Wheat Growing Instructions

Overview

Wheat grain is one of the most common crops in the world, forming the basis for cereals, cakes, pastas, breads and other products. Literature on the subject focuses primarily on growing large quantities of wheat with large machinery for commercial purposes. This should not discourage the home grower, however. If you know how to create the right environment for the wheat, you can successfully plant and grow wheat without all the heavy equipment.

Step 1

Determine your reason for growing the wheat so you can choose a variety. The hardy red varieties typically make good bread, while the soft white varieties make flat bread and pastries. The durum varieties make pasta while people use spelt to make a large variety of wheat-based products. Purchase the seeds, if possible, with a fungicide coating to lower the risk of disease.

Step 2

Choose an area to plant your wheat with fertile, deep, well-drained soil and full sun. Place a sample of soil into a container and bring it to your local extension office for a soil test. The staff there will give you a report detailing whether your soil needs fertilizer, compost or other amendments to balance it out. Apply the recommended amount of amendments to your soil.

Step 3

Level the soil bed with a garden rake, removing the hardened top layer of dirt and braking up any large clumps of soil. Remove any rocks that appear at this time as well.

Step 4

Broadcast the seeds over the prepared soil bed in a semi-circle, using your wrist to try to spread the seeds evenly. Incorporate the seeds into the soil with a garden rake, covering them with about 1 to 2 inches of dirt.

Step 5

Water the seeds immediately after planting to help establish them in the ground. Winter wheat only needs this one watering. Spring wheat, however, needs a deep watering two to three times throughout the hot, dry summer months. Wheat thrives in a dry environment.

Step 6

Control the weeds around the wheat seeds. These will compete with the wheat for sunlight, water and nutrients. Pull out entire weed plants when they are young and apply an herbicide immediately after planting. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.

Step 7

Harvest the grain when the stalk turns yellow and the heads look full with dried kernels. Use a scythe to cut the stalks.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheat seeds
  • Container
  • Fertilizer
  • Organic compost
  • Garden rake
  • Water
  • Herbicide
  • Scythe

References

  • Washington State University Extension: Growing Wheat In Western Washington
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Alabama Wheat Production Guide
  • Louisiana State University: Planting & Management Practices for Wheat

Who Can Help

  • Virginia Tech: Growing Wheat in Virginia
Keywords: growing wheat at home, planting wheat, caring for wheat

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.