In the Northern Hemisphere, the wheat is planted in the autumn, namely September through December, depending on the region.
The wheat will sprout before freezing sets in, then lie dormant until the spring. Ideally, it will have developed at least 2 to 3 leaves first, which die off in the winter. What’s important is the crown, just below the surface. The seed should be therefore planted quite shallowly, at most ¾ to 1 inch (2 to 2 ½ cm) below the surface.
In the spring, the plant starts growing again from its crown, and is ready to harvest in mid summer.
Winter Wheat grows best in fields where stubble from a previous crop was grown. The previous crop doesn’t have to have been a wheat crop: rape, barley and oat work fine. The stubble acts to trap snow, which provides insulation during the winter, and melt-off water for the plant in the spring.
For the most part, Wheat is a competitive plant, that can choke out weeds in the spring, particularly weeds that aren’t perennials, but the seed generally needs to be treated with a fungicide to ensure good yields.
Winter Wheat was brought to North America in the 1800s. In America, it is Russian Mennonites who are credited with its introduction.