One method of growing oats is to plant them in fertile, well-drained and well-composted soil. Prepare the soil by removing the weeds. Do not plant oats in areas that been previously used for grains. Plant seeds outdoors in the early spring for annual varieties. Oats prefer cooler, damp weather,
Plant perennial varieties in early spring to late fall. Both varieties should be planted in full sun in a soil that has a pH of 6 to 7. They should not be planted in soil with a pH above 7.
To plant the seeds, dig a narrow trench and sow about 20 seeds per foot. The rows should be about 1 to 2 feet apart. Bury the seeds with 1 to 3 inches of soil, and water gently but thoroughly. Keep the ground damp and moist to allow the seeds to germinate, and continue watering until they begin to grow. Water as the seedlings begin to dry out. Working compost or manure into the soil at the time of planting can help to retain moisture, especially in climates that are dry.
The oat beds should be weeded regularly, as weeds steal moisture and nutrients from the growing plants. The seed heads should begin to turn white and completely dry out after about 45 days, at which time they are ready to be harvested. Wait for this to happen while they are still in the ground, or use a sickle to cut the stalks close to the base of the plant and allow them to cure in the sun for several days.
Place the oats in a cool dry place in a sealed container to store them. You can also freeze harvested oats for up to two years by placing them in plastic freezer bags.