Small scale grain growing

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by *Andi, May 25, 2011.

  1. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Our own little experiment with winter wheat. Our experiments in the past have never made it this far (knock on wood). Wild critters or two legged critters :gaah: have always trashed it before now.

    So this year when we turned the garden, we kept a small patch to see how it goes. (Winter wheat was our cover crop last winter.)

    The wheat is just starting to turn ...

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  2. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    That looks fantastic!

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Looks like a nice stand of wheat with good size heads on them. Congrats. How do you harvest them?
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Once it turns ... we will harvest by hand ... it is a small patch, maybe 10 feet by 50.

    I hope to post pictures as we get along ... if all goes well... ;)
  5. JustCliff

    JustCliff Supporting Member

    That looks pretty good. When did you plant it? What type is it?
  6. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

    It will be interesting to see how much you get from it.

    I have sowed buckwheat in the past for winter cover. Good nitrogen fixed.

  7. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    It was planted at the end of last Sept ... and the tag only read winter wheat.
  8. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

    I tried a "spring wheat" and planted it earlier this year. It' been growing pretty well however it still just looks like 18" grass. Nothing even resembling seed heads or stalks has started to form.

    Any ideas if I'm doing something wrong? does it have to overwinter? should I just scrap it and put in another crop and try for a winter crop?
  9. SageAdvicefarmgirl

    SageAdvicefarmgirl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting! I am planning to plant Hard red Winter Wheat in the next few days, (have turned a plot 40 X 50 ') i was looking for encouraging words! (and pics!) Look forward to your posts and will post my pics when I have something to show!
  10. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    The seed from this years crop will be used for a larger patch for next years crop. It was a cool experiment and now that I know I can do it ... all the better.

    CulexPipiens don't give up on it yet ... If you have the time, see what it will do. (but I've never grown spring wheat before.)
  11. TrinityAquaponics

    TrinityAquaponics New Member

    Did you amend the soil in the patch at all before planting? And did you fertilize at all during growth? I'm not familiar with growing wheat crops. The picture looks great, I can't wait to hear how things turn out.
  12. worldengineer

    worldengineer Well-Known Member

    From what I know about winter wheat is it is like grass. Just more hardy and seeds on tall stalks. No fertilizer is needed as it pulls its nutrients from the ground. Most of the wheat in my area is planted as a cover crop in fields when the farmers rotate their tobacco.

    Most leave it and let it die and re-seed itself. Thus when it dies it returns seed, and nutrients.

    PS. Chickens, Turkeys, Doves, Squirrels, and Rabbits love it. I assume more animals do also, but those are the main ones out in the fields.
  13. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I guess you could say the wheat we planted was meant to amend the soil ... Each year we do a winter cover crop, last year it just happened to be winter wheat.

    When it came time to turn it under we left a small patch to experiment with. The only fertilizer was rabbit poo. :D Over the winter and early spring the rabbit dropping are put right in the garden.
  14. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    If you bought it locally in Virginia I would guess it's SOFT wheat. While it can make bread, it's usually used for pastry as it crumbles alot. Still good eating though. Nice looking stand.
  15. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    Unless you want volunteer wheat on the land for some time, it really needs to be plowed under before it reaches the mature stage. To get the most of a covercrop it is plowed under and left to rot. I came from wheat country so wheat was never the green cover crop to plow under, we used sweet clover. With the clover we supplied the nitrogen for the follow crop, which was usually wheat. ;)
  16. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    Some comments on wheat. There are really five types of wheat usually grown in the US: hard red winter, soft red winter, hard red spring, soft red spring, durham (durum), and white. Each type has it's own characteristics. The hard wheats are the bread wheats, usually grown where there are hot and relatively dry growing seasons (ie the Great Plains). Durum is the 'wheat' that is used for pasta. It's 'flour' is called semolina, and is grown in the northern area of the plains wheat region (NoDak and Minnesota), spring planted. Soft wheats are usually pastry flours as stated elsewhere. It is usually grown east of the Mississippi where there is a more humid grown season. White wheat is what is commonly grown in the Pacific Northwest. It is used for cracker flour. That is not to say there is not a crossing of the growing areas.

    Winter wheats are grown in the fall, and harvest in the early summer. Grazing the winter wheat helps it to tiller (send up more shoots) and increase yields generally speaking. Spring wheat is grown in the early spring for fall harvest, generally in areas where winter wheat will not survive the winter. FB
  17. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    Are you SURE it was a spring wheat seed you planted? If you planted a winter wheat in the spring it will NOT head out. Graze/cut it back and let it overwinter before you give up on it. Wheat IS a grass and if grazed back will survive sometime depending on the conditions. Once it starts to turn however, it's too late. Might as well cut it for hay.
  18. akmike

    akmike Member

    I've been having similar thoughts about trying to grow wheat. Question that came to mind is about the "grazing", is this cutting it like cutting grass at a certain point?

    Thanks, Mike
  19. Graebarde

    Graebarde Old Dawg

    Yes, in principle. Make sure you don't cut it to the ground, and do it before the central stems start coming on. At the first few leaves. This induces the plant to put out more tillers. More tillers means more heads per plant. You can keep it clipped back for some time.
  20. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Well ... the garden has been turned and winter wheat planted again. :2thumb:

    It is up and looks very nice. (alright!!! :D)