Growing Tips for Barley

By Marie | February 27, 2012

Korea Barley

I couldn’t have said it better. The good folks over at Heirloom Organics have a “How to Grow Barley” guide. They’ve got all the information you need in a nice easy to follow format. Here are the highlights:

  • Barley grows best in cool ground–ideal temperatures are close to freezing.
  • Summer barley is different.  For winter barley, early-to-mid-October is the best time to plant. For spring barley, plant at the first of the year.
  • Plant the seeds in rows ensuring that there are twenty to twenty-five seeds per ft^sq of space.
  • Grow barley as you would wheat–some varieties are spring planted and some are fall planted. Barley ripens sooner than wheat ,though, so you’ve got to watch out.  Spring-planted barley ripens in 60 to 70 days, fall-planted barley about 60 days after growth begins. Barley fits well into a double-cropping scheme and a variety of crop rotations.
  • Barley is harvested the same as wheat: cut, bundled and shocked to dry. Wear a shirt when harvesting barley as the awns can irritate your skin. Barley may be stored in the bundle and fed to stock without threshing.
  • Keep out weeds by weeding by hand for a small crop. An application of herbicide may be necessary for a large crop to keep out the weeds.
  • Barley does not require too much watering. Too much watering can lead to decomposition.
  • As always, pick the best workwear possible when planting to minimize chaffing and discomfort.  We prefer Dickies Workwear…but Carhartt Clothing works as well.


  • 1 – 2 days, 34F to 36F
  • 2 Years
  • Well Drained
  • Full Sun
  • 20 – 25 seeds sq. ft.
  • 10″ to 12″ apart
  • 40 – 55

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