In the fall and winter you have to use supplemental lighting for your growing to increase the length of light even in bright areas of the country. You have to convince the grass that it is Spring so that it keeps on growing. If it knows that it is Winter then the growth will slow down and you won’t get your regular dose of juice.
You have to give the sprouter light for 14 hours total. That could be ten hours of normal light plus 4 hours of extra lights or any combination that works in your climate.
Some people have asked if keeping the lights on all the time is a good idea. Nope, all living things need a rest period when different work is accomplished in the dark.
You can also grow your wheatgrass year round in the basement by using full spectrum lights. The light I recommend is a flourescent fixture disguised as an incandescent. Meaning that you can screw it into any fixture you already have that takes screw-in lightbulbs (scroll down the page to see the different lights I recommend, included this one). It uses 75% less energy than regular incandescents, which are totally outdated and environmentally unsound. If you replace all the incandescent bulbs in your house you would be doing a service to the environment.
You don’t need any of the fancy lights sold for growing flowers because the wheatgrass never comes to bloom, but there are a couple nice longer lights that you can place over individual trays if that’s the way you want to grow.
Many people will only need one of these bulbs to grow their grass. If your house is pretty dark in the winter then two would be better. If you are growing in the dark, then three would be best. I would recommend using clip-on lamps attached to furniture close to your sprouter or the cheap gooseneck floor lamps will do also. You’d want the light 1-2 feet above the sprouter and shining down at a 45 deg angle so the light goes into the top 3 trays.
If you have two lights have one on each side of the sprouter and if you just have one, then turn the trays as you water them each day.
Here are a couple of products that are great if you want to get fancier 🙂
1) Hyrdrofarm 4-Foot Jumpstart Grow System…about $64….you can buy it here (opens in new window)
2) Hyrdofram 2-Foot Jumpstart Grow System….about $47…you can buy it here (opens in new window)
3) Full-Spectrum CFL Grow Light – 60 Watts….about $12….you can buy it here (opens in new window)
So get it now and get your living greens daily!
You might also consider the Wheatgrass Growing DVD