How to Grow Barley Straw


Barley is most often used to produce flour, vinegar and as a key ingredient in beer and certain liquors. It can be grown nearly anywhere that gets cold winters and requires very little care or maintenance once planted. This grain grows best in late fall and early spring, so if timed just right, you can plant and harvest two successful crops in a year and still have time to grow vegetables in the summer months.

Step 1

Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil to plant the seeds. Loosen up the top 2 inches of soil and remove any weeds with a hoe.

Step 2

Drag a hoe across the surface of the soil in a straight line to mark the planting spots for the seeds. Your finger should make very shallow trenches in the surface of the soil, no more than 1/8 inch deep. Space each row 12 inches apart.

Step 3

Plant 25 evenly spaced seeds for each linear foot of space. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.

Step 4

Water the soil lightly so it is barely moist.

Step 5

Let the soil dry out between each watering session. Barley is susceptible to root rot when exposed to excessive moisture. Follow this watering regimen for the entire growth cycle of the barley.

Step 6

Thin the plants to 10 inches apart once they reach 3 inches in height.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Water


  • Heirloom Organics: Growing Barley
Keywords: plant barley seeds, grow barley, raise barley crop

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.