How to Successfully Grow Cat Grass – Your Cat Will Thank You!
by Dawn Lesley Stewart
My two super-active male cats love their greens. Since they are indoor kitties, it’s up to me to provide a “lawn” for them to chow down. Without my providing them Cat Grass, the boys try sampling from the houseplant buffet, which for me, is not an option.
Cat Grass is not the same as the grass one grows for the lawn. Cat Grass is usually comprised of several types of grasses and oats. The seeds are large and easy to see, which makes for easy planting. Cat Grass does not spread like the grass in a lawn. Cat Grass grows for between two to three months and then dies. The cats can keep nibbling the grass to within a few inches of the soil, and the grass will grow back. However, because of the type of plants they are, the grass/oat seed combination will not reproduce. It will die, and the container will need to be replanted.
Cat Grass seed can be purchased in seed packets or in kits. The kits usually consist of a container, dirt, and the seed. Often the containers provided are cheap plastic tubs, though sometimes a nice ceramic container can be found such as the Chia Cat Grass Planter.
These are instructions for growing cat grass. After experimenting with several methods, this is what works best for me.
1. Find a small to medium size planter. It is best if the planter has some weight to it so that when the cats are eating from it, the planter won’t tip over or move too much around the floor. The planter also has to have low enough sides so that the cats can easily eat from it. Holes in the bottom of the pot are not necessary since the grass is minimally watered.
2. Even if a kit comes with dirt, that soil is probably not the best quality. If you have planting soil at home, mix some of the nutrient rich planting soil with the dirt provided. This will give the seed a good growing medium.
3. Fill the planter most of the way full with the planting soil.
4. Sprinkle the cat grass seed liberally across the top of the earth. Make sure the seed you use is pesticide free. Since the seed is large, you will easily be able to see how much seed has landed on the soil.
5. Cover the grass seed with a sparse amount of dirt. The seed prefers to be close to the surface, so don’t cover it too deep.
6. Water the seeds in the planter. You don’t need a lot of water. I take my cupped hands and fill them with water from the faucet, and then I sprinkle the water over the soil. This method does not disturb the seed too much.
7. After planting and watering the seed, take a piece of clear plastic wrap and loosely drape it over the container. This helps trap the moisture and warmth, encouraging germination. I place the planter atop the refrigerator in my sunny kitchen. That way the cats stay out of the germinating grass.
8. In about three days, you will notice the grass is beginning to grow. Remove the plastic wrap. Keep the grass sparsely watered. It does not need a lot of moisture. Keeping the earth damp is fine, but don’t let the container fill with water.
9. Cat Grass is quick to grow. I let it achieve a height of about three to four inches before setting the container on the floor for the cats to graze. Pull the container of grass away from the felines when the grass is mowed to about an inch or two from the ground. Since the grass rapidly grows, it will be ready for munching again the next day.
10. For me, the cat grass lasts anywhere from two to three months before it begins to die. Then I replant the grass, starting another container.
Cat Grass is very easy to grow. The cats love the treat, and it fills a nutritional need. When I don’t provide the grass, the boys go searching for something “green,” and my houseplants take a severe beating. Cat Grass seed and kits are available at many pet stores or online.
Happy Gardening !
Dawn Lesley Stewart has enjoyed organic gardening for over forty years, learning at a young age from her father. First love is vegetable gardening followed by her interest in butterfly and bee habitats. She considers her yard a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. Her writing has appeared online and in print and has won writing awards. Dawn is the author of Harriet’s Horrible Hair Day (picture book), Mist-Seer (paranormal novel), and her newest book 300-Plus Quilting Tips, Tricks & Techniques features over 35 years of quilting knowledge.
Copyright 2010 Dawn Lesley Stewart