Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener: How to Grow Living Easter Grass

Sorry about the second week-long hiatus. I was sick last week - really sick. I could barely talk, eat, or sleep.  But, I'm feeling all better and my brain is working again. Unfortunately, I'm behind on everything - this blog (and my others) included. Oh well, gotta start somewhere...

Can you believe it's already the second half of March? Even more unbelievable, in just under two weeks it will be Easter again. Where does the time go? In any case, a couple days ago, my mom and I were talking about growing grass for our Easter baskets again.  I thought writing about how we did it would be a nice way to finally welcome spring!

We grew it as an experiment a couple years ago and it worked out great. It's really cheap to grow your own Easter grass. Even better, it's so easy to do! Plus, that plastic grass doesn't look that good and it gets everywhere.  Seriously, I'll be finding random strings of the plastic stuff around the house in May. Anyway, there are lots of ways to grow wheat-grass, but here's how I did it:

What You Need
  • Hard, uncooked wheat. The amount you'll need depends on how much grass you want to grow.  But since wheat is fairly inexpensive, you can buy a pound inexpensively and easily have enough. I bought my wheat for this project in the bulk section at our local health food store. 
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vermiculite - you can find this at a nursery. Though I haven't tried it, I'm pretty sure could use potting soil, instead.
  • A basket  (you could also use any container or pot, if you prefer)
  • A spray bottle

 What To Do
  • Line the bottom of the basket with aluminum foil.  Spread a layer of wheat on the foil - this will give you an idea of how much wheat you'll need to soak. 
  • Once you've measured the wheat you need, transfer it to a container/bowl/jar and cover it in water. Let it soak for at least 12 hours or so. I wouldn't recommend much longer than that though. 
  • After the wheat has had a good soaking, get your basket ready. On top of the foil, lay a few inches of vermiculite (or potting soil).  
  • Spread the wet wheat on top of the vermiculite/potting spoil.  Press it in gently.
  • Cover with a dishtowel and place the basket in a warm, sunny place.  Be sure that the wheat stays moist - not soaking, but moist.  This is where the spray bottle comes in handy.
  • Once the wheat has sprouted, keep it uncovered. Let it grow in said warm, sunny place. 
  • Water daily, as needed, with the spray bottle.
  • Watch it grow!

In the picture on top, that was about a week's worth of growth. Depending on how high you want the grass to grow and when you're going to display your decorated eggs (a post on how to dye your eggs naturally and super-frugally is coming soon), you'll want to plan accordingly. You don't want to start too late and not have the grass for your display, but you don't want to start too early and have the grass all yellow and wilted by the time Easter rolls around. I just started soaking my wheat an hour ago.  Now if I could just think of a way to keep my cat from eating it once it starts growing...


Manndi said...

Hadn't ever thought of doing real Easter grass - that's a really cool idea. Can't wait to read your egg-dying tips.

Markelle said...

how awesome is this?! Perhaps I will have to do this next year.

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