DEAR SPROUTMAN: I hear that when you soak the wheatgrass seeds, you should put 1-2 tablespoons of baking powder in the water to help lower the PH level. It says on the internet that mold doesn’t like alkaline conditions. Can you shed some light on this? Thank you – Connie

DEAR CONNIE: There is lots of talk about alkaline water for gardening and sprouting. Mostly promoted by the water ionizer-alkaline companies. I am interested in this. But my tests on this have been inconclusive. In my opinion, it requires a controlled laboratory environment to get a valid evaluation. Because there are too many variables that influence mold on wheatgrass for home growers to make any claims after one or two trials.

The proposition to alkalinize seed soak water to eliminate wheatgrass mold has the same problems as the using hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. I no longer promote the use of hydrogen peroxide. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of using hydrogen peroxide, but I have never experienced satisfactory results. Again, in my opinion, it requires a laboratory environment where dosage, timing, humidity, temperature, soil vs. no soil, air circulation, seed quality, etc. can all be controlled and repeated to achieve confirmed results. I do not have a set up to perform this kind of testing and I doubt the average home grower has it either.