To harvest young amaranth greens, cut off the entire plant a few inches above ground level. However, amaranth had many uses from dyes to other ornamental purposes. Amaranth is a hardy plant and largely care-free once established. But for greater production, allow the plants to reach 1 to 2 feet tall before harvesting. He gives you an explanation of what Amaranth is and how to harvest the grains from it. … Older leaves make great mulch and after harvesting the heads you can chop and drop the rest of the plant into the bed it grew from. By then, the seeds will definitely be dry. Rub the flower heads of amaranth together over a bucket to harvest the seeds. Shake the bag once they are dry, or knock the seeds loose over a cloth. Read on to find out how to harvest amaranth and other information about harvesting amaranth grains. Water the rows until the soil is moist. Waiting for the crop to dry in the field must be balanced against getting it combined before pre-harvest losses from lod… The amaranth is growing quite large. In addition to growing for salad greens, it is (maybe more common historically) grown for its grain. Given the right growing conditions, amaranth can be easily grown and harvested in almost any backyard garden. An experienced academic and commercial writer, Kurtz holds an MA in Social Science. How do I tell when to harvest? A mix of 1 part loamy soil, 1 part compost and 1 part manure is best. In northern states, amaranth growers usually wait to harvest until about a week after the first hard frost, letting the frost completely kill the plant and make the crop drier for harvesting. When to Harvest Amaranth. Just like other greens, the smaller the leaf, the more tender it is, but larger leaves have a more developed flavor. Set a cookie sheet flat on the ground and using a cutting board, create an angled ramp. The differences are more or less cultural preferences, as all types are edible and highly nutritious. Harvest amaranth seed after the flowers have bloomed and around 3 months after germination. Our Garden Plannercan produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. Young greens are perfect for salads, while older greens are better when cooked like spinach. Water every couple of days as soon as the soil is dry to the touch. Kristin Kons shows how to incorporate a natural multi-vitamin into your amaranth dish! Harvesting The seeds will sprout in seven to 14 days. Remove any weeds near the amaranth seedlings. Adapts to most soils, but grows best in fertile, well-drained loam. Amaranth grain is somewhat like rice and was a staple food of the Aztecs. Plant amaranth in late spring or early summer, after the last frost has passed and the soil is warm. Sow the seeds directly in the ground in mild climates, after temperatures are reliably above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or start it inside four to six weeks before the last expected frost. The seeds from the first two are off-white to pale pink, while the latter is black and shiny. Ok, harvest it as early as you like and definitely before it flowers. Tiny sprouts with their first pair of true leaves can be harvested a few days later and used as micro-greens. If you want to enjoy amaranth as a vegetable, use either any leaves from a young amaranth plant (or even the whole plant if you can spare it) or just go for the fresh growing … Full sun. The latter method will require multiple harvests in this manner to remove any remaining seeds as they dry. How to harvest amaranth The time has passed and amaranth tassels have grown large and bountiful, and started to show some signs of ripening. Ripened amaranth seeds would be seen on the tassells as minuscule whitish seeds, as well as the tassells themselveses would … Plus, the seed heads are truly lovely and add a unique focal point to the landscape. Amaranth varieties that grow head high require 60cm (24 inches) between plants. Rake the soil into rows, 1 ½ feet to 2 feet apart, and plant seeds ¼ inch deep along the row. Some are darker redish brown, some are a more faded golden brown. These grains ripen after the plant has flowered. Grow amaranth plants for grain, this edible plant is not only colorful but its grain is nutritious. Pour the seed onto the cookie sheet and blow towards the ramp. Lay the seedheads on a cloth or place them inside paper or cloth bags with heads down and leave in the shade to finish drying. Using the leaves Young amaranth leaves are sweet and good as salad greens. Amaranth is a plant that falls into one of four categories: grain, vegetable, ornamental or weed. My 'Golden Giant' Amaranth plants are over 7 feet tall, with 15" tall and 8" wide grain heads. Some are red. They are ready to harvest when they begin to fall from the flower head (tassel). If you’re growing amaranth for seed but harvesting the leaves for use in soups, stir-frys, and stews — or just to eat as greens — don’t harvest so many that the plant’s growth will be slowed. Amaranth seeds need warm soil to germinate and can be damaged by spring frosts, so … Harvest amaranth leaves as needed. Harvesting amaranth seeds is a simple process. Individual 3 inches (7.6 cm) pots are … Stir the seed around on occasion until they are completely dry. Growing Amaranth. Easy and very nutritious. Growing Instructions. Place the seeds on a drying tray and leave it outside in the sun or inside near a heater for 24 hours to dry the amaranth completely before storing the crop. Another way to harvest the amaranth is once the seeds begin to readily fall from the tassels, take the seed heads in your hands and rub them over a bucket to catch the seed. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Amaranth has showy flowers and several varieties are grown as ornamentals. Elephant amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus) is an eye-catching annual that can brighten your vegetable garden. Its a very slow growing plant and it can be overcome by weeds since you are planting a little late in the season. A grain native to Mexico and Central America, amaranth was grown for centuries in pre-Columbian America as a staple crop along with corn. If they do, then the seeds are ready to be harvested. Avid gardener, traveler and writer, Rick Kurtz has scaled the Himalayas in search of a good story. Once the plants reach 1 foot in height, they should begin to grow very quickly, shading out weeds and needing less attention. Amaranth delivers salad greens when lettuce and spinach have long since bolted. As the amaranth flower stalks start drying out the amaranth grains are ready to harvest. You can harvest both leaves and grain from any amaranth, but if your goal is an edible plant, choose a variety based on your goals. Whole Grains Council: Amaranth - May Grain Of The Month. Harvest. If the seeds are not dried completely, then mold can develop on the seeds and ruin them. Growing amaranth for harvesting its seeds takes more time than harvesting amaranth leaves. About 3 months after planting, amaranth seeds will be ready for harvest. Both the greens and seeds are edible, with the greens tasting somewhat like spinach, and the seeds milled into flour or eaten much like quinoa with a similar protein punch. It seems that maybe a different variety was growing in the field where the seeds were harvested. Salt Spring Seeds: Growing Amaranth and Quinoa. You want that for your edible landscape anyway. Amaranth (Grain) Growing Guide Crop Rotation Group. As the seeds begin to germinate, thin the rows to one plant per 6 to 18 inches along the rows. This fast-growing plant needs at le… How do you know when to harvest amaranth? Gently rub the flower heads to see if any of the seeds fall away easily. Now that you’ve ascertained that the seed is ready to harvest, you can either cut, hang dry the plants and then separate the seeds from the chaff, or wait to cut the tassel from the plant on a dry day, 3-7 days after a hard frost. But most seem to grow like weeds and they are tough to harvest as well. The seeds are also popular with songbirds. It also lessens the amount of debris and chaff that needs to be removed. How to Harvest Amaranth Harvesting Amaranth Leaves. Once the seeds have been collected, they can be shaken over a harvesting screen to remove dust and other dry plant debris. You can begin harvesting amaranth plants for greens almost immediately. Frost tolerant. Harvest amaranth seed after the flowers have bloomed and around 3 months after germination. Seed And Chaff Separation – How To Separate Seed From Chaff, Uses For Ramps: How To Grow Wild Leek Ramps In The Garden, Planting A Giving Garden: Food Bank Garden Ideas, Giving To Food Deserts – How To Donate To Food Deserts, December To-Do List – What To Do In December Gardens, Apple Tree Root Rot – Reasons For Root Rot In Apple Trees, Flowering Quince Propagation: How To Propagate A Flowering Quince Bush, Caring For Common Mallow Plants In The Garden, What Is African Gardenia: Tips On Caring For African Gardenias, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. Store them in an air tight container in a cool, dry area for up to 6 months. Sign up for our newsletter. Younger leaves are better raw while the older leaves are better cooked. Amaranth is tolerant of dry conditions once it is established. Leave it on trays to dry in the sun or inside near an indoor heating source. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the planting and use of amaranth was banned as a “pagan” crop, but was never successfully eradicated. Give the tassel a gentle shake. You can begin harvesting amaranth plants for greens almost immediately. Amaranth leaves are ready to harvest in about 30 -45 days. You can also use the ‘ramp’ method for removing the seeds from the chaff. Most people buy nursery transplants and plant them outdoors after the last expected frost, but you can also start this plant from seed. Harvesting amaranth grains from all types of amaranth is okay but, in some arenas, mixing the black seed in with the paler grains is considered to be a contaminant, which is purely cosmetic in thinking since they are all edible. In the bags, they’ll dry. Rub the aging amaranth flowers gently between your fingers. Miscellaneous Soil. The Amaranth is a huge family of plants. Sowing and Planting Amaranth Sow amaranth seeds indoors. Harvesting Amaranth Grains. Grow Amaranth Plants for Grain. Harvest leaf amaranth whenever you like. So when the amaranth seed heads are plainly visible, is it time to harvest the amaranth? Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Harvesting amaranth grains from all types of amaranth is okay but, in some arenas, mixing the black seed in with the paler grains is considered to be a contaminant, which is purely cosmetic in thinking since they are all edible. If you've found some Amaranth plants and are looking at how to harvest the grain out of them, check out this video. If you would like to harvest the amaranth grain, allow the plant to go to flower. In Missouri, Plainsman amaranth, the most common variety, will almost always drop its leaves prior to frost, usually by early or mid-October. Seeds ripen about three months after planting, usually in the mid- to late summer, depending on your climate and when you planted. Harvesting Leaves, Seeds and Flowers. This is also referred to as the ‘blow and fly’ method and should really be done outside, lest you want a mess in your kitchen. When you’re ready to plant amaranthus cruentus, choose a sunny location for it. You can do this by means of successive sieves; stack different sized sieves from smallest on the bottom to the largest at the top and shake the seeds and chaff through them. You’ll know that your grains are ready to harvest when you see the flower stalks start to dry out. More than that, amaranth requires full sun - though the Joseph’s Coat … Amaranth has been introduced to and is now cultivated on other continents as an annual grain. There are over 60 varieties of amaranth native to the Americas. Before they all brown, cut them off and bag them. As you know, it’s always good to do business with native plants. (You can eat the buds and flowers, but the leaves will not be as tender and tasty anymore once the plant flowers.) The leaves on an amaranth plant can be used at any time. There is a difference in the leaf color. In addition to tasting somewhat spinach like, amaranth is healthful: Lots of protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Harvesting Edible Amaranth . If you are more interested in finding Green Amaranth in the wild and harvesting the greens or grain than growing the plant, try my Nature's Restaurant Online website for Amaranth greens and Amaranth grain.. Thin seedlings by pulling out the weaker and smaller plants. The flowers attract butterflies and can be used as a cut flower or in dried arrangements. Plant amaranth seeds in rich soil at the end of spring. While of the 60-70 species of amaranth, 40 are considered native to the Americas, you are likely growing one of three: A. hypochondriacus (Prince’s Feather), A. cruentus (Purple Amaranth) or A. tricolor (Tampala, which is grown chiefly for its leaves). If you are growing amaranth, it’s no wonder, with its nutrient rich greens and seeds. Timing of harvest is not as straightforward as with the commodity crops. Regardless of how you harvest your amaranth seeds, you will need to winnow out the chaff from the seed. Once you have harvested the amaranth, it needs to be completely dried before you store it; otherwise, it will mold. Gently rub the flower heads to see if any of the seeds fall away easily. Harvesting amaranth grains is a little more work than harvesting the greens. Some varieties are marketed as best for seed production, while others are bred for attractive, tasty leaves that work well in salads. Yes, the leaves of amaranth are edible, the Aztecs used to boil the leaves and eat them as a vegetable. At … Today, amaranth has enjoyed renewed interest due to its health benefits, including being a gluten-free source of protein. If you gently rub the amaranth flower, you can observe the grains dropping out. Seeds will roll up the ramp and back down, while the chaff will blow beyond the cutting board. When growing amaranth, harvest time depends on what you are growing the plants for. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. However, the birds may have gotten to a lot more of them than you will. The George Mateljan Foundation For The World's Healthiest Foods: Can You Tell Me About Amaranth? Amaranth is a relatively maintenance-free plant to grow, though you do need to tend to your seedlings for the first several weeks. Cut the seedheads just before they become dry and brittle. You can get an early start by growing seedlings indoors in late spring. Having traveled across four continents, he has experienced life in dozens of different countries. To harvest grains, let amaranth go all the way to flower. As they age they start to get bitter and less good for eating. Keep an eye on them as the flowers bloom and then begin to die back. If you see seeds falling from the tassel, it’s amaranth harvest time. I can pull off a bit of the 'grain' head and roll it around to reveal little tiny white seeds that I assume aren't fully mature yet. Leaves can be ready a month after planting, while flowers take about 2 months and seeds up to 3 or more months. Growing amaranth is a very interesting adventure because it’s a plant native to Southern US states and even further south. The youngest leaves have a milder flavour and are good to use in salads, the mature leaves are better cooked like spinach. In general, amaranth needs warm temperatures throughout its entire growing season (40-50 days for seed harvest), though it doesn’t do well in extended periods with temperatures above 95°F (35° C). Position. The one I use for greens and grain is the Green Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus), a very common weed that is a major problem for soy bean farmers. Once you take your sieve stack apart, you will be left with one that contains only seeds.