Can You Plant and Grow Quinoa?

Planting and growing the things that you usually eat in your own garden and with your own hands might be one of those achievements which you might never stop thinking and telling others about, but is it possible to plant quinoa right in your garden and get the best results out of it? Actually it might happen, but it is important to read and understand well enough how such planting process could happen in order not to take wrong decisions or do it wrongly. There are different benefits for quinoa seeds that make it an important item in your kitchen and not only that, but also make it on the top of the list when it comes to the seeds you want to plant by yourself.

What Plant Does Quinoa Come from?

For all those who consider quinoa a grain, you might be surprised to know that it is actually a plant seed that is only referred to as a grain for the same benefits that it carries. In addition to being referred to as a grain for the similar benefits that it carries, quinoa is also called pseudo-cereal for being prepared in the same way cereals are. Apart from all these information, it is important to know more about the seed that you are going to plant in your own garden and get more introduced to its history in order to understand the whole process correctly.

Quinoa, which is pronounced as keen-wah, is a species of the goosefeet genus (also known as Chenopodium Quinoa) which is a grain crop that is primarily grown for its edible seeds. As a chenopod, quinoa is related to some species like beetroots, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Quinoa is also considered a member of the Amaranthaceae family and that is the reason why it is always related to amaranth which is also a pseudo-cereal.

It is important to know the origins of the seeds that you are going to plant in order to know how you are going to deal with the planting process and even the phase that comes after it, as well as know how to search for the right information that is related to this planting and growing thing.

Can You Grow Quinoa?

It is more about the question that is related to the ability of growing the seeds which people buy from grocery stores in the garden of the house; is it considered possible or not? The answer for this question would be yes; quinoa could be grown from the seeds that you buy at the grocery store. You might be asking now why people tend to grow these seeds if they could buy them. A lot of people tend to eat these seeds regularly and instead of spending money on them all the time, they might start thinking about the idea of planting and growing them if they have the space and the chance and save themselves all the spent money.

First of all and before going deep into the information related to planting and growing the seeds, it is important to know that quinoa and amaranth are so much similar to one another but when it comes to the weather; quinoa is considered a warm weather one, while amaranth is considered a cold weather one, and this might give you hints about which one would be better for you to plant and grow according to the place you are living in or even according to the time of the year you are intending to grow the seeds at.

Quinoa is now grown in the self-sustaining gardens with a great percentage; those which are grown in average garden soil will be about four feet to six feet and those which are grown in rich soil or compost may reach over eight feet. The quinoa plant seeds grow best when they are planted in places with temperatures that do not exceed 32C with nighttime temperatures that are cool. If we are talking about the Southern Canadian and the Northern U.S. sites, we could say that late April to late May is considered the best time for growing them.

One of the things that you should pay attention to when it comes to the temperature is that these seeds might not germinate when they are planted in soils with nighttime temperatures above 15C, and that is why those soils with temperatures around 15C will give the chance to the seedlings to emerge in three to four days.

We could eventually say that growing quinoa in your own garden is a possible process, but in order to make this plan succeed, you should make sure that the seeds that you purchase from the grocery store are prewashed or unwashed and not those which are not polished.

Quinoa Seeds for Planting

Due to the different recipes that quinoa could be added to and the different benefits that it could deliver to the body, quinoa is one of those seeds which you could find at the grocery store and be able to buy but will find this process an expensive one, especially if you tend to get them regularly, so growing them in your own garden will be a good alternative plan. Those who want to grow quinoa should make sure that they are living in a place where the weather in summer is warm during the day and a bit cold during the night, because this will bring out the best results.

The steps you need to follow for planting quinoa:

  • Usually there are those people who have the chance to take samples from several areas of their gardens and send them to the their University extension office in order to have a pH and nutrient levels of the soil tested, which will give them recommended amendments for their soil. For those who do not have such a chance, you could either use the amendments that you already know and mix them with the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, or forget about this step all along.
  • Plant the quinoa seeds to a ¼ inch in early June when the soil moisture is correct for seed germination. Sow the seeds tightly together with a space between the rows with about 18 to 24 inches apart, and make sure not to water the place that you have planted the seeds in.
  • Thin the quinoa so that there will be one plant every 16 to 18 inches in the row.
  • The process of watering the seeds start to happen when two or three leaves start to appear by irrigating until the soil is moist. Quinoa does not need a lot of water since it is resistant to drought, so only 10 inches of water each growing season will be enough for it.
  • Finally, in order to harvest the seeds at the correct time, you should wait until the leaves have fallen off exposing the dried seed head. To do so, you have to strip the seeds off the stalk by pulling up the head with a gloved hand.

There are some tools you might need in order to plant the seeds and harvest them, such as a plastic container, gloves, tiller, hand shovel, and of course the seeds which you are going to plant.

Is it Possible to Sprout Quinoa?

Another thing to try with those seeds and the idea of growing them is to sprout them. There are actually some ways which people follow and which give them the chance to sprout their quinoa seeds, one of them includes using a wet paper towel that is folded into fourths, and then placing 10 seeds in the middle of this wet paper towel, and then putting it into a plastic bag for the number of days that the package says it will take to sprout, which is usually two to four days.

Another possible way that is used when it comes to this mini-green house that you might create at your house happens through:

  • Rinsing the seeds at the beginning of the process then placing it in a jar and filling this jar to the top with more cold water, and then letting it soak for about six hours.
  • Come back and pour out the water by using a fine-mesh strainer or sprouting lid, and after that, place the jar upside down with the sprouting lid on upside down in a bowl in order to catch the excess water.
  • Every six hours, or whenever you remember to do that (but make sure that the hours are not reduced to be less than six), come back and repeat the same process of rinsing the seeds, pouring out the water, and placing the jar upside down in order to remove the excess water.
  • Usually, it will take about two days for the quinoa to sprout, so once you realize that there are little thread-like-sprouts coming from the quinoa, place it on a tray and cover it with a piece of cloth in order to prevent the dust from sticking to it.
  • It is important to place this tray away from the sunlight but still manage to put it in a place with the room temperature, and give it some time in order to dry completely.
  • These sprouts are better when used within two weeks, and it is also preferred to keep them in a plastic bag or sealed glass container in the refrigerator to keep them cool and also keep them fresh.

Using quinoa seed for planting is definitely a process that could be followed and achieved at your own personal garden, but you should always know the rules in order to guarantee that the process will succeed. Using quinoa seeds for growing them is considered a wise plan because it is a healthy seed that should be added to your diet plan without taking much of your money along the process. 

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