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How to Grow Quinoa Seeds in your Kitchen Garden?
How to Grow Quinoa Seeds in your Kitchen Garden?

How to Grow Quinoa Seeds in your Kitchen Garden?5 min read

Introduction

You can probably identify numerous protein rich food items like red meat, fish, chicken, red beans etc. What if i introduce you to an incredible grain, highly rich in protein, and easily cultivable in your kitchen garden that you will get astonished? A crop, that is most suitable to cultivate in Arid or dryland agriculture system? Well yes, here I am again with a remarkable recommendation to grow Quinoa seed in your kitchen garden. It is also termed as protein pearl of arid or dryland agriculture systems.

Urban gardening, no doubt, has touched new statures of brilliance, providing you the opportunity to get fresh, organic and balanced diet food meals from right next door to your kitchen garden or from backyard garden.

What is Quinoa Seed?

Before giving any delay, let me introduce with my today’s baby grains that are ‘Quinoa Seed’. The importance of this seed can be understood by the fact that United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrated year 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa”. The origination of Quinoa shows that, it was domesticated some 3000 to 4000 years ago in the Andean region of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Quinoa Seeds

Nutritional Facts of Quinoa Seeds

It is cooked like rice and wheat. It has abundant important nutrients and minerals like carbohydrates, protein, fats, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium etc. Below table shows some important information about the value of nutrients and minerals you get from 100 grams of uncooked Quinoa serving.

Carbohydrates 64.2 g
Protein 14.1 g
Fats 6.1 g
Potassium 563 mg
Phosphorous 457 mg
Magnesium 197 mg
Calcium 47 mg

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Growing Quinoa Seed in your Kitchen Garden

It is also pronounced as “Keen-waah”. The most frequent question I am asked is, whether we can grow Quinoa in Kitchen garden or backyard garden? The answer is simply yes. However, it should be noted that Quinoa seeds should never be grown in pots and containers. The Quinoa crop is large and in pots or containers, it will give tiny harvest. Your efforts will not pay back.

On the other hand, if you want to décor your kitchen garden with attractive deep red and purple flowers for late spring, then growing Quinoa seeds in a container is good option. Quinoa plant produces these fresh flowers before going to produce seeds.

Quinoa Seed Flowers

Growing Requirements for Quinoa Seeds

The basic need to grow Quinoa seed in kitchen garden is bright sunlight, organic fertile soil that should be well drained and preferably weather with temperature around 32oC. Early spring is a great time to cultivate Quinoa seeds in your kitchen garden. Quinoa can bear low frost, but don’t test its tolerance in high freezing. The crop is slow one, as far as its harvesting is concern. It is usually ready to harvest anywhere between 90 to 120 days.

Quinoa seeds can be started directly into the soil, that is, no requirement of transplantation. At the start of spring warmth, when soil temperature is around 16oC, just seed it in the soil. The soil should be weed free and beds should be clear. Planting the seed in a row is recommended. The depth for sowing the seeds should not be more than one-fourth of an inch. As they germinate, don’t get confuse in considering them weed due to their close resemblance with a common garden weed, the lamb’s quarter.

Freshly Grown Quinoa Seed Plant

Your Quinoa will be slow in the beginning. So patience is required. However, as soon as it acquires a height of a foot, the pace of growth increases. One thing should be kept in mind that Quinoa seed plants do not need much water. They like dry soil to grow.

Next, Quinoa crop do not need fertilizer, unless and until your soil is too much weak. In that case, only use organic fertilizer like farm manure or compost. Mulching is usually not recommended for Quinoa plants.

Harvesting the Quinoa Plants

When the plant stem gets naked off and no leaves remain on them, it is the time to harvest your Quinoa seeds. It is wise to check whether the seeds are dried before harvesting. A simple test can be carried out my pressing your thumbnail in the Quinoa seed on the plant. If a dent remains on the seed, it shows that seeds are not dried fully. However, in case you have to harvest it earlier, dry them indoors.

Harvesting the Quinoa Seeds

No special mechanical equipment is needed to separate grains from the plant. Your hand and arm is your best companion in getting Quinoa seeds out of the head. Just shake the seed heads on a neat surface. After you get the Quinoa seeds, remove any dirt or unwanted element and wash them. From 8-10 Quinoa plants, expect one pound of Quinoa seeds. Dry these seeds in open air and then store.

Storing your Quinoa Seeds

After you grow Quinoa seeds in your kitchen garden, storing them in an appropriate way is utmost task that should be given due importance. After drying the seeds, they should be placed in an air locked jar or container. Then place them in a cool and dry surface and most importantly, away from light. In this manner, you give a six month or more storing time to your Quinoa seeds.

Storing the Quinoa Seeds

Enjoy the Quinoa meals 🙂

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Introduction You can probably identify numerous protein rich food items like red meat, fish, chicken, red beans etc. What if i introduce you to an incredible grain, highly rich in protein, and easily cultivable in your kitchen garden that you will get astonished? A crop, that is most suitable to cultivate in Arid or dryland agriculture system? Well yes, here I am again with a remarkable recommendation to grow Quinoa seed in your kitchen garden. It is also termed as protein pearl of arid or dryland agriculture systems. Urban gardening, no doubt, has touched new statures of brilliance, providing you…

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