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These instructions are intended for growing in a 4 inch square container. You can grow in any size container you want - just soak more/less seed.
Planting Medium: We have grown Grass - on soil for over a decade. But, we now have two alternatives: Soilless mediums Baby Blanket and Vermiculite, and organic liquid kelp fertilizer (Kelp Fertilizer). Baby Blanket is a thin organic material that you soak before planting upon. It holds moisture and is the least messy and compact medium 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 note it.
Soil Note: Virtually any soil will do for Grass! We use sterile bagged composted cow manure, but any sterile bagged soil will do and should cost less than $5 (for a 40 pound bag!) at any garden center. You can use expensive soil if you prefer - it is your choice - always.
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 or 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.
Put 1/4 cup of seed into a bowl or your Sprouter.
Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water.
Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.
Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.
Drain off the soak water & transfer seeds to your Sprouter (if necessary).
Note on Sprouters: You can use a Growing Tray to sprout your seeds before planting. The drainage holes may allow a few seeds to escape, but it won’t be a big deal. Lay a second growing tray right on top of the seeds between Rinses to keep the seeds from drying out.
As little water as possible should remain in your sprouter.
If you’re using trays, keep a tray inside & on top of the seeds between rinses.
Set anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature between Rinses. 70° is optimal.
And, perhaps one more...
And, conceivably but very doubtfully one more...
The goal is to have a small root before planting.
Prepare the medium: Baby Blanket: Soak it in Kelp Fertilizer enriched water until thoroughly saturated this can take a few minutes. Spread the wet pad across the bottom of your Planting Tray. Vermiculite or Soil: Spray with kitchen sink sprayer or use Drip Tray to hold water and let the medium absorb it that way. Use some Baby Blanket if you are using Vermiculite - it isn't necessary but it can't hurt.
Spread seeds evenly on thoroughly moistened medium.
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 and what seems like millions of pints 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!
Remember: Your covering tray should have holes or slits in it so that some air circulation exists. Without this very minimal air flow you might have mold or fungal problems.
Place in a low-light, room temperature location. 70° is always optimal but Grass will grow very well in cooler temperatures also.
Water lightly every day
the goal is to keep the sprouts moist until their roots bury themselves in the medium - at which point your goal is to keep the medium moist. Spray the sprouts with a hand sprayer using Kelp Fertilizer enriched water, or use a mini-watering can or some other gentle method. Until the roots bury themselves in the medium you need to be reasonabley gentle when watering.
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!)
Vermiculite holds moisture better than anything, soil drys daily when the grass gets tall and Baby Blanket can dry out more quickly than anything, so continue to water regularly or experiment with our somewhat risky trick:
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 Tbs. in the Drip Tray (or 1/8 - 1/4 inch if you are measuring). 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 can save some time and produce very healthy, happy grass.
Move to a well lit location to Green your Grass when your grass is an inch or two tall. If you use direct sunlight (a very good idea) be prepared to do more watering. Keep it moist. Watch it grow.
When the grass is 4-6 inches tall place it in a location where your cat will enjoy grazing. Keep watering daily by spraying or using the “drip-tray method”.
Note: 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 and ask your cat if it is worth it!
* Note: If using Single Harvest Pack use the whole bag on our 5 inch tray (or similar).
1/4-1/3 cups Dry Grain for a 4-5 inch square Tray.
1-2 Cups Dry Grain for an 11 inch square Tray.
2-4 Cups Dry Grain for for an 11 x 22 inch Tray.
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.
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. The way to prevent it is to 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. The hotter/more humid it is the less densely you should plant. Plant thicker in the cool months.
Grass for cats, salad for cats (and kittens), whatever you call it it is real! Cats need vegetable matter in their diet, just like people, and Kat Grass supplies that along with great nutrition. We even include a little Flax which is good for their coats. Many of you know that your cats need this, because they eat your house plants - that is the surest sign that your cat will love this treat. Kat Grass is grown on soil or similar medium. All you do to serve your cat is to place the container of living grass near their food dish or in some other place they'll find it.
We should call this PET GRASS as it is loved by many a non-human!
We have found over the years that most people buy Grass for their cats in order to keep them away from their house plants.
It works 99% of the time and it is much more nutritious for them!
to use for
Follow links for detailed information
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.
Thanks again for your support and your many kind words.