When the day’s spike above 60°, we can’t wait to get outside and start yard work and landscaping. This also goes for our growers in Wyoming and Montana. Each year is slightly different, but for Wyoming barley growers field preparation and spring planting begins mid-to-late March and wraps up in April. In Montana, the barley season starts a little later, beginning in early-to-mid April.
Timing is essential to ensure the best crop with high yields is grown. Also around this time, each year Briess sends out packets of raw barley to breweries in states with climates suited for growing so they can have their own “Grow Your Own Barley” experience. These packets are a perfect for display planters outside of your brewery or for a small 3′ x 3′ patch in your garden.
When planting barley, it is best to sow it in early spring as soon as the ground has thawed and is ready to be worked. But you also want to ensure your soil is not over saturated with rain or snow melt, which can hinder the growing process. As a rule of thumb, barley likes dry, loamy soil – this is why it thrives in the arid regions of Wyoming and Montana. The second component to a successful crop is ample sunlight.
The rest is pretty easy, just follow these simple instructions to Grow Your Own Barley:
Barley Planting Instructions:
- For best results, start by pouring yourself a beer.
- Next, prepare a 3-square-foot planting area or large planter with healthy soil.
- Break time! Enjoy some hearty sips of your beer.
- Now evenly spread the seeds on the soil, about one grain per square-inch, and work in until the seeds are covered by one-half to one-inch of soil.
- Stand back, lean on your hoe and enjoy the rest of your beer.
- Now have a wonderful summer brewing beer and watching your barley grow.
Be on the lookout in late March for your brewery’s packet of raw barley from Briess. We would love to see your photos of barley, so be sure to share them on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with #BriessGYOB or email them to mercedes.hemmer@Briess.com.