Oats are one of those things that make you feel like you’re doing something good for your body, even if they just taste like mush. But have you ever wondered how to grow oats? Well, we’ve got answers! In this article, we’ll cover all the basics of how to grow oats, when to plant them, and why to grow your own.
Let’s get started!
Before learning how to grow oats, learn more about this plant!
Oats are versatile food that can be served in a variety of ways. They’re great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they’re also great when used in baked goods like cookies and muffins.
Oats are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat because they’re high in:
All these nutrients are essential in keeping your heart healthy.
The best part about oats is that they’re easy to cook. You can make them in the microwave or on the stovetop! If you want to eat them cold from a container in your fridge or freezer, all you need to do is add water, milk, or yogurt before serving!
There are different varieties of oats available such as:
1. Hull-less oats
This variety takes 100 to 200 days to achieve maturity and is also called naked oats.
Hull-less oats are a good option if you have trouble digesting grains or don’t like eating grains at all. They’re gluten-free, so they’re safe for people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
They’re also higher in protein than other oats, making them an excellent choice if you need something to keep you full throughout the day.
2. Common oats
Common oats take 100 to 120 days to reach maturity and thrive in acidic soil. This is perfect as cover crops.
Common oats are used in breakfast cereals, granola bars, and other snack foods. They have a coarser texture than regular oat groats and are often more affordable than their more premium counterparts.
Common oats are also great for baking because they have a lower fat content than other oats. They can be used in recipes like cookies, cakes, and muffins.
3. Forage oats
This variety is fully matured between 49 to 56 days.
Forage oats are a hardy winter variety perfect as a cover crop too. This variety is also disease resistant and has a softer stem than common oats.
4. Black oats
Black oats, also called Avena Strigosa, originally came from and were grown in Scotland for humans. It’s the perfect cover and food crop if you want to grow it. This variety is also called Japanese oats.
Since oats are a wonderful addition to your diet, you might wonder how to grow oats for easy access. And the next section is all about it!
How to grow oats in your yard?
If you have a space in your garden and want to learn how to grow oats in a spacious environment, here’s what you need to do.
Find a location in your yard that receives the utmost sunlight. You also need to ensure that the soil in the areas is well-draining. This is because oats don’t like overly moist soil.
Work on the soil. You can use a spade, hoe, and shovel to remove weeds, grass, and compacted soil. In this step, you need to loosen the soil by about 6 inches. But if you don’t have enough time to do it, just ensure that the plot has no weeds lingering and rake it thoroughly.
You must sow your oat seeds directly in the soil during early spring. Oats are a late summer crop and before you purchase seeds from the shop, check if it’s ideal for planting during fall or spring. You can plant 2 to 3 pounds of oats for every 1000 sq ft of the plot.
Just scatter your oat seeds lightly in a fanning motion. You can target two seeds per square inch and sow them using a crank-type seeder.
Cover the oat seeds using a small amount of dirt. You can just rake it and ensure that the seeds are covered with at least 2 inches of soil. Water it lightly after raking.
How to grow oats in a pot?
You can still use pots if you don’t have space to grow oats. Here’s how to grow oats in a pot.
- Choose a potting soil with a pH level between 6 to 7.
- Mix and blend about half of a tablespoon of slow-release balanced fertilizer per gallon of container capacity in your potting soil.
- Fill your pot with the potting soil.
- Water your potting soil lightly until it is damp.
- You can now plant your oat seeds one inch deep with ¼ inches of space between each other.
- Press the oat seeds into the soil.
- Cover lightly with a damp potting mix.
- Place your pot in full sun and ensure that your oats will receive 6 hours of sunlight.
- Water whenever the soil feels dry.
Tips on how to grow oats
Learning how to grow oats are simple. But you need to equip yourself with the right information before getting your hands dirty. Here are some of our best tips for growing oats, regardless of your chosen method.
- Make sure to plant oat seeds in a garden area in rows.
- Give the seeds 4 to 6 inches of space between them.
- Keep your seedbed damp but not overly moist.
- You can spread 3 inches of loose straw on your seedbed. This type of mulch will help conserve soil humidity.
- Choose the right variety of oats for your climate. Oats are frost-sensitive, so look for varieties specifically bred for your area’s climate zone.
- The best time of year to plant oats is during the spring or early summer when the weather is warm enough for the seeds to germinate quickly.
- Prep your soil by adding compost or manure in the fall before planting time rolls around again next spring.
- Once your seeds have sprouted into seedlings, water them regularly to stay moist but never wet, which can cause mold growth.
Challenges in growing oats
Growing oats is not a walk in the park. Here are some of the challenges you might face when growing oats.
Oat seeds are large, so they tend to be less prone to weeds than small-seeded crops. This is a benefit, but it can also be challenging if you want to grow oats organically. You’ll need to use non-toxic weed killers or keep them under control with mulch or cover crops.
Oats are susceptible to disease, especially powdery mildew, which can quickly ruin an entire crop if not controlled early on. To prevent this disease from affecting your oats, you’ll need to rotate planting locations regularly and use resistant varieties of oats when possible.
Some pests like aphids and Japanese beetles can damage your crop if left unchecked, but most problems with pests can be avoided by using natural pest controls like ladybugs or beneficial insects instead of chemical pesticides.
Grow your oats today!
Oats are a great crop for beginners, and they’re a good way to get started with organic gardening. They’re easy, they grow fast, and they provide a lot of nutrients in your diet. You can start growing your own oats as soon as the ground thaws, and you’ll be enjoying your own homegrown oatmeal in no time.