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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: morticaixavier on March 01, 2014, 08:31:56 PM

Title: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 01, 2014, 08:31:56 PM
My barley is starting to head! How exciting!(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/02/a6a4a7a4.jpg)
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 01, 2014, 09:37:33 PM
Very cool !
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: GolfBum on March 01, 2014, 09:38:41 PM
Very cool. Are you going to kiln it too? How big is your farm?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 01, 2014, 10:23:52 PM
Yeah, I'm gonna malt it and play around with kilning in the oven.

My 'farm' (thanks for that by the way, makes me feel far more industrious that I actually am) is about 800 sqft with about 200 to barley right now and three chickens, a dog, and a cat. The dog and cat don't really do much for the farm except maybe chase rats away.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: beersk on March 02, 2014, 04:16:11 AM
How much barley do you expect to get out of that?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: erockrph on March 02, 2014, 04:55:16 AM
How much barley do you expect to get out of that?

I count about 20 kernels :)
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 02, 2014, 05:10:15 AM
How much barley do you expect to get out of that?

I count about 20 kernels :)
if I'm lucky!


I'm hoping for around 10 lb
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: beersk on March 02, 2014, 05:26:57 AM
Nice. Wish I could try what you make of it.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: el_capitan on March 02, 2014, 02:20:34 PM
Dude - posting pics of growing barley in March is a low blow to us Minnesotans.  We're still buried under 4 ft of snow and hunkering down with -50 windchills!  Grrrr...

Looks nice though.  Where did you get your seed?  I'm assuming you went organic?  I'd like to grow a little test plot, once I'm able to expand my garden space.  I wonder if a person could sow barley under hops plants?  My garden space is all booked for vegetables, but I have about 120 square feet of space (3 x 40 feet) in my hops bed.  I'd hate to weaken the hops by putting in too much competition though.  Hmmm... anybody tried this?  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 02, 2014, 04:06:04 PM
Dude - posting pics of growing barley in March is a low blow to us Minnesotans.  We're still buried under 4 ft of snow and hunkering down with -50 windchills!  Grrrr...

Looks nice though.  Where did you get your seed?  I'm assuming you went organic?  I'd like to grow a little test plot, once I'm able to expand my garden space.  I wonder if a person could sow barley under hops plants?  My garden space is all booked for vegetables, but I have about 120 square feet of space (3 x 40 feet) in my hops bed.  I'd hate to weaken the hops by putting in too much competition though.  Hmmm... anybody tried this?  Thoughts?

yeah, apologies to my cold weather friends;D

Got the seed from johnny's. 5 lb was  cheap and it only took ~1 to sow the site so I've been practicing malting with the rest. Organic so not sprayed or treated.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: rjberry on March 02, 2014, 08:43:52 PM
Looks great man!  I'm about to order a few hop rhizomes and see how they fare in the GA humidity, but I'm not sure I could produce enough barley to be worthwhile.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on March 02, 2014, 08:50:57 PM
Is that the Conlon?

My winter barley is lodging quite a bit.  I think I should have irrigated a bit more.  I planted in Nov. and let it go.  When the rain came in Feb it was too tall, and with the added water fell over.  I think I'll stick to spring planting (& just veggies in the winter).

The heads that I do have are not nearly as plump as yours.  Looks like you'll be able to plant again as soon as you harvest.

Look forward to hearing about the harvest, threshing, malting!
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 02, 2014, 10:30:51 PM
The only thing left when I got around to ordering was robust. It's six row but it is a malting variety.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on March 09, 2014, 08:07:10 PM
The only thing left when I got around to ordering was robust. It's six row but it is a malting variety.

I'm getting 5# of the same to plant if spring ever comes. How much irrigation did it take? My options of where to plant it widen if I don't need to reach it with a hose. I'm thinking of doing some near enough to water with the hose and, if possible, plant some before a good rain in an area that is a couple hundred yards from a hose.
I hope you keep us posted on how much time the threshing and winnowing takes.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on March 09, 2014, 09:10:38 PM
The only thing left when I got around to ordering was robust. It's six row but it is a malting variety.

I'm getting 5# of the same to plant if spring ever comes. How much irrigation did it take? My options of where to plant it widen if I don't need to reach it with a hose. I'm thinking of doing some near enough to water with the hose and, if possible, plant some before a good rain in an area that is a couple hundred yards from a hose.
I hope you keep us posted on how much time the threshing and winnowing takes.

I think we watered twice before winter. since then none. we will see what happens as the 'wet season' here ends.

I will say that I have now pulled 5 or 6 plants with loose barley smut infections. I don't know if it's from the seed or someone else's barley in the area but be aware. I guess it's the price of organic agriculture.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on March 09, 2014, 09:51:27 PM
I only watered when I first seeded.  Let the rain do the rest (hence my problems w/weak stems when the rain arrived late).  My biggest issues have been the lodging and aphids.

I got seed (Bere, Lacey, Excelsior) from sustainable seed last year, before they went out of stock on "malting barley" varieties.  They still have the "excelsior" (http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/hulless-barley/organic-excelsior-hulless-barley.html (http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/hulless-barley/organic-excelsior-hulless-barley.html)), that Fisher's Hombrewer's Garden recommended.  It's not cheap ($4.99 for 25 seeds), but after growing last spring, and this winter, I'll have enough seed for my garden so that I will have some to malt.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: Herminator on March 10, 2014, 05:08:45 AM
Awesome!  Look forward to reading about how it all turns out. 
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on March 11, 2014, 12:58:31 AM
I only watered when I first seeded.  Let the rain do the rest (hence my problems w/weak stems when the rain arrived late).  My biggest issues have been the lodging and aphids.

I got seed (Bere, Lacey, Excelsior) from sustainable seed last year, before they went out of stock on "malting barley" varieties.  They still have the "excelsior" (http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/hulless-barley/organic-excelsior-hulless-barley.html (http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/hulless-barley/organic-excelsior-hulless-barley.html)), that Fisher's Hombrewer's Garden recommended.  It's not cheap ($4.99 for 25 seeds), but after growing last spring, and this winter, I'll have enough seed for my garden so that I will have some to malt.

Thanks for the info. I think my biggest expense will be fencing to keep the chickens and dog out if I grow it near the house and wild animals from trampling through away from the house.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on April 30, 2014, 02:05:57 AM
The only thing left when I got around to ordering was robust. It's six row but it is a malting variety.
Not sure of your growing season but  I was just able to order 2row from Johnny's. Hope to get your experience with malting and kilning etc.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on April 30, 2014, 02:34:39 PM
Thanks for the heads up. Maybe I'll order some more for this winter.

Just took a couple pictures of the 'field' last night.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/04/30/usemugys.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/04/30/y4ubyhys.jpg)
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on April 30, 2014, 03:42:01 PM
Looks like its just starting to go brown, how soon until harvest? Its just getting time to sow here. The only thing that grows in the winter here is my waistline.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on April 30, 2014, 03:44:10 PM
Looks like its just starting to go brown, how soon until harvest? Its just getting time to sow here. The only thing that grows in the winter here is my waistline.

hopefully soon. my wife is getting antsy to get maize and tomatoes in there.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on April 30, 2014, 08:40:54 PM
I'm seeing quite a bit of variation.  My The Bere & Excelsior ares nearly completely dried out.  The Maris Otter & Belford are just still pollinating.  My other varieties Hanna & Klages need to plump up more.  My rye is pollinating and is about 5' tall.  The hops are still less than a foot tall.  The hot weather should help. Thanks for the update.

(We too are itching to get planting some summer vegetables.)
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on April 30, 2014, 10:32:31 PM
Where did you get marris otter?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on May 01, 2014, 01:37:00 AM

Where did you get marris otter?
If you take malted Maris Otter and seed it you will get some sprouts.


Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 01, 2014, 02:37:16 PM

Where did you get marris otter?
If you take malted Maris Otter and seed it you will get some sprouts.

i've heard that. might have to give it a try.

oddly I got about 6 heads of two row in my little field of 6 row. figure cross contamination or the mutation that causes only 2 rows to develop is fairly common and just pops up now and then.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 03, 2014, 02:39:58 AM
Brewark and Morticaixavier: are either of you using your homegrown for base malt. i intend to and am brainstorming my kilning system. I also expect a big enough hops harvest that I might want to build a system for drying hops and kilning at a low enough temp for base malts involving separate bins because of the hops aroma . My biggest challenge so far is the heat source. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 03, 2014, 05:05:39 AM
Brewark and Morticaixavier: are either of you using your homegrown for base malt. i intend to and am brainstorming my kilning system. I also expect a big enough hops harvest that I might want to build a system for drying hops and kilning at a low enough temp for base malts involving separate bins because of the hops aroma . My biggest challenge so far is the heat source. Any thoughts?

I haven't used my homegrown barley for anything yet. I do intend to. I will just do small amounts at a time (around 1 kilo) and kiln in a food dehydrator and the oven for higher kilning.

on the hops, you are better off figuring out a way to dry them with no heat as it will maintain maximum aroma and oil content.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 03, 2014, 11:51:12 AM


I haven't used my homegrown barley for anything yet. I do intend to. I will just do small amounts at a time (around 1 kilo) and kiln in a food dehydrator and the oven for higher kilning.

on the hops, you are better off figuring out a way to dry them with no heat as it will maintain maximum aroma and oil content.
[/quote]
I was thinking about using our food dehydrator but hope to have quite a bit and was thinking of making something bigger. I suppose doing smaller batches over a few days would make the malting more manageable and lessen the risk of screwing up on all of it.
I probably will use my usual method with hops: on screens in the dark cellar with a fan in the proximity of the dehumidifier. I'll just have to build some more trays.
Maybe I just want to build a cool contraption and am overthinking.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 03, 2014, 06:52:39 PM
oh well, if the aim is to build a cool contraption than you should go for it. I encourage cool contraption building.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 12, 2014, 02:16:54 AM
I am happy to report that I got my barley planted yesterday. I put in 5# 2-row and 1# 6 row. There was a nice steady soaking rain a couple hours after I finished so we're off to a good start.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on May 12, 2014, 04:53:23 PM
1) Jonathan about my Maris Otter: I got a few seeds from the government, for my "research project".  When I harvest them, I can send you some seeds for next winter if you send me your address privately (they are still green so it won't be right away).

2) Pete: I too am "backyarding" this - so I'm using a food dehydrator.  My first experiment is ready to bottle (in fact, a little late to the bottle).  So, I should have something to report in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 13, 2014, 06:04:06 PM
Spent about an hour our in the barley patch with a pair of kitchen sheers and...
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/05/14/a6ynanav.jpg)

This mostly fills a 1 square foot box packed down hand tight. heads and beards only, no straw. How much out actually is will have to wait till I thrash and winnow.

This it's about 25% of the patch maybe a bit less.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on May 13, 2014, 08:04:09 PM
We're getting that really warm weather this week.  I should be just behind you.

I put mine in a pillow case for threshing.  Just beat it around.  Winnow between two big bowls in the afternoon breeze.  It can be iterative when I'll put the large bits back into the pillow case & beat 'em some more.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 01:08:01 AM
That's pretty! Are you using the straw for your chickens? Btw, do either of you remember how long it took to germinate after planting? I already recycled the bags that may have that info and am finding it a surprisingly elusive bit of info online. I planted conlon and robust.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 14, 2014, 01:39:58 AM
Couple three weeks. Maybe a bit less. Not very scientific. I was sowing in fall/winter. Spring could be a different story.


probably just turn the straw back in or let it lay there as mulch.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on May 14, 2014, 04:34:36 AM
The packages for mine said 90 days.  I planted beginning of November, and still some haven't dried out.  So read into that what you'd like.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 11:43:16 AM
The packages for mine said 90 days.  I planted beginning of November, and still some haven't dried out.  So read into that what you'd like.
I was asking about germination, not maturation.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 14, 2014, 04:02:36 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 14, 2014, 04:06:38 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.

Good to have an expert handy  ;D

Graham,

I've been noticing a fair number of heads with only two rows (opposed) instead of six. In your experience is this just normal cross contamination? or does that genetic variation really show up that commonly in some varieties of 6 row?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 04:09:41 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.
Thanks, gmac. I'm about to have a week of off and on rain, fairly warm so it might happen fast.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 14, 2014, 04:14:46 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.

Good to have an expert handy  ;D

Graham,

I've been noticing a fair number of heads with only two rows (opposed) instead of six. In your experience is this just normal cross contamination? or does that genetic variation really show up that commonly in some varieties of 6 row?

My specialty is corn so I can't say for sure but I would suggest that it's most likely contaminated seed. Not sure where you bought your seed but if it wasn't pedigreed seed its very possible. Pedigreed seed is inspected for purity before harvest. No offence but since you likely bought organic, there is a pretty good chance it wasn't inspected (and that's ok, smaller producers don't always want or are able to pay for inspection) and thus has some contamination. Keep a select sample of the six row heads and two row heads and plant them out seperately next year and see if they remain true to their type.

If there is genetic contamination, it would show up as segregation which is the other thing you could be seeing. If there was 2 row pollen drift onto the 6 row (due to inadequate isolation), you could be seeing segregation. If so, you will see that again in the next generation although it will become less apparent with each generation if you select out the heads you want to keep. Standard Mendelian genetics at play.

Either way it will likely be just fine for your malt.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 14, 2014, 04:18:20 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.
Thanks, gmac. I'm about to have a week of off and on rain, fairly warm so it might happen fast.

It's like waiting for water to boil. Go look every day and it seems to take forever. Go away and when you come back it will be fine. Many people joke that the best way to avoid farmer complaints is to give away a fishing pole with each lot of seed. Plant it and go fishing, don't keep hovering over it everyday worrying.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on May 14, 2014, 06:33:28 PM
It all depends on temp and moisture. In the spring it can be up in a week depending on conditions. It will probably be emerging two to three days before you actually notice because the mesocotyl is pretty pale in colour. It is the plumule that turns green when it emerges. So you will see little pale tube shaped things emerge first and they are hard to see against dry soil. After a rain or watering they become more apparent. If you don't see anything in the spring in 2 weeks, dig up a few and see if they've sprouted.

Good to have an expert handy  ;D

Graham,

I've been noticing a fair number of heads with only two rows (opposed) instead of six. In your experience is this just normal cross contamination? or does that genetic variation really show up that commonly in some varieties of 6 row?

My specialty is corn so I can't say for sure but I would suggest that it's most likely contaminated seed. Not sure where you bought your seed but if it wasn't pedigreed seed its very possible. Pedigreed seed is inspected for purity before harvest. No offence but since you likely bought organic, there is a pretty good chance it wasn't inspected (and that's ok, smaller producers don't always want or are able to pay for inspection) and thus has some contamination. Keep a select sample of the six row heads and two row heads and plant them out seperately next year and see if they remain true to their type.

If there is genetic contamination, it would show up as segregation which is the other thing you could be seeing. If there was 2 row pollen drift onto the 6 row (due to inadequate isolation), you could be seeing segregation. If so, you will see that again in the next generation although it will become less apparent with each generation if you select out the heads you want to keep. Standard Mendelian genetics at play.

Either way it will likely be just fine for your malt.

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 07:22:18 PM

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.
[/quote]
I've heard of food porn but "loose barley smut" definitely sounds like something to keep away from impressionable young barleycorns!
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: thirsty on May 14, 2014, 07:45:04 PM
This is such a cool idea. I wish I had the room, but the vegetables have to go somewhere.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 08:23:38 PM
This is such a cool idea. I wish I had the room, but the vegetables have to go somewhere.
I broke new ground for this that I'll eventually use for veggies etc. My idea is that I grow barley on new ground that is marginally fertile, which is ok for barley. While the barley is growing it will also act as a cover crop to minimize the weeds. Then in the late summer I'll harvest and use the barley and straw, add compost, manure and another cover crop, probably a legume, till that in and maybe grow winter rye as another cover crop. In the spring I'll till, get a soil test, amend the soil and grow something else. If this works I'll keep breaking new ground for more veggies, fruit trees, berries etc. Eventually there will be no grass to mow and we'll have more and more of our own food. I wish I could quit my job!
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 14, 2014, 08:32:33 PM

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.

Good call.  Loose smut infects the seed this year and shows up next so you're right to use it up now and get new seed. Too bad it's not ergot, you could make some LSD Pale Ale. :) Maybe plant some rye for next year?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 14, 2014, 08:41:14 PM

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.

Good call.  Loose smut infects the seed this year and shows up next so you're right to use it up now and get new seed. Too bad it's not ergot, you could make some LSD Pale Ale. :) Maybe plant some rye for next year?
Or a Trip-el
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: erockrph on May 14, 2014, 11:37:02 PM

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.

Good call.  Loose smut infects the seed this year and shows up next so you're right to use it up now and get new seed. Too bad it's not ergot, you could make some LSD Pale Ale. :) Maybe plant some rye for next year?
Or a Trip-el

Hmmm... All this talk has me wondering if you can malt Morning Glory seeds...
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 15, 2014, 01:51:48 AM

yup organic. from Johnny's seeds. supposedly 99% pure. Not too worried about it. Not going to replant because I had a couple dozen heads show up with what I'm pretty sure was loose barley smut. I pulled most of them but a couple got away from me.

Good call.  Loose smut infects the seed this year and shows up next so you're right to use it up now and get new seed. Too bad it's not ergot, you could make some LSD Pale Ale. :) Maybe plant some rye for next year?
Or a Trip-el

Hmmm... All this talk has me wondering if you can malt Morning Glory seeds...
Or extract thc with oil then fat wash it in grain alcohol and add it to an ipa a bottling... Um, did I say that out loud?
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 15, 2014, 02:32:07 PM
Its actually already sprouting after four days! I saw a few last night and this morning a large percentage were up, half an inch long already. This is good news as I am counting on it to outcompete grass and dandelions.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 15, 2014, 04:03:17 PM
Its actually already sprouting after four days! I saw a few last night and this morning a large percentage were up, half an inch long already. This is good news as I am counting on it to outcompete grass and dandelions.

How thick do you have it planted?  Ideal seeding rate for malting barley is 18 to 25 plants per square foot.  You will need this at least if you are going to outcompete the weeds without any herbicide.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 15, 2014, 06:00:09 PM
Its actually already sprouting after four days! I saw a few last night and this morning a large percentage were up, half an inch long already. This is good news as I am counting on it to outcompete grass and dandelions.

How thick do you have it planted?  Ideal seeding rate for malting barley is 18 to 25 plants per square foot.  You will need this at least if you are going to outcompete the weeds without any herbicide.
I used 6 pounds over about 920 sq ft. It looks pretty thick. I think if it germinates decently, which it already looks like it will, I'll easily have that. I also worked really hard to get it free of grass and weeds to start.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 15, 2014, 06:49:56 PM
If it turns out to be crazy thick, you may want to thin it out then. If its too thick, you will get problems with lodging (falling over). If 25 is good, 50 is not better. I'm sure you will be fine.
I'm just happy I can put that Masters degree in seed technology to use finally :) 
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 15, 2014, 07:59:35 PM
If it turns out to be crazy thick, you may want to thin it out then. If its too thick, you will get problems with lodging (falling over). If 25 is good, 50 is not better. I'm sure you will be fine.
I'm just happy I can put that Masters degree in seed technology to use finally :)
I'm glad too! I'll see if I can find a typical looking square foot and get a count. I also read that high fertility can cause lodging so I didn't amend the soil like I would for a veggie garden, just a small amount of organic fertilizer.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on May 15, 2014, 08:30:46 PM
... and maybe grow winter rye as another cover crop. In the spring I'll till, get a soil test, amend the soil and grow something else. If this works I'll keep breaking new ground for more veggies, fruit trees, berries etc. Eventually there will be no grass to mow and we'll have more and more of our own food. I wish I could quit my job!

I grew rye this year for the first time.  Planted the first week in November, it didn't get more than six inches tall until February or March.  Then it took off, it's now up to six feet!  It is still green and the seeds are just beginning to plump up.

It's delaying my spring barley planting. :)
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: gmac on May 15, 2014, 10:45:52 PM
If it turns out to be crazy thick, you may want to thin it out then. If its too thick, you will get problems with lodging (falling over). If 25 is good, 50 is not better. I'm sure you will be fine.
I'm just happy I can put that Masters degree in seed technology to use finally :)
I'm glad too! I'll see if I can find a typical looking square foot and get a count. I also read that high fertility can cause lodging so I didn't amend the soil like I would for a veggie garden, just a small amount of organic fertilizer.

High fertility, particularly high N can cause lodging in most grass crops.  High nitrogen promotes cell growth and elongation and you end up with a taller than ideal plant that can't support the weight of its own grain. 
In malting barley, you don't want overly high N anyway because the higher the available N, the higher the grain protein.  You need adequate N to get proper yield but if you have too much then you get too much protein.  Your approach to use a compost is likely best since you don't have soil tests (I assume) to properly balance your nutrients.  If you do use a fertilizer, something low and balanced would be best (10-10-10 or lower for example).
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on May 16, 2014, 12:57:28 AM
If it turns out to be crazy thick, you may want to thin it out then. If its too thick, you will get problems with lodging (falling over). If 25 is good, 50 is not better. I'm sure you will be fine.
I'm just happy I can put that Masters degree in seed technology to use finally :)
I'm glad too! I'll see if I can find a typical looking square foot and get a count. I also read that high fertility can cause lodging so I didn't amend the soil like I would for a veggie garden, just a small amount of organic fertilizer.

High fertility, particularly high N can cause lodging in most grass crops.  High nitrogen promotes cell growth and elongation and you end up with a taller than ideal plant that can't support the weight of its own grain. 
In malting barley, you don't want overly high N anyway because the higher the available N, the higher the grain protein.  You need adequate N to get proper yield but if you have too much then you get too much protein.  Your approach to use a compost is likely best since you don't have soil tests (I assume) to properly balance your nutrients.  If you do use a fertilizer, something low and balanced would be best (10-10-10 or lower for example).
I just got my soil test for the veg garden back so I can amend that accurately but in no way will reflect this patch because of added tons( literally) of compost to the garden. The ph is probably close though because until now I haven't limed in a few years and I tested unlimed soil. The ph is 6.1 which I think is fine for barley. The fertilizer was very low organic fertilizer, like 3-5-5 or something. It makes sense that growing too dense or too much N would cause lodging as density would make each plant try to get tall fast to compete for sunlight.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on June 29, 2014, 12:30:32 AM
Those of you who have grown barley, when did it head and how tall was it? Mine is heading after a little less than 60 days. The 2 row is 12-18 inches tall and is pretty much all headed and the 6 row is uniformly about 12 inches tall and starting to head. i kinda expected it to head when it was maybe 2 1/2- 3 feet tall. It looks great in that it looks healthy, bright color, hearty looking, but I'm a bit worried because the amount of sunlight per day and overall fertility is marginally ok.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: morticaixavier on June 29, 2014, 02:52:37 PM
I planted in the fall and harvested in the spring so I imagine it's a different thing. I also suspect that rain and sub will play a major roll in how tall the grass gets. As long as it's working wouldn't worry about it.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on June 29, 2014, 09:45:09 PM
I planted in the fall and harvested in the spring so I imagine it's a different thing. I also suspect that rain and sub will play a major roll in how tall the grass gets. As long as it's working wouldn't worry about it.
Yea, it otherwise looks healthy. I suppose what really matters as far as size goes is the final size of the barley kernels. Also I figure shorter barley= less lodging.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: BrewArk on July 01, 2014, 04:17:29 PM
The shorter the plant, equals less lodging seems intuitive.  However, my experience has been that if a mature plant gets too much water, it is more likely to lodge.  Watch your irrigation at this point.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on July 07, 2014, 02:21:52 AM
The shorter the plant, equals less lodging seems intuitive.  However, my experience has been that if a mature plant gets too much water, it is more likely to lodge.  Watch your irrigation at this point.
I haven't provided any irrigation since it got established. We did get a lot of rain a few days ago. Its looking good though, the kernels are getting plump.
Title: Re: Growing your own
Post by: pete b on July 30, 2014, 06:29:04 PM
I harvested my 2row yesterday, the 6 row has another week or so. I tied the cut plants into bundles and stood up against each other to dry in the sunny dry few days that are predicted. The yield isn't what i hoped for due to weeds and a bit too much shade but I still have plenty to experiment with. ASAP I will till the plot, add compost, plant clover for fall bee forage and green manure then in late fall till that in and plant winter rye as ground cover. In early spring I'll plant another cover crop then till lightly, thoroughly remove any remaining weeds and plant a new crop, assuming this years threshing/malting/kilning proves all this feasible. Also this fall I plan on preparing another area for rye, wheat, etc. I'm also cutting down a lot of trees to allow for more sunlight and air flow.