You’ve likely seen wheat grown on farmland. But, have you thought about why these farms are able to produce high yields?
It takes a certain process and you have to consider soil quality and nutritional needs during the process.
Suppose any part of its growth and cultivation is overlooked.
In that case, there is a considerable risk that you could face lower amounts of yield and various diseases that can ruin any grain you are left with altogether.
To avoid this, you want to be vigilant during all stages of its growth.
To find out how this crop grows and the best way you can grow it yourself, read on.
First, pick your seeds
There are two main types of wheat seeds: spring and winter wheat seeds, and in general, the ones you grow in the spring are easier to grow as they can be harvested in the fall, just before winter.
With the winter seeds, these can be harvested in the summer, but because of the intense winter, during this time, the wheat will go into dormancy, so they only begin growing in the spring.
If you’re new to these crops, buy a pack compliant with your hardiness zone.
The Timing Is Important
As we have said, planting wheat in the spring is the best option as it can take eight months to grow fully, and there is a chance that your zone isn’t optimal for growing.
As a rule of thumb, you want the air outside to be comfortable enough to go out where it isn’t too cold or too warm, which can take place around mid to late spring.
Not only this, but you want your soil to be rich in nutrients and not have any weeds so the seed can sprout easier after you’ve prepped the soil.
Another rule of thumb is to grow 25-32 wheat seeds per square foot.
You should prep the soil so that you create tiny pockets by slamming the rake and striking (making holes) the soil so you can place around 40-50 seeds, depending on the size of the space you have.
How Much To Water Them?
Once you’ve scattered the seeds, you could use compost to create a layer where more water can be kept and absorbed, but you don’t have to do this and may decide to use it if you live in a particularly low-humid area yet have high temperatures.
After this point, you can give them good water, as this is just before their germination, which is essential when we look at the spring of the initial sapling.
Don’t let the soil go dry while the seeds are germinating.
If you want to depress the grain down, you can place a surface over the top and walk over it.
After 10-14 days, you’ll notice that the wheat looks more like lawn grass, and for the spring seeds, you’ll want to water them a little every day.
You can also find that this wheat doesn’t need much maintenance as it usually takes care of itself and can be pretty tolerant after it’s established.
Waiting For It To Reach Maturity
Over the next two to three months, the wheat may look more like weeds than grass, and you may notice that some seed heads have developed, but at this point, you want to leave them be for now.
If you find that some areas don’t grow as much as others, where there isn’t much growth, this may be an issue caused by the ground being too tight, so if this happens, you can try loosening the ground up a little.
Now you just have to wait until you see the signs that the wheat is ready to be harvested, and this will generally look like a slight brown tinge to be on the outside edge of the grain.
You also want to look for the patch to be a golden yellow color, as this is a good sign harvesting is close.
Harvesting The Wheat
More specifically, you can pick a berry from one of the heads of wheat and can give this a squeeze, where a white dough-like substance will come out.
Some people may harvest it here and wait for the dough inside the berries to harden even more.
For effective cultivation, you want the humidity to be between 20-30%, even though it can be tolerant as low as 16%, where it may begin to crack and not give you the quality you’re looking for.
Now you can use shears or a sickle to cut the stems 3-4 inches above the ground.
To make it easier, you can grab a handful and cut below, and once you have your bundles, you can leave them to sun dry for 2-3 weeks, during which you have to remove the seeds.
Preparing The Wheat
If you want the easiest way to prepare the wheat, you can place the bunches in bags and beat the stalks until the seeds come off, which is preferable to picking each one off.
You can also use a fan to blow loose pieces off to ensure you get them all.
Now you have a final count of seeds, you can weigh them and see how much you have, so as a guide, a 256g bowl of wheat is enough to make a half loaf of sourdough.
Be aware that you won’t always have as much as you were hoping for, as you tend to need more than you have to make anything substantial, like a whole loaf of bread or two.
You can also grow wheat in pots, which may be easier to develop and give you some sort of result, and as you become more confident, you can start finding space in your backyard to accommodate them.
With this in mind, you can make this an activity for the whole family, as this process is as interesting as it is enjoyable.