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How to get started with rye in Colorado?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
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So let's say I have an acre with unirrigated grass and weeds growing, and 50 pounds of cereal rye. Let's also say I have a access to a light tractor.

How should I proceed with as little work as possible to establish the rye such that it will outcompete the weeds and provide a crop?

I already know it will grow here with no fertilizer and little water, and no attention, while still producing a crop; I planted in October, watered twice, and then left it till August, at which point I had a dense weed stopping stand that had went to seed nicely.
 
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TO:     Gilbert Fritz
FROM:     Eric Koperek = erickoperek@gmail.com
SUBJECT:     Minimal Effort Cereal Rye (Secale cereale)
DATE:     PM 7:18 Monday 1 August 2016
TEXT:

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXACTLY!

(1)     Broadcast rye at 3 bushels per acre into standing vegetation.

(2)     Broadcast Dutch White Clover (Trifolium repens) at 12 to 14 pounds per acre into standing vegetation.

(3)     Mow immediately with a sickle-bar mower to cover and protect rye and clover seed.  Do not use flail mower, rotary mower, forage chopper, or common lawn mower for this operation.  Sickle-bar mower leaves weeds and grasses whole = in big, long pieces.  Other mowers chop plants into little bits.  Chopped plants do not provide sufficient protection for germinating seeds.

(4)     Irrigate if possible or wait for rain.

(5)     Sow & Mow works best with fall planted grains like winter wheat, winter barley, and winter rye.

(6)     For best results use pelleted seed for surface planting.  Clay coating deters ants, rodents, and birds from eating seeds.  If pelleted seed is not available broadcast common seed at maximum rates as described above.

(7)     Alternatively:  Sow rye & clover into standing vegetation.  Mow weeds & grasses with flail mower, rotary mower, forage chopper, or common lawn mower to chop vegetation into small pieces.  Immediately rototlill 2 inches deep.  Make 1 pass only.  Use a rototiller with forward-rotating rear tines.  Do not use a rototiller with front tines or a rototiller with contra-rotating (backward rotating) rear tines.  Your field will look awful and trashy but will produce a good crop if you have rain or irrigation.

(     Sow, Mow & Rototill disturbs the topsoil about as much as one-pass farming with a no-till planter.  Most folks can buy a rototiller.  Only big farmers can afford modern no-till planters.

ERIC KOPEREK = erickoperek@gmail.com

end comment



 
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