Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Sprouting Wheatgrass Smells Sour

Wheatgrass is the immature form of the wheat plant.

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Most of the wild health claims about ingesting wheatgrass have been debunked by the scientific community. The plant's chlorophyll does not make the bloodstream healthier, the enzymes it produces do not aid digestion and there is no scientific study to prove that wheatgrass cures cancer. Wheatgrass is, however, a fun plant to grow, especially if you have children in the house. It grows quickly and provides a novel houseplant. Problems may arise if the grass isn't grown under the appropriate conditions.

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A sour smell emanating from sprouting wheatgrass typically indicates a mold problem. If you look closely at the soil you may see a white or gray powdery substance on the soil and the bottom of the grass seedlings. There are several reasons that the wheatgrass may develop mold including poor soil drainage, using the wrong soil mixture or a lack of air circulation. If you catch the mold in time, there is no need to dispose of the entire tray.


If you grow the wheatgrass in a warm room, lower the temperature. The ideal temperature for wheatgrass seedlings is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, although 65 degrees is perfect. Water the wheatgrass less frequently. Mold requires moisture and dies without it. When you do water, use a solution containing 1 tbsp. of baking soda in 1 gallon of water. Place a fan, set to the lowest speed, over the wheatgrass tray. The soil dries faster when using a fan, so keep an eye on the moisture content.

Growing Tips

Use the coarsest sand you can find and a chunky potting soil when planting wheat berries. Equal parts of both materials is ideal. Before you plant the seeds, spray the soil with a combination of 2 tbsp. of kelp powder and 1/4 tsp. of baking soda dissolved in a 16 ounce spray bottle full of water. Squirt it on the soil until it is moist. After planting, mist the soil with the solution twice a day until the wheatgrass germinates.


While eating wheatgrass won't harm you, its nutritional benefits are highly overstated. One half cup of cooked broccoli contains over two times as much protein as seven 3.5 gram tablets of wheatgrass. The same amount of broccoli contains six times the amount of calcium. One raw carrot has 12 times the amount of beta carotene than the wheatgrass tablets. Dr. William T. Jarvis of the National Council Against Health Fraud warns that there is no scientific evidence that wheatgrass therapy works.

ReferencesGeorgia Tech; Wheatgrass Experiment; September 2005Dogwoods Gardens Organic Farm: How to Grow WheatgrassNational Council Against Health Fraud; Wheatgrass Therapy; William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.10News.com: Grow Your Own WheatgrassPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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