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Sowing barley, rye and wildflower now

JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
Would they grow before winter sets in?

How will they look through autumn and winter?

Im thinking of growing out four sections of my lawn, expecting to cut them down in spring so just for winter interest.  I also understand with rye this may improve the soil they’re growing in as “green manure”.


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    I would sow the wildflowers at the end of September, but they need to be in bare soil (no grass) otherwise they wont germinate and grow well as they'll be swamped with the grass.

    the soil needs to be as poor as possible, the best way to get that is to trim the turf off down to a couple of inches (gets rid of both the grass, and any fertilizers in the top soil that you've put on it in the last five years or so)

    as for the rye and barley, best ask a farmer
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740
    As the daughter and sister of farmers (and an ex Young Farmer and smallholder) I would say it's possible to sow some varieties of barley and rye in the autumn but they will be more susceptible to fungal/bacterial conditions due to damp and cold conditions.  As for how it'll look ...  it'll look like 'grass' a few inches tall ... how tall depends on how soon you sow it and how long the mild growing conditions continue through the autumn ... it won't grow during the coldest months ... it'll start growing again when the milder spring weather turns up ... then it'll be time to cut them down and dig them in.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Yesterday Monty was advocating sowing green manures now. I will try this for the first time - red clovers.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Hmm, not really worth it for a few inches then.

    Maybe I’ll put in some decorative grasses or raised beds instead.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,367
    You need to buy Winter Barley seed. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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