note: This is the same seed we sell for Rye Sprouts.
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Planting Medium: We have grown Grass - on soil - in Trays, for years. But, we now have alternatives: Soilless mediums Baby Blanket, Tencel, and Vermiculite, and organic liquid Kelp Fertilizer. Baby Blanket and Tencel are thin organic materials that you soak before planting upon. They holds moisture and are the least messy and compact mediums we know of. Vermiculite is a mineral which holds moisture supremely, dispenses added nutrients over time and in general acts much like soil. We think you should try all of them if you can - there are differences and though they are minimal you may prefer one method over the other and the only way to know for sure is to try. Instructions are pretty much the same in all cases, but where there is a difference we include purple text like this.
Soil Note: Virtually any soil will do for Grass! We used sterile bagged soil (usually composted cow manure) when we were professional growers, but any sterile bagged soil will do. You can find some at your local garden center. You can use expensive soil if you prefer - it is your choice - always. Of course Organic is best, but it is usually quite costly.
Tray Note: Your Planting Tray (the one with the soil or medium in it) MUST have drainage holes or slits! Nothing will grow in a medium that can not drain - that condition is commonly called "flooded". When using Baby Blanket, Tencelor Vermiculite your Planting Tray must also have drainage, but we do use the Drip Tray to hold some water at times in the growing process.**
When growing Grass: You really MUST Pre-Sprout it before planting.
Empty the seeds into your sprouter if necessary.
Drain off the soak water.
Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water
and Drain thoroughly.
Set anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.
The goal is to have a small root before planting.
The amount of soil you use is up to you. The reality is this: As your plants grow they need more and more water. They get their water from the soil. The more soil you use - the more water it can hold - the less you need to water.
Thoroughly moisten the soil. Allow puddles to dry.
Sometimes you may need to use your fingers to make sure the soil is moist all the way down to the bottom of the tray. Water, mix, water, mix, etc. Sometimes you don't have to do that.
Prepare the pad: Cut it to fit your Tray if necessary. Soak it in water or better yet, Kelp Fertilizer enriched water (You don't NEED fertilizer for grass, but we use it when we grow without soil.) until thoroughly saturated (fold it up and push it into the liquid - use a pot or something similar to hold it). Unfold it and re-fold differently or do whatever makes sense - the goal is to get the pad THOROUHGLY soaked. Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your Planting Tray. Proceed...
Vermiculite absorbs liquid so readily and holds it so supremely that you need little of it. We use 3 Cups for an 11 x 11 inch tray and 6 Cups for an 11 x 22 inch tray. If you're using another tray, make it 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep. Spray water evenly across the surface then spread it out as evenly as you can. We like to use Kelp Fertilizer enriched water (You don't NEED fertilizer for grass, but we use it when we grow without soil.) so we just pour it on until thoroughly saturated and then spread it out. The amount of liquid is this: a little more than one quart for an 11 x 22 inch tray. You don't want more than a little left in the Drip Tray. Pour off what water remains above the ridges of the Drip Tray. Proceed...
Spread seeds evenly on thoroughly moistened soil or medium.
Rinse your seeds one last time and then sprinkle them across the planting medium. Spread them out as evenly as you can. We use a lot of grain and though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of Trays of Grass grown that that is bunk! You will learn for yourself that Grass produces a plant that takes up less room than the grain did, and so to maximize your yield your seeds must lay atop each other to some degree. The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Grass then lessen the amount of grain you plant. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn!
Cover the planted tray
with an inverted tray (the Cover Tray) - to keep light out and moisture in. By inverted I mean that the lip of the Cover Tray rests directly on the lip of the Planting Tray - so the bottom of the Cover Tray is facing up.
Place in a low-light, room temperature location.
70° is always optimal but Grass will grow very well in cooler temperatures also.
Water lightly once or twice a day.
The goal is to keep the sprouts moist until their roots bury themselves in the soil/medium - at which point your goal is to keep the soil/medium moist. Spraying the sprouts is best - whether you use a garden hose sprayer, hand sprayer or faucet sprayer - just try to make sure that every sprout gets rinsed and quenched until they bury their roots. You may also use some Kelp Fertilizer if you like.
Water the medium.
Once the roots are buried all you need to do is keep the medium moist - the seeds and subsequent grass will get the moisture they need through their roots. Water from the side if possible, to prevent injuring the tender blades.
Use the Drip Tray to hold some water. The roots will actually sit in this, so don't go crazy - too much can drown your plants and/or lead to fungal or mold problems. Just leave as much water as the grass can drink in a day and then add more the following day. The amount is dependant on the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. We suggest that you start with 1-2 cups in the Drip Tray. Lift the Planting Tray to see how much is left after 4, 8 and 12 hours. If the Drip Tray is dry add more water - if there is still water 24 hours later then cut back the next time you add water. Pretty simple really, and not as risky as we make it sound - it is really a time saver and produces happier healthy grass.
Once again, we do recommend Kelp Fertilizer enriched water for soilless growers. Soil growers may use it too of course, but the soil does have some nutrients already, so it is not nearly as important for you.
Vermiculite holds water better than anything, but the same method works for it: Use the Drip Tray to hold some water. The roots will eventually grow into this, so don't go crazy - too much can drown your plants and/or lead to fungal or mold problems. Just leave as much water as the grass and Vermiculite can drink in a day and then add more the following day. The amount is dependant on the climate (humidity especially) you're growing in, so you'll have to learn this for yourself. We suggest that you start with 1-2 cups in the Drip Tray. Lift the Planting Tray to see how much is left after 4, 8 and 12 hours. If the Drip Tray is dry add more water - if there is still water 24 hours later then cut back the next time you add water. Pretty simple really, and not as risky as we make it sound - it is really a time saver and produces happier healthy grass. Use Kelp Fertilizer too. We probably give more water than is necessary, but we end up with great crops and the grass keeps growing even after we cut it - even if we don't add water daily. Vermiculite is great stuff!
Uncover your Grass
Wait 3-4 days until it is 1-2 inches tall or until it pushes the covering tray up (it really will do that - it is cool!)
Move to a well lit location to Green your Grass
(If you use direct sunlight (a very good idea for grass) be prepared to do more watering). Keep it moist by watering the soil/medium daily. Watch it grow. It takes about 10 days to get to....
By cutting just above the soil/medium when the Grass is 6 or more inches tall (actually height is just a matter of yield - you can cut it any time you want to).
We believe that you will get the best flavor and nutrition from freshly cut Grass. We cut JUST prior to juicing and we feel the difference! But, you are better off juicing week old Grass than no Grass at all, so do what you must! Drink More Juice!
If you are going to store your crop: During the final 8-12 hours minimize the surface moisture of your Grass - it will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch. So if you water try to keep the water off the plants - just water the soil/medium.
Transfer your crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice - glass is good - and put them in your refrigerator.
Grass can produce a 2nd and even 3rd crop so you may continue to water the Tray after you cut your first crop. The 2nd and more so the 3rd crop is not as tender nor usually as big, but it is good to try growing at least a 2nd crop. Decide for yourself if it is worth it! Vermiculite is the best medium if you want to go for multiple cuttings!
If using Single Harvest Pack use the whole bag on our 5 inch tray (or similar).
The surest way to know what amount of seed to use:
Spread dry seed on the bottom of your sprouter so that the seed is spread evenly but densely.
**As I've said elsewhere on the site, we hate dogma, so take my dogma with a grain of salt. You can grow in trays without drainage, but you do have to be able to drain excess water away. Tipping is a possibility, but we think it risky indeed, hence my dogma.
Once again: The more densely you plant the seed the less air circulates around the individual blades of grass. This can cause some fungal growth - we call it fuzzies. This is not a problem, except that it is unattractive. If you are consuming this as juice - just rinse it off when you harvest the grass. If you hate it - increase air flow by planting less seed. Additionally, you may move your grass to a better ventilated area. In summer we grow our grass outside (from the point when we uncover the tray) for optimal air circulation.
Rye produces a Red tinged blade of grass. It is pretty much the same flavor as Wheat grass and it is so beautiful that we mix it with Wheat to produce Christmas Grass - looks great in Easter baskets too.
Easy to grow and seriously rejuvinating when ingested. Nutritionally rye is extremely close to Wheat Grass, the Juice of which has a very intense flavor. We've been drinking it since the 1970s and have found that we enjoy it more now than ever - since we got a Green Life juicer we mix our grass juice with carrot and apple juice - it is delicious!
You need a special juicer to extract the nectar from this grass - it is well worth the effort! Look on our Juicer page for more info.
We do not grow hydroponic Grass - we've tried but have never gotten the yields we get with soil. Now that we have a soilless medium (Baby Blanket) we are even less interested in hydroponic growing, but there is a plus to hydroponic Grass - you can juice the entire crop - grains, roots and grass, so if you want to try - go for it! Go to Val at Go Green - she is the meister of hydroponic Grass. Tell her The Sproutpeople sent you!
to use for
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For Baby Blanket, Vermiculite, Kelp Fertilizer, and Spray Bottles visit our Odds & Ends page.
170 Mendell St.
San Francisco, CA 94124
We only use the phone for emergencies.
Back in 2001 we were still using the phone. One day I was talking to a long-time customer while pushing my (then 4 year old) daughter on the swing in our backyard (this is what a mom n' pop business is like on the internet). It dawned on me that my priorities were severely messed up, so I stopped using the phone. I love to talk and I love to help, but my family would never see me if I picked up the phone again, and that's just wrong don't you think?!
The very best way to contact us is through E-mail =:-)
We are quite fast and VERY thorough. We love to help.
We have been an internet only business since 2001. We are not a big corporation. We are but 2 people, Mom n' Pop Sprout. We decided after years of juggling our family's (kids, dogs, cats and even our own) needs, and the needs of Sproutpeople, that we had to make more time for our kids, so we stopped talking on the phone. All calls go to voice mail and have since 2001.
We are very fast to fill orders and answer e-mail, and though we wish we could make the time to talk, we just can't seem to get more minutes into a each hour. We are many years older than when we started and our days are too short and made up of too few hours to do everything. This limitation in our business has not kept us from pleasing our customers, nor from growing (as we have every year since 1993). We do what we do as well as we can, and we think we do it very well indeed.
We appreciate your patronage more than we can say. We ask that you use the phone for emergencies only and that you search our site for answers before e-mailing us. This site is bigger than any 4 sprout books put together, it is always available and it is free, and we know that almost all questions are answered here.
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