How To Harvest Oats At Home

If you are thinking about expanding your home garden and are thinking about growing your own oats, then you may want to consider learning about how to harvest oats at home. If you are growing your own oats or are thinking about it, for whatever reason, then the next logical step is to harvest the and enjoy the results of your hard work.

Growing your own oats can be a fun activity and is certainly a satisfying one, once you get to see the final result; after you’ve provided proper care in order for your oats to thrive, harvesting needs to be conducted with care and a few key steps need to be considered.

As intimidating as it may sound, harvesting oats can be done by anyone, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps and make sure you have the right tools for the job. Continue reading as we tell you all about how to harvest oats at home.

How To Harvest Oats FAQ’s

Can oats be grown at home?

Oat seeds should be sown in a place where enough water and sunlight are available. Make sure that seeds are covered with inch-thick soil. This will prevent the birds from digging out the seeds before they could germinate.

Is it hard to grow oats at home?

Further caring for backyard oat crops is minimal. There is no need to weed and the denseness of the crop would make it futile to attempt anyway. Within 45 days or so, the green kernels atop the grain stalks should be turning from green to cream-colored and the oats will be between 2 to 5 feet (0.6 to 1.5 m.) tall.

Tip to grow oats at home:

  • Sow seeds outdoors in a sunny area with well-draining soil. Just broadcast them over a well-cultivated area. Try to get them fairly evenly distributed.
  • Once the seeds have been broadcasted, lightly rake over the area. The goal here is to cover the seeds with an inch (2.5 cm.) or so of soil, so the birds don’t get to them before they can germinate.
  • Once you have sown the oat seed, keep the area moist while your homegrown oat grains germinate. Continue to provide irrigation as they grow since oats like more moisture than most other grains.

How do you harvest homegrown oats?

The kernel should still be soft and easily dented with a fingernail. To harvest the oats, cut the seed heads from the stalks as high up as possible. Higher up is better, as you will have less straw to mess with when threshing the grains.

How do you know when oats are ready to harvest?

Oat is ready to swath when the panicle has turned yellow or brown and the least mature kernels have turned a cream color. Oat left too long in the field can weather, lose quality and shatter during storms. It typically takes about 6 months from the time the seeds are planted until the oats are ready to be harvested.

How do you harvest hulless oats?

To harvest your oats, just cut the seed heads from the stalks. You can cut the stalks anywhere along the length, but the higher up you cut, the less straw you’ll have to deal with when you are threshing. A sharp knife or garden sickle will work fine. Once the seed heads are harvested, you will need to let them cure.

How do you grow oats as a cover crop?

For maximum cover crop benefit oats should be planted six to ten weeks prior to a frost. Oats can be drilled, broadcasted, or aerially applied. Drilling the oats will provide the best results. If you are going to drill them to a depth of one-half to one inch.

How to store oats after harvesting?

Keep your grains in an airtight container and then place the container somewhere in your home that is relatively cold and dry for as long as 3 months. You can also freeze them for up to 2 years if you prefer a long-term storage option.

How to cure oats?

  • Now that the oats are harvested, you need to let them cure. The length of time for curing will vary depending upon the weather and maybe several days to several weeks. Store the oats in a warm, dry area while curing them.
  • Once the kernels are ripe, you can thresh out the oats. Spread out a tarp or sheet and then either stomp the oats lose from the stalks (cover the oats first before tromping all over them) or use some other implement, like a plastic baseball bat, to thresh the oats from the stalks (chaff).
  • Then separate the oats from the leftover pieces of stalk. Place the oats and chaff in a bowl or bucket and toss it up into the wind. The wind will blow out the loose chaff while the heavier oats drop back into the bowl or bucket.
  • The threshed oats can be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dark area for up to 3 months.

How To Harvest Oats

  1. Cut off the oat seed heads and separate the grains from the stalks. Cut the seed heads off of the rest of the plant with garden shears or simply snap them off with your hands.
  2. To harvest the oats, cut the seed heads from the stalks as high up as possible. Higher up is better, as you will have less straw to mess with when threshing the grains.
  3. Put the seed heads into a bucket and shake them to crack open the seed heads. Then, pull out the grains by hand.


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How To Harvest Oats Additional Tips

  • Harvest once the seed heads are dry. As you watch the oats grow and develop seed heads, gently touch a few of them to see if they’re damp or dry. Once, they’re dry to the touch, it’s time to harvest the oats.
  • You can separate out the grains in a number of other ways, including putting them in a pillowcase and beating them against a wall.
  • If you have farm animals, you can put the discarded stalks in your barn stalls and use them for bedding.
  • Don’t wait to harvest until the kernels are hard or you will likely lose a lot of grain. The kernel should still be soft and easily dented with a fingernail. Would you like to know how to harvest mulberries?