Marge Says, "Grow Some Cat Grass!"
My cat Marge is spending most of her time watching the cat grass grow. During the winter months I like to sow cat grass seeds in containers so she can have some “veggies” to nibble on. She likes cat grass so much she wanted to write about the topic in her monthly column.
Hello friends! I hope all is well with you. We haven’t seen a hard freeze yet here in central Arkansas, but the garden is certainly on the decline. Allen always panics this time of year and acts as if there will never be another growing season. A sure sign of the “Frost Panic” is when he starts bringing home pumpkins. By Thanksgiving the garage will be full of them. I’ve never figured out what he plans to do with them and I guess he hasn’t either because they always end up in the compost bin come springtime.
“Frost Panic” peaks the day before a freeze is predicted. At which point Allen goes into a frenzy running around with his camera taking photos of every bloom, leaf and blade of grass. Couple this with the fact that he always waits until the very last minute to prepare the garden for a freeze and you’ve got quite a scene. I get quite a kick out of this annual event that I refer to as the “Frost Panic Parade.”
In addition to enjoying watching Allen’s antics I receive another benefit from the “Frost Panic.” This is when Allen starts sowing cat grass seeds so that I’ll have plenty of grass to munch on during winter. I wish he’d do it all the time because I love the sweet taste and it’s a safer alternative to lawn grass and houseplants. But for now I’m satisfied with current supply.
If you want to get your people to grow some cat grass for you, there are some tips to keep in mind.
What is cat grass?
Cat grass seed is usually sold under the name “cat grass”, but it’s really oat grass, wheat, barley or a combination of all three. Oat grass is particularly popular because it’s sweet and the blades are non-serrated so they won’t get stuck in your throat. The reason to purchase a product labeled “cat grass” is that it will most likely be pesticide free, organic, and manufactured for cat consumption.
Why sow cat grass?
Most animals like a little vegetation every now and again. Greens help with digestion and hairballs, provide folic acid and the chlorophyll is a natural breath freshener. If you live indoors 24/7 houseplants are pretty much the only option. And eating the houseplants is guaranteed to get us in trouble and might even make us sick. It’s even scarier for indoor-outdoor cats because who knows what’s lurking out there under the guise of a tasty green? Cat grass offers a safe, non-destructive alternative.
Steps for growing cat grass.
- Select a container that is at least 6-inches in diameter. Or even better grow it in a rectangular, flat bottom tray that you can lay in while nibbling on the grass.
- Fill the container with sterile potting soil.
- Sow seeds about 1/4-inch apart and cover with 1/2-inch of soil.
- Gently water.
- Place the pot or tray in a windowsill that receives good sunlight or under a grow light.
- Keep the soil moist, but don’t over water.
- The seeds should germinate in about 7 days.
- Cat grass is ready to serve when it’s 2 to 3-inches tall, about 10 to 14 days after sowing.
- If you sow seeds every week for two weeks you can alternate crops.
- Keep the grass trimmed with scissors to 3-inches tall.
- Once the grass begins to turn yellow, it’s time to toss it out and start over.
To make cat grass easily accessible place the container near a food bowl or favorite sunning spot.
Don’t forget Fido. Dogs can eat cat grass too! So can rabbits.
Do you have a tendency to binge and purge? Have your person set grass out for only a short period of time and then put it out of reach.