Wheat (Triticum Aestivum) is one of the world’s most important food crops. It is believed that wild relatives of wheat first grew in the Middle East. Wheat was among the first plants to be cultivated. It was grown about 11,000 years ago and by 4,000 B.C. wheat farming spread to Asia, Europe and North Africa.
New species of wheat were also later developed then only the best wheat qualities were passed from one generation to the next. Soon wheat became an important worldwide crop
They can be planted using seeds and the germination emerges between 4-5days and about 120days to harvest period (4months) with a life span of 30years and above.
Methods of Wheat Preparation
Prepare the area selected to grow wheat and smooth the soil with a rake. Dig long trenches using a shovel or rent a commercial wheat drill attached to a tractor to plow the field and dig long narrow furrows then Use a moderate quantity of a natural manure to fertilize the soil and ensure proper growth of the stalks.
Spread the seeds in the furrows you have made using a semi circular movement of your wrist or attach a grain drill to a tractor to plant the seeds. Also note that for a dry area, you will have to sprinkle a small quantity of seeds as heavily cultivated ones uses up the water in the ground more quickly.
Ensure to water the field two to three times during dry/summer season wheat crops planted during rainy season requires water only when the seeds are planted. It grows best in a dry climate and Monitor the field regularly.
Use a scythe to cut the kernels once the wheat stems turn yellow and the kernels are fully dried up or use a “combine” machine to cut off the crop in a neat quick manner.
Maintenance of Wheat
Ensure to water the seeds immediately after planting and once each month during the growing season. If your area gets a lot of rain, you might not need to water the plants at all.
Also place several plastic flags or streamers throughout your patch as the noise made by the plastic blowing in the breeze deters birds from landing and scares off any birds that are already in the field which will prevent birds from eating the seeds before they have an opportunity to sprout.
It is usually harvested from spring to early summer, depending on the weather. In order to test if the crop is matured for harvest, rub the head between your fingers and bite on a piece of grain. If the grain cracks in your mouth and becomes soft as you chew, it is ready to be harvested.
Ensure to prepare a place for your harvested wheat before you begin the harvest. If you plan to keep it on the farm, then choose a location away from livestock that is weather resistant.
Clear away anything that is left over from the last crop that was stored in the area. Keep the area cool and dry to maintain it’s freshness and keep away pests.
Check the sickle to make sure it is sharp enough for a clean cut and plan to harvest the highest quality wheat first. Save the fields that have many weeds for last, as the wheat yield is much lower. Take the freshly harvested ones to a local grain elevator as soon as possible after harvest.
Saving the Seeds
Collect seed heads as they dry on the plants and store in closed paper bags to finish drying because many of the seeds will shed naturally and Chaff easily blows away after seed heads are crumbled ensure to watch out for thorns or prickles in some plants.