Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wheat Experiment

I'm experimenting with growing wheat. I'd like to add this crop, not for us, but for the livestock. Hubby and I are not big wheat eaters, and the thought of having to process my own ground wheat isn't all that appealing. But as a supplement for the chickens and sheep, it would be nice. 

Knowing virtually nothing about wheat other than its a grass, I arbitrarily picked Pima wheat to try. I wasn't interested in a modern type, at least not as a start. Pima wheat is an older variety, so I ordered one small packet to see how things went. 

October 1st I planted the seed. Within a week it was germinating. So far, so good. 

For the first 2 1/2 months it grew slowly but surely, getting green and grassy. Then the dogs discovered my small patch and took to eating it. A light spraying with vinegar stopped their grazing, but the plants growing within easy reach had gotten regularly pruned there for awhile. 

3 1/2 months into their growth, hubby decided he needed the location to set up his temporary solar panel rack. Geez. At first he wanted the wheat ripped out, but I came up with a solution he accepted. I built a platform out of wood pallets, making the structure sturdy but open to sunlight. This gave most of the wheat plants the opportunity to keep growing, 

Now it has been 4 1/2 months since seeding. The dog-pruned plants are around 18-24 inches high, the ungrazed plants are 3 foot high. And they are developing flower spikes. Happy, happy farmer am I !!!!!!! 

So now I'll wait and watch. How long will it rate for the wheat to develop, for it to mature, for it to be ready to harvest? Don't know but I'm sure to find out, I'm just happy to see that wheat will indeed grow here,  


  1. Some interesting tings to watch for based on my experiments.
    Feeding whole wheat some gets buried buy the scratching and because I move the tractor each day it gets to grow to maturity before they return. I had a large rooster and when they were free ranging he would grab a stalk in his beak and bend it down for the hens to eat the grain out of the head. The wheat came from a cover crop that had been left to mature by one of my friends so all I had to do was cut the dry stalks with my scythe and store the stalks in my barn. each day I would throw a bundle into the tractor and let them pick the grain off. Minimal effort for maximum production.

  2. Hans, that is really interesting. I had thought that I'd have to thresh the wheat in order to feed it to the chickens, so it's nice to know that they can pick the grain out of the heads themselves. Besides, it will give them something interesting and rewarding to do. Thanks for the info!