Growing Wheatgrass for Your Rabbits
by Michelle Underhill and Jeanette Lyerly
Interested in giving your rabbit a fresh, tasty treat? Nothing is more fresh than live wheatgrass! Wheatgrass is easy to grow in a container at home, and because it does not require a lot of soil, you can even grow it in a an old food bowl or a litter box. Your bunny can enjoy a whole patch of wheatgrass! Just follow these few steps and in a couple of weeks, your rabbit will have a fresh treat!
Where to buy seeds
Look for organic, food grade wheatgrass seeds. Sometimes they are called wheat berries, and sold as sprouting seeds. Amazon.com has several organic brands. Two of my personal favorite brands are Sow True Seed and Starwest Botanicals. Store your unused wheatgrass seeds in either the refrigerator or freezer, to extend their life.
Planting the wheatgrass
Choose a container that is three inches or so deep. Place 1/2” to 1” of organic potting soil in it. Spritz it with water. Put a layer of wheatgrass seeds on top of the soil, then cover the seeds with a very light layer of the same potting soil. Spritz it again, then cover the container loosely with plastic wrap. Place it in indirect light.
Optional tip: To ensure the seed germination is relatively even, you can try giving your seeds a few days in cold temperature. After you start your seeds and wrap the container in plastic wrap, instead of putting it in indirect light, you may place it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Then move your seeds back to room temperature.
Caring for wheatgrass
Once or twice a day, check the wheatgrass and spritz with water. You don’t want it to be dry, but you also don’t want it to be too wet. Just keep it damp.
After four or five days, when the wheatgrass is an inch or more in height, remove the plastic wrap. Keep spritzing daily until the wheatgrass is the desired height, and serve!
Things to watch for: Wheatgrass is susceptible to mildew. If your wheatgrass starts to mold at the roots, it’s time to throw it away. You can wash your container thoroughly and start a new batch.
You can give the whole container to your bunny and let him or her comp on it! You probably want to remove it after a few minutes so they do not eat too much of the wheatgrass and experience stomach issues. While wheatgrass is a good treat for them, any sudden change in diet can lead to digestive issues for a rabbit.
You can also clip the wheat grass and serve it in your rabbit’s daily salad. Wheatgrass is also healthy for us, so you may want to add some to your own salads or smoothies!