Barley cover crop seeds are fast-growing grass that contains fibrous roots. Interested in planting barley seeds? Here is everything you need to know:

Prepare For Planting

You will need loose, weed-free soil and will have to spread a thin layer of compost before planting barley. Soil should not be in a set spot in your yard, and any weeds or grass must be removed from your plot by hand or using a rototiller. 


This process can be done by broadcasting or direct seeding. Broadcasting is not easy and may not work very well because barley seeds will need good contact with soil, which can be hard to achieve after throwing seeds around randomly. Additionally, birds enjoy eating seeds and laying them out for them is basically an invitation for them to come and eat. Planting in lines is a better idea, and you can do this by hand by making a furrow with a stick and placing barley seeds in the little valley, after which you can cover the seeds with soil. You can also use a seeder if you prefer an upgraded method.

Know When To Plant

Early spring is ideal as barley generally requires around 90 days from planting to harvest. The earlier you get it in, the easier it will be. 

Be Aware Of Growing Season

When growing grain, work is required during planting and harvest, although you won’t have to do much all summer. You may need to weed once or twice early on to give your barley a head start in establishing itself, although after a month, there’s not much else you’ll have to do. Barley does need water, but excessive amounts can be damaging. More frequent watering is a must if you experience a dry summer, but if there is consistent rain throughout the summer, you will not have to water. Stroll through your yard often in May, June and July to monitor your barley crop. 


When you notice your grain heads are no longer upright and are hanging down, it means you are approaching harvest. There are different ways to check if it is dry enough, and the grain must be hard, and you should not be able to dent a kernel with your fingernail. You can also cut a stalk to check if the center is hollow. Delaying harvest can be problematic, and home growers can harvest the grain at a higher moisture content and then let it dry down further. Harvesting earlier is better than doing it later when working on such a small scale. You can use scissors or a knife to cut the straw at the base of the stalk.


Ready to start growing barley? Fabian Seed Farms has everything you need. We carry barley seeds and serve every community in Alberta. Contact us today to find out more!