Monday, March 9, 2015

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

In which the Parsimonious Princess presents an eco-friendly (and less annoying) alternative to plastic Easter grass.

Can you believe it's March already? Even though we've had a suuuper wimpy winter here in Utah, I'm still itching for springtime! And with springtime comes Easter. Since Easter is less than a month away (April 5), I thought I would share how I grow our Easter grass instead of buying the fake plastic stuff at the store.  Not only is it more eco-friendly to grow your own Easter grass, but you also won't still be finding bits of it around house this summer. Seriously, that plastic grass gets everywhere!

My mom and I first tried growing Easter grass as an experiment several years ago and it worked out really well -- it was so easy, actually. I'll be totally honest, though: I don't grow our Easter grass every year, usually due to a lack of planning ahead and not having enough time before Easter to grow it. That said, I've written this post with plenty of time in advance of the holiday -- you only need about a week or so to grow it, depending on how long you want your Easter grass to be (the picture above shows about a week's worth of growth). 

To grow the Easter grass, I simply use wheat. There are plenty of ways to grow your own wheat-grass (just do a Google search), but here's how I do mine for Easter grass. (Disclaimer: I've never grown it for eating, so I don't know how sound this method is for that. Might be totally fine, but I thought I'd mention it.)

Supplies Needed:
  • Hard, uncooked wheat. The amount you'll need depends on how much grass you want to grow. Since wheat is fairly expensive, you can buy a pound for not much money and easily have enough. I bought my wheat for this project in the bulk section at our local heath/natural food store.
  • Aluminum foil. I used this so the moisture wouldn't leak through the baskets I was using. Feel free to improvise you'd rather use something else. It all depends on what you'll be putting the grass in. 
  • Potting soil or vermiculite. I've used both with equal success. 
  • Basket or any other container/pot/dish
  • Spray bottle, filled with water

The How-To:

1. 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. 
2. Once you've figured out how much wheat you'll need need, transfer it to a container/bowl/jar and cover it with water. Let the wheat soak for about 12 hours -- don't soak it for much longer than that. 

3. After the wheat has been soaked, prepare your basket by putting a few inches of potting soil/vermiculite on top of the foil. 
4. Spread the wheat wheat on top of the soil/vermiculite. Press in gently.
5. Cover the basket with a dishtowel and place the basket in a warm, sunny place. Be sure that while the basket is covered that the wheat stays moist -- not soaking wet, but moist. This is where the spray bottle comes in handy.
6. Once the wheat has sprouted, keep the basket uncovered and let it grow in said warm, sunny place.
7. Water daily, as needed, with the spray bottle.
8, Watch it grow! Trim with scissors, as needed/desired.

As I mentioned before, the picture at the top of this post shows about a week's worth of growth. Depending on what length you want the grass to be and when you're going display your decorated eggs (you can read about how I do that here), you'll want to plan accordingly. You don't want to start too late (like I said, that's what usually happens to me) and not have the grass ready for your display. On the other hand, you don't want too start too early and have the grass all yellow and wilted by the time Easter rolls around. Thing is, this grass is so easy to grow, you could do a couple batches from now until Easter!

Once I'm finished with the Easter grass, I either give it to my chickens or put it into my compost pile. You definitely can't do that with the plastic stuff! Plus, there's something so refreshing and happy about having living Easter grass in your home. In my mind, it celebrates the renewal and rebirth of spring and the Easter holiday perfectly. 


Green Bean said...

This is the coolest idea ever! Because you are right. Nothing is worse than plastic Easter grass.

Betsy Escandon said...

I may just have to try this. It's so depressing to find little tiny pieces of plastic green at parks for months after Easter.

Sara Vartanian said...

What a clever, real substitute for Easter grass. I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

Very interesting! It would add a nice touch of spring inside the house too.

Amber Strocel said...

This is a fabulous idea! I have a green felt re-usable Easter grass alternative, but this is even more awesome.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin