I have received a small amount of Sepp's semi perennial Russian rye. I planted it on Sept. 25th 2015 on a poor soil, compacted hill side.
Here's a photo diary of the progress. I'm somewhat new to grain so I don't know when is best to harvest seed but, since the stalks look and feel completely dead & dry, I'm assuming now(probably earlier) is the time to cut & store the seeds.
Please give me some advice.
Unfortunately I didn't learn till too late that I could cut it prior to seed head formation in order to get a grass harvest from it & to stimulate more vigorous growth in the same season.
Well about 2 days ago I observed that the grains in the seed heads made a rattling sound when shaken so I knew it was time to harvest before they fell out, in fact they were so loose that unless I handled them carefully, the grain would fall out.
So I took some scissors & removed the heads and was left with some very fine straw.
Right now the seed heads are in a white plastic "burlap" feed bag in a dry 'out of direct sunlight' outdoor shed, up high so rodents hopefully can't get to.
Now the questions are:
- How best to store this grain for next years planting?
- Can some be replanted immediately?
depending on how many grains you have after you thresh it I would suggest something like a gallon glass jar or a coffee can with a lose lid. The key is to have it as dry as possible and to avoid drastic temperature differences between the grain and the outside world (to prevent condensation forming on the grain/container inside). considering the amount of grain you have I would just store it in a glass jar and open the lid a few times during the winter.
You could always try planting a little bit every week or so until late fall, experiments are fun!
I would definitely plant a patch out now! It would be really cool to see how it reacts to the fall planting. You'll likely get some volunteers in the location of this year's plot next spring, so make sure you keep an eye on that area next fall to harvest more seed. I don't know that I would even bother threshing it, but it might be worth testing germination with and without threshing. Congratulations on a successful crop of that coveted grain! I hope you have good luck keeping it going...
It places minimal demands on the soil and is sowed around Johannis Day (24 June). The young cereal plants are subsequently grazed (or also mowed) which promotes stocking. After stocking, the plants develop over winter and then form heads relatively early in spring.
So basically, it is a winter rye... but sown in spring. The mowing prevents it from flowering so that it doesn't die off the first year -- and then it is allowed to reach maturity in the second year and produce. Much of the reason ryes were cultivated like this (Waldstauden, and a similar Norwegian variety called Svedjerug Tvensberg) was for purposes of weed control, stacking of functions in terms of providing animal fodder, and to synchronize nicely with the correct seasons for burning. From what I can tell, they aren't fundamentally different than a simple winter rye.
If you plant it now (fall 2016), you could probably get a yield in spring 2017, but not as good of a yield as if you plant in spring 2017 and harvest in spring 2018. But you will probably get a heavier total yield if you can harvest in spring 2017, turn around and immediately plant a larger area. Basically, you can probably get another growing season.
As always with rare seed, though, it would be wise to reserve some in storage in case some disaster occurs to the crop.
Speaking of rare seed, holy moly good job finding those seeds!!! I've been trying and failing to track some of that down. Is there any possible way you can share some? I'd be glad to purchase some, or trade you any of the perennial grain varieties I've managed to track down so far. You can see a list of my seeds and projects at http://jasonpadvorac.com/perennial-grains/