Monthly Archives: June 2013
Here’s what’s happening- I didn’t follow my own advice. I put too much nitrogen in the soil in the spring and I was so concerned that I wouldn’t get a good germination rate that I overseeded. The result of all this overcompensating is lodging. This is when the barley grows so fast and tall that the stem can’t support the grain head and it falls over. Sometimes it can be only temporary and the stalks will straighten out again. Even if they don’t and the stem isn’t broken the heads can still ripen but they may ripen unevenly and they might get moldy. The worst case scenario is that with the heads so close to the ground they are subject to any rat, mouse or bird that happens to find them and surprise, surprise they found them. I couldn’t say how much I’ve lost so far maybe 5-10% but it looks as though any heads that have come close to the ground are gone and all that is left is the stem. I’ve also found lots of evidence of mice tunnels and little piles of stored barley seeds. I’m estimating that I can harvest in 3 weeks if there’s any left!