Barley grows best in a site that has good drainage and high oxygen (well-ventilated). The soil should not contain too many nutrients because this will make barley leggy, and it will lose its compact shape. Do not sow seeds on spots where earlier attempts to grow this plant have failed. Diseases or other affecting elements may still be in the ground.
Procure barley seed from a farm supply store or order from the internet. Obtain seeds that are known to have high germination rates and are certified to be weed-free.
Barley can be grown in winter or spring. Planting barley early in the season increases your chances for a good crop.
If you want to plant during winter, October is the recommended time to grow your barley. On the other hand, if you want to plant barley during springtime, the best time to plant is January. Winter barley sprouts with many long stems and flower heads. Spring barley doesn’t have seed heads.
The ideal temperature for growing barley is close to freezing. So, plant the barley in cool ground. Plant the seeds so that there are 20-25 barley plants in every square foot. There should be a distance of 20 inches between the rows.
Barley starts to sprout in 24 hours. While waiting for the barley to mature, weed the area. You may want to use an herbicide if you have planted a big quantity of barley; however, you can manage weeding by hand if you planted only a small patch. Barley does not need too much water as it may lead to decomposition.
You will know that the barley has arrived at its maturity when it’s brittle and golden in color. The plant will easily move with the wind and will be similar to wheat. The time frame from planting to harvesting is 40-55 days. By this time, the barley should be cut.
The manner of harvesting the barley depends on how you plan to use it. If the barley is for human consumption, cut the barley manually. If you planted the barley for animal feed, you can use a machine to aid you in this task. If you are malting it (using it to make beer and other alcohol), other tools will be are required.