Tips for growing winter wheat, which vary some by location, include planting winter-hardy, adapted varieties, especially when planting after the optimal planting time; planting winter wheat into standing field stubble, which helps retain snow and provide insulation for the wheat over the coldest months; and planting the seeds no more than 1.5 inches deep. Shallow planting ensures that the seeds have adequate moisture and also allows the crop to emerge faster as the temperatures fall.
Add phosphorus fertilizer, especially if the soil tests low for phosphorus. When fertilizing, also consider the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer. Nitrogen is important for wheat, but excess nitrogen, more than 15 pounds per acre, can impact crop survival. Use of a nonselective herbicide or tillage about two weeks prior to planting limits weeds. Some weeds are herbicide-resistant, so use a mixture of herbicides, which tend to target different weeds, to have maximum impact.
Well-drained medium-texture soils are best for winter wheat. While it tolerates poorly drained soils better than other grains, excessive water can drown a wheat crop. Use high-rate seeding if planting into a dry seedbed or planting late. Seed at a low-to-medium rate into moist soil. The standard rate when planting in a firm seedbed is 1 to 2 bushels per acre.