Tigermoth
The barley is growing and setting seed, however big problems...........there are quite a number of seed heads affected by "Barley Smut" which is a fungus disease which rots the seed head. I understand now that I should have treated the seed before sowing it as the smut is within the seed. I purchased the seed as organically grown so I must find out how they treat the seed before sowing so that it still complies with organic standards. You can see in the photo that there has been good growth but in the other photo a picture of a seed head with smut, where it has gone brown. I think a dusting with copper sulphate on the seed will be the answer next time but I will check this out. Spraying afterwards doesn't make any difference...

IMG_2283.jpg  IMG_2284.jpg 
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Womble
still looking a lot better than mine .... which just looks like rather long rough grass that you might find at the seaside.

I'll leave it over the winter and see whether it comes back to life or not.

We've had our first frosts over here
Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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Tigermoth
You may still be lucky to get a crop Womble, I am far from an expert on growing barley and just learning by the seat of my pants. We have had a few days of rain and it has grown even more and it looks as if not all of the ears are affected by the smut so my plan is to collect the seed heads when they are ready of those not affected in the belief that they will be more resistant to the fungus and I will try for an autumn sow but will treat the seed with some copper sulphate and see what happens, well that is my plan for today it may well change in a couple of months, I can only try these things and see how they go. I save my bean and tomato seeds each year and they do get acclimatised and stronger for doing this. We have a great growing climate here but it is a different one to what the barley has grown in before. Good luck with yours and if you do get some seed heads worth keeping use those seeds that are acclimatised now to your conditions and see how they go..
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Womble
I'm not on a crusade ... I just chucked some barley round the garden to see what it would do.  we'll see what happens.

Have you thought of pulling out the infected plants so they don't infect the others  ?

We have huge problems with fungal infections here ...

My next project (maybe) might be to do just a couple of raised beds with a cardboard mulch in the bottom to stop the weeds (bindweed) coming up through and then move on from there.  You can't beat home-grown tomatoes. Or sweet peppers.  Or chili peppers ...

Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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GHW
hey tiger, that's frustrating.
never heard of barley smut, but then I have never tried to grow barley or read anything about it.
Presumably, while your seeds were organic, most barley that's grown is not?
is it transmittable between plants?


First smutty photos on the forum is worth a hurrah though.
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Tigermoth
Yes unfortunately most grains are susceptible to "Smut" fungus' and I understand it can be transferred through the soil and gets onto the seed and normally they coat the seed with a fungicide but what they do organically is something I have got to find out about, I know that copper and sulphur both being natural elements are permitted organically but with limited use. The fungus is an Ergot variety and I think it is of a similar family of fungi that the Vikings used to take in small doses before going into battle as it sent them half mad to go raping and pillaging. Having said that I don't think I will try that as I am half mad enough without making things worse!!!!!!!!  I can't share any smutty jokes on line though [smile]
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Clibit
It's not the first smut on here though. Mentioning no names. 
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