Tips on Growing Wheat

Wheat is a type of grass. It is native to western Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. Wheat is a member of the Triticum genus and the grass (Gramineae) family. Worldwide, wheat is a leading cereal crop. It is grown as both a spring and winter crop. It is a staple food that is used primarily for the production of flour. Wheat is also occasionally cultivated as a forage crop for livestock.


Wheat thrives when it is grown in soil that is rich in organic matter and well-drained. The ideal pH range for wheat cultivation is between 6 and 6.5. When planting wheat, the seeds must be evenly spread above the soil. Then, they should be covered up by about half an inch of just soil. It is important to ensure that the soil is kept moist at all times for germination and proper growth. Full sun is preferable.


Wheat seeds that are planted during the autumn will be ready for harvest the next spring. Wheat that is, on the other hand, planted during the spring is prepared for harvesting toward the end of the summer. There are several signs that the wheat is ready to harvest. The wheat should become hardened and yellow when it is ready to harvest. Most wheat is harvested by machines called combines. Traditionally, the shafts of wheat are gathered and cut down with the use of a scythe. Then, the wheat plants are bundled up and tied into bundles called "sheaves." The sheaves are then threshed to separate the grains from the shafts. The grains are finally "winnowed" in light winds to blow away chaff. The wheat grains are then collected and placed into a container that is airtight.


Grown in small amounts, wheat is fairly hardy, but large fields can be susceptible to disease. Mildew can be avoided by making sure the wheat does not suffer from restricted airflow. If mildew occurs, it appears as a powder on the leaves' edges. If the plants are spaced apart properly, mildew can be prevented. Another wheat disease is rust, a fungus that is most damaging to winter wheat. Fungicide application can defend against and eliminate such diseases.


Wheat can also occasionally experience various different pests, such as snails, slugs, thrips and apids. Snails and slugs can consume newer leaves and also the edges of older leaves. Thrips are small tan or yellow bugs that consume new plant growth. That could lead to grain that is undersized. The infected shafts need to be eliminated promptly. The plants also must be immediately treated with the use of an insecticidal soap. Aphids are tiny insects with soft bodies that suck out all of the moisture from wheat. They can be controlled by ladybugs as well as insecticidal soaps.

Keywords: wheat growing tips, wheat cultivation, wheat plant growing

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.