Can you grow cereal ingredients in your garden? Yes you can! We won’t leave you wondering, you are completely able to grow cereal ingredients in your backyard, which is great news!
And seeing as thought it's National Cereal Day (March 7th), keen gardeners like yourself are already likely thinking ahead and considering to dabble in growing your own grains. You will need to plan where and how you’re going to do it.
In your garden you will be able to grow cereal grains such as:
You can grow these without any special equipment or machinery and you don’t need much space to grow them either.
Planting Your Cereal Ingredients
Planting your grains is really easy and should just be approached like you’re planting any other vegetable or fruit. Raised beds are the most ideal home for grains, but any decent patch will do, you could even try growing them in a grow bag or very small area to experiment before preparing a larger space for them.
When preparing the ground to plant them, make sure the soil is well drained but moist, and worked through to remove any stones or clumps. Then sprinkle your seeds by hand over your patch – you’re aiming to sow around 30-35 seeds per square foot.
Following this you need to lightly rake the soil so that the seeds are spread across the top 2 inches of the ground. Once this is done you can sprinkle loose mulch over the top to keep the moisture in and to keep weeds at bay.
The time in which you plant your grains will depend on the type you choose as each have different seasonal planting requirements. How often you water them, the PH of the soil and various other requirements are also determined by the grain you are growing.
Certain grains do require a little more planning or effort, but they are all easily grown if you’re willing to put the time in.
Unlike vegetables which you harvest when ripe, cereal grains need harvesting about a week before they are ripe. The head of the grain should be a green colour, or just turning yellow from green.
If you’re still unsure, pinch a kernel and it should not squash but dent with your pinch.Cut stalks at ground level and tie them up into bunches. Hang them in a dry place to cure which will take around 2 weeks.
Preparing your grains for cereal is where a lot of the effort comes in. Thrashing, soaking, milling – there’s a lot to do to get the cereal ready. However, the pleasure you get from doing this and from eating your own delicious home grown cereal grains is huge, making the whole process completely worth it!
If you do think growing your own cereal grains seems like too much work, why not focus on growing your own fruit in your back garden to add to store-bought cereals. Growing them is easy, and preparing them is very easy – just pick, wash and serve!