Growing Non-GMO Winter Rye Cover Crop Garden Seeds
- Latin Name: Secale cereale
- Common Names: Common rye
- Winter Rye Hardiness Zones: 2-11, Annual
- Days to Maturity: 335 days (if sown in winter for spring germination)
- Winter Rye Seeding Rate: 2-4 lb per 1000 sq. ft
- Seed Planting Depth: Broadcast directly and lightly tamp
- Growth Habit: Non-GMO winter rye seeds mature into a classic 30-40" tall grassy wheat field grain
- Winter Rye Soil Benefits: Replenishes nitrogen into the soil, roots loosen soil to improve tilth, drainage, and weeds
- Grow Temp Preference: 35-65° F
- Garden Light Preference: Full sun
- Pests/Diseases/Troubleshooting: Non-GMO Secale cereale is a winter-hardy grain with no serious pests or diseases.
- Color: Classic light green field grain that turns to golden brown in summer and fall
- Winter Rye Mow: When growing as a cover crop, mow down winter rye before it begins to seed, tilling grass back into soil a month before sowing a new spring crop.
About Winter Rye Cover Crop Garden Seeds
Like many cereal grains, winter rye cover crop is popularly broadcasted directly in early spring, or early fall for second year maturity, intended to overwinter. For a traditional garden harvest, sow 2-3 heirloom winter rye cover crop seeds ½” deep and 2-3” apart in fertile, loamy, and well-drained garden soil in full sun. Non-GMO winter rye seeds germinate in 4-10 days, with no thinning required. Secale cereale is a winter-hardy grain with no serious pests or diseases. If sown to harvest rye grains and berries, the harvest winter rye when heads of seeds have become dried, hard, and heavy.
Depending on size of crop, anything from a pair of scissors to a scythe would work to cut down winter rye for drying. Using twine, bunch up loose rye into a bale, about the size of a bundle of wood. Allow winter rye cover crop to dry for 2-3 weeks before harvesting rye berries. Like many grains of the Triticeae family, heirloom winter rye berries can be milled, rolled, steel-cut, and boiled for nearly any occasion.
Winter Rye Benefits
Non-GMO winter rye is popularly grown as a cover crop for its ability to transfer nitrogen back into depleted soils. Heirloom winter rye seeds are also grown to break up heavy, clay-rich soils to bolster erosion control while allowing future spring crops, especially root vegetables, to experience no soil competition. Winter rye is also known to slow down the germination process of surrounding weeds and plants, a trait known as allelopathy, which provides a strong defense against weed growth, unwanted reseeding, and invasive species. Heirloom winter rye is more tolerant to drought than other cereal grains and can act as a "green manure" mulch biomass is tilled back into the soil for organic-rich spring garden soil.
Wholesale Non-GMO Winter Rye Cover Crop Seeds Per Package:
- 5 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 90,000 Seeds
- 25 lb - Bulk Seeds - Approximately 450,000 Seeds
Non-GMO Winter Rye cover crop seeds are available for Fast Free Shipping on orders over $45.