The Q&A Archives: Growing Barley

Question: What does barley need to grow?(i.e. water, what nutrients, etc.)

Answer: You can grow barley and other small grains on any good garden soil. Use a broadcast seeder or broadcast by hand over a smooth seedbed. For a 1000' plot, use 4 lbs of seed. Cover the seedbed with loos straw mulch after planting to maintain moisture and prevent weed growth. Barley is a drought-tolerant grain, and doesn't tolerate poorly drained soils. During droughty periods, use a sprinkler to provide moisture. It requires a pH of at least 6.0 to grow well.

Since grains are heavy feeders, it's best to follow them with a plant that will restore nutrients to the soil, such as a legume cover crop that you can till under, or buckwheat.

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