Introduction: Perpetual Wheatgrass
Do you even juice Bro?
My mother in law juices wheat grass daily and I was astonished to learn she was paying $17 per tray of grass. One large tray will yield about 15 to 20 ounces of juice. She was going through one tray a week. That starts to add up real fast so I decided to make her a setup to allow her to continually grow wheat grass. For less than the cost of 2 trays of wheat grass you can make one too.
Check out the benefits of wheat grass here:
Step 1: Materials
I made my system out of 3/4 inch PVC pipes. I bought 30 feet, it was enough to make 4 levels.
You will also need something to connect the pipes together. Originally I thought I would just use plumbing parts, but I soon found out there is no 4 way plumbing connector. To get around this, I found a PVC connector joint that I could 3D print. This will be the hardest piece to find unless you have a 3D printer your self. If you use plumbing joints, the tallest you can go is 2 levels. But I know you guys are creative and will come up with another way to do this.
You'll also need some trays for the wheat grass. Mine are 17x17 inches. I've also read they come in 10x10 inch sizes. I recycled mine but you can get them at Home Depot or Lowe's in the garden area, these are the same trays that hold all the plants.
Tools needed are a saw or a pipe cutter of some sort. A drill, some screws, and a small container of elbow grease.
Step 2: Building
Start by cutting your PVC to size. You want to measure your PVC so the tray fits snug inside without falling through. Most of these trays have a lip on them to hold them in place.
Build one level, don't forget the legs, and screw it together, then repeat. Drill small pilot holes to make it easier to screw them together.
Make sure the space between the levels is at least 8 inches, otherwise you will have a tough time removing your trays.
I used the 3-way PVC joints for the top level. If you want to make more levels, just keep going. The nice thing about this is that it is all modular. You can make it as tall or short as you want.
Step 3: Sprouting Your Seeds
Now that your shelves are build you can start growing wheat grass.
I get my wheat berries from the feed store. Fifty pounds for about $15. You may only want to buy certified organic seeds, but I have read that the only difference between the two is the label and the price. I'll leave it up to you.
Growing wheat grass is simple. I found 2 cups (1 pound) of wheat berries is sufficient for a 17x17 tray.
Start by soaking 2 cups of wheat berries overnight (24hr) in water, you can do a couple of washes in between if you want.
After 24 hours spread the wheat berries onto a tray that is lined with plastic or paper towel. Some trays don't have the large openings on the bottom so you may not need this. If you use plastic, make sure you cut hole in it to allow water to drip through.
Cover the wheat berries with some kind of substrate, peat, dirt, some people use crushed rock. I use potting soil with a little sand in it. Don't use too much though, just enough to cover the berries. You don't want the tray to be too heavy.
Water the soil daily and gently, I use the misting feature on my hose nozzle. You don't want to splash all the seeds around.
Make sure the soil never gets dry. You can cover the soil with something to keep them warmand speed up germination. Uncover them when they start to sprout.
After about a week, you will see the grass growing all over. At this point, start soaking another 2 cups of wheat berries.
Two weeks is enough time to get some grass, but I think 3 weeks will give you thicker longer grass.
Depending on how much wheat grass you need, you can start more or less every week.
And that's it, clip your grass and juice freely.
Step 4: Let's Get Crazy!
So, say you don't want to water the seeds every day, what now? Well, you could automate it by putting a container underneath it, filling it with water and adding a pump on a timer that feeds to a misting system. I haven't done this yet but I think I will. You can buy misters from the hardware store in the sprinkler/plumbing department, the same stuff you make a drip system from.
The water will mist the top tray and drip down to the rest of the trays and back into the container. Now all you have to do is make sure the container has water in it.
What's that you say? You don't want to fill up the container with water every week? You can now get a timer that attaches to your hose that you can attach to your mist system.
Now you can rest easy and spend less time watering and more time juicing.....bro.