Guide on how to grow oats in UK

How to Grow Oats In UK [Practical Guide]

Oats are a kind of cereal grain that is grown in the UK. They are produced by oat plants, which belong to the family of plants known as Avena sativa. Oats can be used to make porridge, oatmeal, and other types of hot cereals or cold breakfast cereals.

Growing oats is a very easy process. All you need to do is to choose the right site, select the right variety, prepare the planting site, plant the seedlings, do regular watering, weed control, apply fertilizer, and harvest.

Growing your oats is a simple process that can be done year-round. This article shows you how to grow oats, including steps such as

How to Grow Oats UK

If you are interested to grow oats in the UK, below are vital steps you need to consider as you prepare to venture into oats farming.

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Step 1: Choose the Right Site

To grow oats, you first need to choose a location that has the right soil, water, and temperature to grow them well. The site should have a pH level between 6 and 7 because oats thrive in soil that has a pH that falls within this range.

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Step 2: Select the Right Variety

You will also need to choose an appropriate variety of oats that matches your climate zone. Make sure you purchase the right seed variety from a reliable source. Either a local store or a grocery store. You can also get out seeds to plant from an existing farmer in your neighborhood.

Step 3: Prepare the Planting Site

You will need to prepare your soil before you sow the oats seeds. Dig up the soil and break it up with a fork or spade, then rake it smooth so that there are no large lumps of earth left on the surface. Add compost or manure if your soil is heavy and clay-like, or if it doesn’t drain well.

Step 4: Plant the Seedlings

You will want to plant your oats in rows or blocks with each row being about 25 cm to 30cm apart from one another for small varieties and 45 to 60cm apart for larger varieties. So that they have room to grow without competing with each other for space and nutrients. Planting them too close together can lead to stunted growth or not enough sun exposure for each plant.

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Plant the seeds about 2cm deep into the soil, spacing them evenly along each row at around 10cm intervals. Rake the soil to even the soil out once you have scattered all of your oat seeds on the soil. To enable the seed to sit no deeper than 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the surface, you should walk over them.

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Step 5: Regular Watering

You need to keep the soil moist to allow the seed to sprout. As soon as the plants start to grow, continue to water adequately. Also, every time the soil starts to get dry, you will have to water them.

However, you might not even need to water your oats if your area receives a lot of rain.

Step 6: Weed Control

Although it is advantageous and necessary to weed the area before you plant the oat seeds, you must continue doing it if you want your oats to flourish.

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Once your oats start to develop, weed the area. The best time to check for weeds is when you go to water the plants. Uproot any weed that has appeared before you water your oats.

Step 7: Apply Fertilizer

Although fertilizer application is not necessary, you can add fertilizer if your oat plant is lacking nitrogen and the plant’s leaves begin to change color, you can apply fertilizer mildly.

Step 8:  Harvest

As your oat plants grow and form seed heads, gently touch a few of the oats to see if they’re damp or dry. It’s time to harvest the oats when they’re dry to the touch. Remove the seed heads from the oats and separate the grains from the stalks.

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Varieties of Oats in The UK

There are several varieties of oats that can be grown in the UK. Some of the popular ones include:

  • Husky
  • Gerald
  • Maris Avena
  • Firth
  • Barra

How much is Oats sold in The UK

The price of oats in the UK varies depending on several factors such as the quality of the oats, the demand for the product, and the season. As of March 2023, the average price of a 1kg bag of oats in the UK ranges from £0.90 to £1.50.

Best Agronomic Practices to engage in growing Oats in The UK

Here are some of the best agronomic practices to engage in growing oats in the UK:

  • Soil preparation: Oats require a well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Ensure that the soil is adequately prepared by plowing, disking, and harrowing to create a smooth seedbed.
  • Planting: Oats should be planted in the early spring or late summer. The seeds should be sown at a depth of 2-3cm and spaced 10-15cm apart.
  • Fertilization: Oats require moderate levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Ensure that the soil is adequately fertilized before planting.
  • Irrigation: Oats require moderate levels of moisture. Irrigate the crop during dry periods to ensure optimal growth.
  • Pest and disease control: Regular scouting and monitoring of the crop is essential to identify and control pests and diseases. Use appropriate pesticides and fungicides to control pests and diseases.

Projected profit of Oats in The UK

The projected profit of oats in the UK varies depending on several factors such as the size of the farm, the yield per acre, and the market demand. On average, a farmer can expect to make a profit of £600-£1000 per acre of oats.

Common Diseases and Pests of Oats

The common diseases and pests of oats in the UK include:

  • Crown rust: This is a fungal disease that appears as reddish-brown pustules on the leaves and stems. It can be controlled by using resistant varieties of oats, removing infected plants, and applying fungicides.
  • Smut: This is a fungal disease that causes black powdery spores to appear on the heads of the oats. It can be controlled by using resistant varieties of oats, removing infected plants, and applying fungicides.
  • Wireworms: These are beetle larvae that feed on the roots of the oats, leading to stunted growth and poor yields. They can be controlled by using insecticides and crop rotation.
  • Cutworms: These are caterpillars that feed on the stems of the oats, causing them to break and leading to lodging. They can be controlled by using insecticides and removing crop debris.

Different Propagation Method of Oats

Oats are propagated through seeds, which can be sown directly into the soil or started indoors and then transplanted. To ensure a successful crop, it is important to use certified seed that is disease-free and of good quality. Oats can also be propagated vegetatively through division, but this method is not commonly used.

Can You Grow Your Own Oats UK?

You can grow your oats either in small or large quantities. It all depends on the available land resources at your disposal.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Oats?

It takes 60 days after planting for oats to normally grow and be ready for harvest.

Are Oats Difficult To Grow?

Generally, oats are one of the simplest cereals to grow and do not require too much like most other cereal crops.

How Much Oats Do You Get From One Plant?

You can get about 3 to 5-grain heads of oats from one plant.

What Month Do You Plant Oats?

If you want to plant your oats at the appropriate time, make sure you do so in August.

Where do Do Oats grow In The UK?

Oats thrive in a warm climate with location having access to full sunlight. As such, Irish and Scottish weather is ideal for this crop making Ireland and Scotland the place where oats grow in the UK.

Do Oats Come Back Every Year?

Oats are classed as an annual crop. This means that the plant can regrow again annually if left in the ground.

Where Do Oats Grow Best?

If you want your oat plants to grow and return high yield. Make sure you plant them in an area with full sunlight and warm soil that is moist and well-drained. Also, make sure you plant them early in spring or fall to get a high yield.

What Climate Is Needed To Grow Oats?

It is important to plant your oat plant under suitable weather. Make sure your planting location has a cool, moist climate,

Will Oats Regrow After Cutting?

Oats will regrow after cutting but in most cases, it is only a few of them

How Many Times Can You Harvest Oats?

You can harvest oats multiple times in a year. However, it depends on the climate of the area.

Do Oats Reseed Themselves?

Oats can reseed themselves, especially after late summer rains.

Will Oats Grow on Top Of Soil?

Oats can grow on top of soil especially if given the necessary conditions such as rich soil and it’s in a place that receives full sunlight.

When Should You Cut Oats For Hay?

You should cut oats for hay when the plant is at the watery ripe stage, known to be the earliest stage of milk development.

Does Oats Make Good Hay?

Oats will make good hay used as high-quality feed.

Can You Plant Oats From The Grocery Store?

You can find oat grains that you can plant from grocery stores as long as it is not yet processed.

How Late Can You Plant Oats?

The late time you can plant oats is in late August to early September.

What Is The Easiest Grain To Grow?

Maize is the easiest grain to grow and it requires minimal work compared to most cereal crops.

Oat Seeds For Planting UK

If you want to plant out in the UK, you should go for Spring Oats, Winter Oats, and Naked Oats.

How To Grow Oats At Home

You can grow oats at home either indoors or in a garden created in your backyard. The process includes:

Step 1: Create planting space or use a planting container

Step 2: Prepare potting mix or compost

Step 3: Moist the soil before planting

Step 4: Place the container or plant in a sunny location

Step 5: Water adequately

Step 6: Remove the weed

Step 7: Harvest

How to Grow Oats Indoors

The best way to grow oats indoors is to plant them in planters or pots. You should follow the step below.

Step 1: Get a planting container

Step 2: Prepare potting mix or compost

Step 3: Moist the soil before planting

Step 4: Place the container in a sunny location

Step 5: Water regularly

Step 6: Harvest

Growing Oats in Containers

Planting oats in containers is practically easy and a means of growing oats for food at home. All you need do is follow the steps outlined below

Step 1: Get a planting container

Step 2: Prepare potting mix or compost

Step 3: Moist the soil before planting

Step 4: Place the container in a sunny location

Step 5: Water regularly

Step 6: Harvest

How To Grow Oats For Horses

Growing oats for horses requires you to plant oats on the field where there is full sunlight and well-drained loose soil. Water the plants adequately and remove weeds if there are any.

When the oats are mature, you can cut the oats when the plant is at the watery ripe stage, and dried.

Can You Plant Oats from the Grocery Store

You can plant oats from the grocery store as long as they are pre-processed.

How to Harvest Oats By Hand

To harvest oats by hand, you have to cut off the seed heads from the stalk of the plant using garden shears or simply snap them off with your bare hands.


If you are reading this to learn how to grow oats in the UK, here you have detailed material teaching you all that you need to know so that you can successfully grow oats in your home, indoors, or out on the farm.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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