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Amaranth is a valuable vegetable with a high protein content. The leaves, stems and seeds of this plant are not only used for food, but also used in folk medicine. Amaranth can have a rejuvenating and healing effect on the entire body. The plant is unpretentious and does not require special attention when growing.
Considering all the positive qualities of this culture, it is simply necessary to allocate at least a small area for this plant. And in order to get a good harvest, you need to learn more about the cultivation technology and the rules of care.
Growing technology of vegetable amaranth
Amaranth is an amazing plant that loves everything at once: sunlight, warmth and moisture. It can be grown on absolutely any soil, even stony and sandy. Even salt marshes will not frighten him. The green mass of the plant ripens in about 2 months, and the seeds in 3.5-4 months.
The plant belongs to green manure and can be used as fertilizer. Therefore, it is advisable to leave the root part in the ground, even after using the stems and leaves. The whole family will enjoy a healthy and tasty salad, and the soil will receive organic fertilization.
The plant can be grown using seeds or seedlings.
Growing amaranth through seedlings
The beginning of April is the optimal time for sowing seeds for seedlings. You will need a large wooden or plastic box of soil. The sown seeds are crushed with damp earth, covered with a transparent film and placed in a darkened warm room. The first shoots should appear in about a week. After that, the container is transferred to a bright place.
A pick can be carried out even with one full-fledged leaf. Each seedling is transferred to a separate pot and grown until early June. Young seedlings are planted in well-warmed soil and in warm weather.
Growing amaranth by direct sowing
To plant seeds on the beds, the soil must warm up to at least six degrees Celsius. In early May, seeds are planted in pre-moistened soil to a depth of 1.5-2 centimeters, leaving a distance between seedlings and beds.
When planting amaranth for the use of young greens, the distance between bushes and beds should be at least fifteen centimeters. If the purpose of planting is seeds and panicles, then the bushes should grow at a distance of at least 70 centimeters, and the row spacing should be about 30 centimeters.
If the area of the site is quite large, then it is inconvenient to sow one seed at a time. In this case, it is better to sow amaranth in rows, and after a while thin out. For convenience, it is better to mix the seeds with sawdust or sand (in a ratio of 1 to 20). Under favorable weather conditions, young shoots will appear in a week.
Amaranth care and harvesting
The most important period of a plant's life is its first month. It is necessary to create the best conditions for growth and development for young amaranth. The soil needs to be loosened and weeds removed from the plants. To maintain soil moisture, it is better to mulch the beds. Any organic feeding at this stage will not be superfluous.
In the second month, all your labors will begin to yield results. The hardened plant will begin to grow, which is called "by leaps and bounds." Every day, amaranth will grow by more than 5 centimeters. The most important thing is to water on time and regularly.
When the height of the bushes reaches twenty centimeters mark, you can cut off the green tops and use for salads. If you are only interested in seeds, then their ripening will begin in late August - early September. Burgundy panicles can be cut a little earlier, as the drying seeds will begin to crumble to the ground. Seeds can ripen in a dark, dry room.
Types and varieties of amaranth
A huge number of species and varieties of amaranth can satisfy many vital needs. This crop can be used as a vegetable and as a grain, it has decorative qualities and is used as animal feed. The most preferred are universal varieties that yield both greens and seeds.
"Valentina" Is a versatile early ripening vegetable variety. The height of the bush can exceed the mark of one and a half meters. All parts of the plant (leaves, flowers and stems) are purple in color. Seeds are small in size, pale brown in color with a thin red border. Greens ripen in 45-50 days, and seeds in 4 months.
"Krepysh" - This early ripening vegetable variety produces a lot of fresh, juicy and tender greens. The plant grows to an average of one meter and forty centimeters. The flowers are reddish-brown in color, and the seeds are pale yellow. The ripening period ends in about 2.5-3 months.
"White list" Is a low-growing vegetable variety that is excellently grown as a houseplant. Choosing the lightest window sill for him, you can enjoy the greenery even in winter. With a growth of twenty centimeters, you can already cut off the greens, which have excellent taste.
"Giant" - this variety belongs to fodder crops. Its distinctive features are snow-white seeds and yellow (and sometimes red) flowers. The plant's height justifies its name - about two meters. The ripening period lasts approximately four months.
"Kizlyarets" - this variety is grown for grain, which is used for animal feed. The average plant height is about one and a half meters. The young inflorescence stands out with a yellow-green tint, and as it ripens, it turns into a red panicle. Harvesting time is approximately one hundred to 120 days.
"Helios" - early ripening grain variety. The average height is about one meter and sixty centimeters. Harvesting can be done in three and a half months. The plant has its own individual characteristics: the seeds are white, the leaves are yellow, the flowers are orange.
"Kharkovsky-1" Is one of many versatile varieties that is considered the best in grain harvesting. Ripens very quickly - after about three months. The height of the plant is approaching the two-meter mark. It blooms with yellow inflorescences, has large dark green leaves and white seeds.
Voronezh - this early ripening variety is grown for grain. Harvesting is carried out 3 months after germination. The plant is small in height - about 1 meter.
By the color of the seeds, you can determine the belonging of the variety: light ones are vegetables and grains, and dark ones are decorative.