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Oat Harvest_When?

 
Posts: 210
Location: Hardiness Zone 5
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I could use some help.
I'm growing some oats and would like to know when would be the proper time to harvest them.
They are drying up & turning tan now. The thing is, the hulls seem empty and am wondering what's going on.
This is the first time I've grown any grain.

Check out the pics and tell me where you I'm at.

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pollinator
Posts: 356
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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I am also growing my oats for the 1st time, they seem to have all grains inside (they are hulless oats), but their yields seem to be fairly low. Only 4-6 seeds per stem.

They were planted very densely. So I guess that could compensate for their low yield. I have 1m2 so I am curious to see how much I will harvest.
Also in my case I did not care much for the soil. I only till it a bit, and add a bit of compost and seaweed. I hope that soil fertility increases in those new beds over time.



The other spot I am growing oats in in a spot with few hours of sun per day. Because it is forest edge. They are 2 weeks behind the sunny spot, but are now heading and producing also 4-6 seeds per stem, despite the shade. Anyways this summer has been amazingly poor, with almost no sunny weather, and cold temperature (July has been around 5-13ÂșC)

 
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The larger outside bracts are the glumes and they should enclose typically 2 seeds,. If they seeds appear empty, they probably are, perhaps disease. When ripe the oats will be plump and the main stem, the glumes and the enclosed seeds will all turn a light tan color.
 
steward
Posts: 5051
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I'm struggling with timing my oat harvest as well (hulless streaker oats).  I have 4 beds planted and one seems to be drier than the other three.  The oats are plump but solid/chewy when I test them.  None would crack in two if I bent them.  So I'm thinking its too early.  Is there a risk in waiting too long?  Will they drop on their own if I let them get too ripe?  And if I do harvest them now, can I just spread them out on a tarp to dry for a few days to finish them off?  Thanks!
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Less ripe oats (more sparse as well)
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More ripe row of oats
 
Posts: 28
Location: Central NY, Eastern Edge of Oneida Co. ,Town of Trenton
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I've never tried hulless oats so I'm not sure of when/if they will shatter but timing your harvest really depends on what the weather is going to do the next few days. The drier ones look like they are done and provided that you can get them dry enough after you harvest they should be fine.

Hmmm a tarp will work if you turn the oats during the day so they dry evenly, depending on your climate you may have to cover them from the dew.

I like to hang small bunches to dry in a barn/dry room but you may have a bit much for that unless your ok with having your house smell like a hayloft
 
Mike Jay Haasl
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Thanks William!  I have rain in the forecast for Thursday so it sounds like I should take a shot at harvesting them Wednesday.  I'll try the Sustainable Seed Co website approach of slapping bunches of oats against the inside of a garbage can to shake loose the oats.  Then I'll spread them in the screen porch for drying.
 
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