Waves of Grain

Update:  I tilled, and sowed, and watered, and the wheat started to grow.  I had a sign up for awhile that said

wheat

sometimes I label stuff in the front yard…

… but I took it down.

 

Today I was walking down the sidewalk and noticed a stalk of wheat that look like it had packed cocoa powder in where the wheat berries should be:

Loose Smut

Cocoa? Grows from wheat?

Now, let me just say, I love cocoa as much as the next person, but I’m pretty sure cocoa powder doesn’t grow on wheat stalks.

Do you know what to do when your wheat doesn’t look right?  Yeah… I don’t either.

The rest of my wheat looks like this:

wheat 2014-05-18

Better.

…which I’m pretty sure is how it’s supposed to look.

If I lived in different times, I might be able to visit my neighbor to find out.  Or reference my farm book.  It’s not like I can run down to the local Home Depot and ask them to diagnose my WHEAT PROBLEM!!!

But, hey, I’m a modern girl.  I can figure stuff out.  It’s called google.  New fangled invention.  Duh.

A bit of poking around, and I’ve learned that I have a mild case of Loose Smut.

Sounds dirty, doesn’t it?  Actually, it is caused by a fungus that can only be caught at the seed stage.  I bought untreated seeds (because I’m a purist!).  Well, turns out that if you buy treated seeds, you don’t have this problem.  It’s not a big deal.  If I decide to grow wheat again next year, I either need to buy new seed, or treat the seed I’ve got.  If I were growing any more than 80 square feet of wheat, it could be serious.  As it is I went down the row (twice), with snips and a plastic bag.  I cut off all the not-cocoa wheat stalks in an attempt to reduce the spread of the fungus.  When the wind quiets down this afternoon, I will spray with a nice fungicide also.

Crisis averted.

Carry on.

 

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