Rye (Cereal) Growing Guide

Secale cereale

Rye (Cereal)

Crop Rotation Group



Any well drained soil.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant



When using cereal rye to improve very poor soil, mixing a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting will give better results.


Single Plants: 10cm (3") each way (minimum)
Rows: 10cm (3") with 10cm (3") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow in early autumn, though cereal rye will still germinate in mid autumn, after the soil has lost its warmth. Broadcast seed into cultivated soil so that the seeds are about 7 cm apart and 1 cm deep. No thinning is required. Increase spacing to 20cm apart when growing cereal rye with other green manures.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Primarily grown to increase organic matter and break up dense subsoil. Can be sown later in the autumn than other green manures.


Mow down plants in spring, before they develop seeds. The residue can be used as mulch or composted.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Rye (Cereal)