Learn how to grow rye in this informative guide. Planting and growing rye is similar to other cereal crops or, even more, easier. It is more hardy and tolerant of exploits of weather.
USDA Zones — *More suitable for temperate zones
Difficulty — Easy
Other Names — Ballico, Cernilton, Cernitin, Extrait de Pollen d’Ivraie, Extrait de Pollen de Plante Herbacée, Grass Pollen, Grass Pollen Extract, Ivraie, Pollen d’Ivraie, Pollen de Plante Herbacée, Raygrás, Ray-Grass, Rye, Rye Grass Pollen, Rye Grass Pollen Extract, Secale cereale.
Information and Uses
Rye is an annual plant that belongs to the family of grasses (such as millet or barley). Although its origin is unclear, it is believed that this plant comes from Anatolia (Modern Turkey) and was introduced to Europe by the Romans some 2000 years ago.
To know about medicinal uses and effects of rye, read this article
How to Grow Rye
Rye cultivation is easy. It is one of the most resistant crops, able to adapt to different soil types and cold and rainy weather.
In detail, it tolerates acidic and sandy soils, and is resistant to low temperatures down to 22 F (-30 C) and drought and can grow on heights of 3,000 meters above sea level.
The cultivation of rye has declined significantly over the years, perhaps because it has always been considered as poor cereal.
Sometimes, wheat crops are mixed with rye. Such crops are also used in some areas to increase productivity in harsh climates because rye protects wheat from extreme cold.
Seed Sowing and Planting Rye
Rye is sown in the fall. The ground must be tilled before winter. Seeds are sown 1 in. deep, distanced 6 or 7 in. in rows. Once seeds are sown, it is necessary to settle the soil with deep watering.
Requirements for Planting and Growing Rye
Rye is one of most resistant cereals, it tolerates temperature down to -22 F (-30 C), so loss due to frost are less. The most preferred temperature from seed sowing to emergence is around 50 – 55 F (10 – 13 C).
Growing rye is possible on all soil types but it grows best in the well-drained and fertile soil. Optimum soil pH level is around 5.5 - 7.0.
Growing rye requires moderate watering. With its powerful, highly-developed root system and smaller foliage than other cereals, rye can be grown in less water.
During its cycle, rye is low maintenance. However, here are a few basic things you need to care for when growing rye.
Unlike other grains, rye is more hardy and aggressive, which makes it insensitive to the competition of “weeds”. However, it may be necessary weed at the time of an excessive invasion.
The best practice to determine the doses of fertilizer is to find out the abundance of nutrients in soil by doing a soil test.
The amount of fertilizer depends on the variety and soil test. Doses of nitrogen are up to 80 kg/ha is used in two parts, ie. 60% in the beginning of vegetation, and the remaining in the third phase of internode elongation. Doses higher than that should be divided into three parts.
If the plantation is strongly bushy and dense, nitrogen dose must be reduced by about 20%. The doses of fertilizers P and K must be at the level of 30-110 kg / ha.
Pest and Diseases
Though less frequently than wheat, but rye is attacked by European wheat stem sawfly (Cephus pygmaeus) and rarely by Mayetiola. It can also be affected by nematodes, rye stem rust, and leaf rust. Other serious diseases are anthracnose and ergot.
To know about how to harvest rye, read this article.