Practical garden grains

On 5 April 2009 seeds of three varieties of Amaranth (Bronze, Golden Giant, Mixed Grains) and one of Quinoa (Temuco) were sown in small trays in a propagator with a small amount of bottom heat and an insulated top. Inspection today (10 April 2009) revealed that the Quinoa had germinated very well and the seedlings were about 1-2cms high. All of the Amaranth shows some signs of germination. This is an encouraging start.

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A. Bronze

Golden giant

A. Golden giant

Mixed grains

A. Mixed grains

Update 15 July 2009
Much to my surprise both the Amaranth and Quinoa are doing well. The spring was very cold with night frosts as late as mid June. This held back everything in the garden particularly the more tender plants. recently all of the experimental grains have put on a spurt of growth and produced flower heads.

It will be interesting to see how much grain they produce and which variety of Amaranth does best.

grains1_150709 The grains trial bed with four varities of Amaranth at the front and Quinoa at the back
grains3_150709 A flower head of mixed grains Amaranth.
grains4_150709 A flower head of golden Amaranth.
grains5_150709 Quinoa flower heads

Update 26 August 2009
Both the Amaranth and Quinoa plants got off to a slow and shaky start. The weather turned cool and wet and they just did not seem to be thriving. I had almost decided they would not grow in the cool and damp north but then they suddenly started to shoot up.

Now they are in full flower and with some decent autumn sunshine we should get some grains.

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‘Golden Giant’, ‘Mixed Grain’, ‘Bronze’ x2 and ‘Golden Giant’ and ‘Bronze’. At the end is Quinoa ‘Temuco’

Update 18 October 2009
All of the plants have been harvested now and the seed heads are drying. The Quinoa seems to have done well with the flowers drying on the plants before harvesting. Some of the Amaranth seems not to have reached maturity but with a reasonably sharp frost last week it was time to remove the plants.