I get this question quite often and from people all around the country. Generally there are "winter" and "spring" types of grains. Winter grains needing a period of cold to head up correctly or what is called vernalization. However, there is some regionally specific information. You need to know this information. What grows for me here in Coastal California in the spring may not at all work for you in Iowa. The people that do know are your local county Agricultural Extension Agents.
However, even then these folks don't have all the answers. Sometimes people live in unique micro-climates like we do here on the coast. We don't follow the same planting advice UC Davis gives because it doesn't work for us. So experiment, learn what works for you and share that knowledge with your neighbors when you have the chance. Local gardening clubs and community gardens are a perfect format for this.
In the Southern United States you will discover that things like spring planted barley will fail because the weather heats up too quickly before the grain heads can develop. Barley, for instance does not like heat. The solution? Plant in November. The will give the barley the time it needs in cool weather and should head up nicely by March.
This is how easily the kernel breaks free from the chaff. You will find a value from 1-10 on our seed descriptions. 1 being the easiest and 10 the hardest to thresh by hand.
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