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Thread: Why is my wheat yellow and drooping?

  1. #1

    Default Why is my wheat yellow and drooping?

    In S.E. Michigan I planted a 10ft x 10ft wheat patch on June 15. It took 1 week for it to sprout. This is just a bag of wheat we had in the cupboard. No idea if it is winter, summer or what. To prepare the patch I scraped off the grass and then added about 3 inches of top soil, which I learned later develops a hard crust when it dries out. This is just a practice patch. At about 5 weeks I noticed clumps of the wheat were drooping as if a rabbit was in there over night. The stems are not bent, they are just drooping. I also noticed that the color was truning to yellowish in a mottled pattern. By now the whole pached is drooping and yellowish. We has tons of rain 2 and 3 weeks ago for days. When it wasn't rainy I watered the patch...not soaked, just wetted. The nights have been in the 50s to low 60s for the past 2-3 week and the days have been in the low 70s to the mid 80s.
    Any idea whats going on?


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    What did your soil test show? Can you pull the wheat easily from the soil? Where does the yellowing occur? On the older parts of the plant, newer parts, tips, the whole plant? A pic would be reeeeeeaaally helpful.

  3. #3

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    Can't find my camera. Yellowing is on whole plant. Didn't test soil. I'd say they don't pull out real easy. Root system is small. The roots are maybe an inch or so long>

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You are probably dealing one of two things. Either a soil deficiency or a viral infection. Since this is a very small patch it makes it much harder to tell. You might take a sample to your county extension service. Take a few plants, roots and all. You might be dealing with a nitrogen deficiency, which can cause yellowing or a disease.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    What kind of top soil?.....From where?
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  6. #6

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    Did you till in the topsoil or just leave it laying on top of what might be hard pan or who knows what all else. 3" of dirt is not enough if the rain is running through it and it's baking on top of whatever you have there. The roots being only an inch long seems to suggest you didn't do any tilling. Wheat roots should be about a foot long, or more.
    Topsoil from where, indeed.
    Any organic matter added? Compost? Manure?
    Something not rotted enough that maybe ate all the nitrogen? I've killed a whole bed of plants by adding manure that had too much live wood shavings in it. Everything turned yellow and sputtered out.
    pH?
    Did you do any fertilizing?
    Was the topsoil or the grass you dug up treated at any time with a weed killer?
    If the seed is something you had sitting in the cupboard, I'm kinda surprised it came up at all. It may have been genetically damaged if ever overheated or if it is just plain old. Yeah you hear stories of wheat 100s of years old sprouting. These stories are more myth than truth.
    Last edited by LowKey; 07-30-2017 at 07:50 PM.
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  7. #7

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    I'll assume that my soil is bad. I am getting a rototiller next week and I will be putting in a real garden. In the meantime I want to get my soil tested. I see the county extension charges about $25. I would rather get a home do-it-yourself kit. Can you tell me what kind to get and where to get it? And anything else I need to know.
    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
    I'll assume that my soil is bad. I am getting a rototiller next week and I will be putting in a real garden. In the meantime I want to get my soil tested. I see the county extension charges about $25. I would rather get a home do-it-yourself kit. Can you tell me what kind to get and where to get it? And anything else I need to know.
    Thanks.
    Pay the money...you get a test and recommendations from people that know.

    Home kits are not real definitive or detailed.
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    Most seeds for growing crops has been prepared and treated for such activity. If this is just a bag of wheat you had laying around in the pantry, there's no telling what you're trying to grow. Different strains of wheat grow in different areas and while there is some crossover there are a lot of strains that are not.

    I would.

    1. Google "How to grow wheat in my back yard". There will likely be 250,000,000 you tube videos on how to do it.

    2. Go down to the local feed and seed store and ask the old man behind the counter what kind of wheat the farmers in the area grow. Plant that according to what you find out when you Google "How to plant wheat".

    3. Grain crops need water and fertilizer while growing and somewhat dryer conditions while maturing. In order to preserve your crop you also have to be able to determine do some degree the moisture content of the seed when harvesting.

    4. Saved seed rarely breeds true so you take a chance on a years crop if you save your seed rather than buy your seed from someone who raises the crop specifically for seed. Most crops are very hybridized and if the grain you get is even viable it may not make another crop. If you want to save your own seed then perhaps look into some heirloom varieties and study up on how to save your own seed.

    Alan

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Pay the money. The test you get back will tell you precisely what needs to be amended, how much needs to be applied and when it needs to be applied. It will tell you what options you have for amendments and which of those options will serve you best based on your particular needs. Realize it may recommend a 12-12-12 fertilizer or it may recommend something much more detailed. I have had both results returned in different soil tests for different locations. Glad I paid every time. What good will it do to invest your time and money in a garden if the kit is no good and nothing grows? All your time and money will be wasted.

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    If you want your garden to flourish, it will be well worth the $25.
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    I think this might explain why your wheat is bending toward the ground:

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-...t-zmaz10fmzraw

    But I don't know, I have never grown wheat. Although, if I do, there's this one site I've been meaning to order from and I think you'll like this:

    http://www.sherckseeds.com/pages/seeds/grains/wheat/

    A person on YT recommended to me this website when I mentioned I'd like to grow Japanese Mountain Yam.
    Last edited by Rollicks; 08-03-2017 at 06:42 AM.

  13. #13
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Well I'll be diggered. Those guys are on the Michi-Indiana border not all that far from me. Thanks!!!

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