Learn how to grow spelt in this article. Planting and Growing spelt is easier in temperate climates. It is more winter hardy than conventional wheat varieties and also tolerates poor conditions well.
USDA Zones— 5 – 8
Other Names— Triticum Spelta, Dinkel wheat, Hulled wheat, Spelt, Spelt wheat, Espelta, Blé des Gaulois, Epeautre, Dinkel Spelt, Spelz, Spelta
Spelt (Triticum Spelta) is a plant belongs to the grass family. This rustic looking subspecies of wheat is resistant to diseases. Though it is is not widely grown, but it is of great interest in organic farming.
It adapts well to cold climates and thrives in various soil types: sandy, wet, poor and non-draining. It is less demanding for nutrients and more competitive against weeds than wheat. Making it an interesting cereal crop for mountain areas.
How to Grow Spelt
The seeds are sown in rows, optimum distance between rows is about 18 – 20 cm apart. The seeds are buried 3 cm deep and spaced about 5 to 8 cm. To avoid competition with weeds, it is important not to plant too early in the season.
Seed Sowing Density for Growing Spelt
The best time for sowing is identical to that of wheat. The seeding density is recommended about 200-300 seeds per sqm, corresponding to 150-180 kg of seed per hectare.
Spelt exists in two varieties – Winter and Spring.
Requirements for Growing Spelt
Spelt grows similar to wheat but it is more winter hardy. Growing spelt in full sun is required for productivity and healthy growth.
For optimum growth, spelt must be grown in soil that is good, ie. Humus, rich in nutrients, with a pH close to neutral. Prepare soil similar to wheat. This grain also grows in soil types that are low in nutrients, poorly drained or sandy.
Keep the soil moist after planting until the germination of seeds. Once sprouted, it doesn’t require too much watering. Water only in hot and dry days. More regularly, if you live in a warmer zone.
Weed the soil before planting and remove competitive weeds time to time.
Fertilizer requirements are similar to winter wheat. Excess nitrogen can cause lodging in spelt.
Pests and Diseases
As spelt is a subspecies of wheat, most of the pests and diseases are similar. It is recommended to select the most resistant varieties that are tolerant to pests and diseases.
Harvesting is done at the same time as wheat or slightly later for returns ranging from 20 to 45 t / ha.