There are two products up for the testing here. One a store bought brand I got from PetCo called Gimborn CatA’bout Cat Grass Plus. The other is DIY instructions on how to grow cat grass, which seems to be the cheeper, more maintainable rout. Plus, I get to do projects with my daughter, I get to choose what the grass grows in and I get to grow the grass without dirt that may contain pesticides or other toxins.
First off, lets clarify what Cat Grass is. Pet MD explains that it is not it’s own species and is usually just rye, barley or wheat grass that cats are instinctively drawn to. We grow it indoors for our indoor only kids that don’t get to visit the world at large and to give them a safer alternative to the grass outside that may have been treated with pesticides or who knows what else.
You can buy cat grass already growing at just about any pet stores, but when I was looking the grass was yellow and sad looking in this horrible heat. Buying it living like that is a much more convenient way to purchase, which means more costly. It was about eight dollars for a tiny patch of grass, whereas the Cat A’bout was only five dollars and was four times the size. Going cheeper means you are doing the work of planting and waiting for it to grow. So let me show you just how much work to help you decide:
Part 1 – Day 1: July 21st 2018 – Sprouting
Cat A’bout Set Up
Easy instructions anyway. Just Open it Up:
Add Water: (funner with a friend)
And then set in a window for eight days.
DIY Set Up:
As with any good DIY project, this takes a bit more supplies and work. I found these instructions at Health Starts in the Kitchen. I recommend you start there and get the info and supplies from the horses mouth. They have pictures too so you don’t have to rely on mine.
First you will need to gather all the supplies. I ordered mine from different spots of the web so they all showed up at different times. I had intended just to use some old Christmas cups so I wouldn’t have to purchase anything to be my planter, but then I saw these candle jars on sale and fell in love. In hind sight, I would have gone with something shallower and wider. Have some fun with this part and get any planter you want. It doesn’t even have to be glass, but I recommend glass because it’s less likely to put off toxins when wet like some metals and paints will.
My jars are quite tall and take a bit of rocks, but they will work and I really like the rope handle. I filled my jars 3/4ths full with Hydro Stones. You can of course use any dirt but using the grow stones gives me some peace of mind that I’m not bringing toxins or bugs to my cats dinner bowl.
Hydro stones were not at all what I expected. I was thinking heavy and glasslike but It weighs about nothing, all though it is a very big bag. They are light, porous rocks, so light, in fact, that they float on the water. If I’d known, I might have used this to my artistic advantage and not put as many stones in to start.
But alas, I put the stones in first and covered them with a coffee filter cut to fit over the top of the stones with a little crawling up the sides to keep the seeds and rocks separate and then filled it with old fish water until there were puddles on the coffee filters. Old fish water is a natural fertilizer that my Endler Guppies and Goldfish make for me. I use it for just about all my watering and definitely my planting.
Then I put one layer of seeds on the top, stirred them around in the puddles to make sure they were wet and then put them in the window.
A whole row of kitty goodness incoming and look how many leftovers I have to do further projects!
Of course, it was at this point that I noticed the wheat grass came with its own instructions that differed slightly from Health Starts in the Kitchen. It said to cover the grass for three days while it sprouted and only sprinkle water on them. Then remove the cover and water after the three days is done. It is only once the grass is two inches tall that it’s supposed to have indirect light.
I don’t know if the rules are different for hydro stones, specific to the seeds or if it’s just a preferential thing to germinate the seeds first so I did both.
The yellow one went in the window as the website said. The green one is now in a plastic bag on a dark shelf. We’ll figure out later what, if any, the difference is for cat grass.
Update #1: July 23 2018 at 7:30pm
Well… I took them all down and lined them all up and all of them have sprouts!
The green one in the bag is definitely ahead with its mass of growth:
But the yellow one in the window is a close second:
With the Cat A’bout chasing closely:
I’m quite excited to see so much growth from all of them! I put the Cat A’bout back without any maintenance as instructed, but refilled the yellow to the bottom of the coffee filter and sprinkled the green one as instructed before the yellow went back into the window and the green back in the bag.
I’m excited for tomorrow!
Update #2: July 25th at 7pm
Well. We have results. I’m a little surprised to tell you the truth. My money was on the green one in a bag. Man was I off:
Just look at them all go!
And that green one in the lead on the 23rd? Gross. The cats aren’t getting that one.
The color didn’t bother me. No sun = No green, but all the mold?! UGH! Apparently, if you live in a sauna, this is NOT the way to sprout things. Do not bag it! Maybe in dryer situations this would be great, it did sprout faster after all, but really…
The yellow jar is doing just fine in the sun and the Cat A’Bout isn’t hurting either.
The Cat A’Bout actually is winning just from the shear amount of grass. Look at all that surface area! I hope it gives you some ideas for your own planters if you go the DIY rout. Wide and flat is definitely better when growing grass.
Update #3: July 27 at 6:19 am
Yah, whatever rout you want to go, this grass just wants to grow!
Just watch for mold and your imagination is your only limit.
Even the poor moldy jar greened up beautifully. It will live in the window for as long as it grows because it’s still going… Mold and all. I just keep it away from the others in case. Hopefully the sun will burn off the mold and let the grass thrive.
Update #4: July 29th at 8 pm
Tall enough and green enough to eat!
We started in the 21st so that’s not bad at all. We probably could have called it yesterday so it took about a week to grow all this grass. Time to call in the testers and see what they think of Cat Grass and Cat About!