Can I Actually Sprout and Plant Wheat Berries?

Wheat berries are turning into a sensation here lately. People are in love with the things for their combination of excellent nutrition and low calories.

open sack of wheat berries
open sack of wheat berries

But is sprouting them only good for making them more edible? If they sprout, that indicates they are ready to grow.

Can you sprout and plant wheat berries to start new wheat?

Yes, you can sprout wheat berries and plant them to grow winter wheat or wheatgrass. By watering wheat berries in a jar or other container they will start to grow, and before long be ready for transplanting outside.

It turns out that wheat berries aren’t just a new and extra-nutritious way to enjoy wheat; they can actually be a great and sustainable source of nutrition for you.

This is one small-scale growing project that is super simple and virtually foolproof with just a little know-how.

Keep reading to learn more.

What are Wheat Berries?

First of all, wheat berries are not actually a berry. The botanical name for wheat berries is Triticum aestivum.

They’re the whole kernel of wheat, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. A wheat plant will produce anywhere between 30 and 60 wheat berries.

The outermost layer is the bran, which is rich in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. The germ is the innermost layer and it contains protein, fat, several B vitamins, and some minerals.

The endosperm makes up most of the berry and it contains mostly starch with small amounts of protein and minerals.

Wheat berries can be cooked and eaten whole or ground into flour.

Wheat berries are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and the aforementioned vitamins and minerals.

When flour is made from wheat berries, the bran and germ are usually removed, which decreases the nutrient content.

They can also be sprouted to grow wheatgrass, and we will talk more about that in a minute.

Why Would You Want to Sprout Wheat Berries?

Sprouting wheat berries does two things for you: First, it makes them both easier to digest and more nutritious. Second, it gets them ready for planting if you choose.

Let’s look more at the second factor.

When wheat berries are soaked and then allowed to germinate, they will produce a small rootlet and a shoot.

At this point, they are ready to be placed into soil. Once they are in dirt and have access to sunlight, water, and nutrients, they will start growing wheatgrass.

Once this happens, they are ready to be transplanted into soil permanently where you want them (if required) and they will continue to grow.

How to Sprout Wheat Berries?

So, if you want to take the plunge and sprout your own wheat berries, what should you do? The process is actually pretty simple.

You will need:

  • One cup of wheat berries
  • A quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar
  • Cheesecloth and a rubber band
  • Water

The first thing you need to do is rinse the wheat berries to remove any dirt or debris that might be on them.

After rinsing, add the wheat berries to the jar and fill it with water so that the berries are covered by about an inch of water.

Next, place the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and secure it with the rubber band. Now, all you have to do is wait.

Every 12 hours or so, drain off the water and replace it with fresh water. After a few days, you will start to see the wheat berries rooting.

Once they have rooted (just starting to show a tiny root poking out), you can remove the cheesecloth and rinse them again. At this point, they are ready to be planted.

If you are not ready to plant them yet, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week before planting.

Tips for Planting Sprouted Wheat Berries

Now that you have your wheat berries sprouted and ready to go, it is time to think about planting them.

If you are planning on growing wheatgrass indoors, you can simply transplant the shoots into a small container.

You will need to plant the wheat berries in soil about an inch deep. You can plant them in rows or in clusters, depending on how much space you have and what look you are going for.

Water the wheat berries well after planting and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Wheat plants prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

You can expect to see shoots emerging within a few days to a week. Once the plants are a few inches tall, you can thin them out so that they are about 6 inches apart.

Water the plants regularly, especially during hot, dry weather. Wheat is a relatively drought-tolerant plant but will produce better if it has consistent moisture.

What Can you Do with Wheat Berries Once they are Growing?

One of the chief benefits gained by growing winter wheat from berries is wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is a type of grass that is often juiced or made into powder and added to smoothies as a way to increase nutrient intake.

Like wheat berries, wheatgrass is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

To harvest wheatgrass, simply cut the blades close to the ground when they are about 7 inches tall. You can juice the wheatgrass immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Wheatgrass has a long list of potential health benefits. Some people claim that it can boost energy levels, improve digestion, detoxify the body, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and more.

If you are interested in trying wheatgrass, the best way to do it is to grow your own easily from wheat berries! That way, you can be sure of its freshness and purity.

Plus, it is a fun project that the whole family can enjoy.

Make Sure to Harden Off Sprouts Grown Indoors!

If you decide to plant your sprouted berries outside after getting them started or nurturing them inside, you must take care to acclimatize the young plants to the outdoors prior to permanently planting them in their new home.

This is a process known as hardening off and it is essential to the health of your plants.

To harden off wheatgrass or other plants, simply place them outside in a shady spot for a few hours a day, then bring them back in.

Gradually increase the amount of time they spend outside and the amount of sunlight they are exposed to each day over the course of a week or two.

By doing this, you will avoid shocking the plants and causing them to wilt or die. Once they have acclimated to outdoor conditions, you can plant them in their permanent location without worry.

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