how to grow millet at home

How to Grow Millet [Beginners Guide]

Millet is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world. It is a staple food for much of Africa and Asia, and it has been cultivated for over many years. Millet can be used to make porridge, bread, cakes, and cookies.

There are many ways to grow millet. The most common way is to plant seeds. For this to happen you will need to select the farm site, site preparation, choose millet variety, planting, watering and mulching, weeding, Fertilizer application, and harvest.

This article will cover the basics of how to grow millet. So, enjoy reading and learning all the vital tips compiled in this guideline.

How to Grow Millet

Millet is a nutritious and gluten-free grain that can be used in a variety of recipes. If you’re interested in growing millet, here are a few simple steps to get you started:

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Step 1: Select Farm Site

Firstly, you have to select a millet planting area that receives a lot of sun exposure. The site should have rich loosed welldrained soil. Also, because millet thrives in full sunlight, the location should experience a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Step 2: Site Preparation

Preparing the seedbed for millet is similar to doing so for small grains that are sown in the spring. Before planting, weeds must be controlled in the seedbed.

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The land should be plowed and tilled so that the soil will be suited for farming. compost and or manure should be worked into the soil to enrich nutrients.

Step 3: Choose Millet Variety

There are many types of millet, but the most common in agriculture are Purple Majesty, Foxtail Millet Highlander, and Golden Millet, among others. Select the variety you want to grow based on your climate and soil type as well as the amount of rainfall in your area.

Importantly, make sure you purchase the seedlings from a reliable source.

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Step 4: Planting

Plant your seeds in early spring or late summer so that they are ready for harvest in autumn or winter. If you live in a warmer climate then you should plant your seeds in late winter or early spring so that they are ready for harvest during the summer months.

You can choose to plant the seed directly or transplant the sprouted plant to the farm.

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Make a hole on the farm bed and pour the millet seed or transplant the sprouted plant in the hole and cover with at least 1inch soil. You should plant the seeds within a 2-inch minimum distance apart with a minimum of the 1foot distance between the rows. The soil should then be watered thoroughly so that the soil becomes moist but not wet.

Step 5: Watering and Mulching

If planted during rainfall, there is no need for irrigation, However, if planted during the dry season, there is a need to water the plants through irrigation. Ensure that the water drains properly. If the millet seeds are submerged in water, they won’t grow well.

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Also, to grow millet successfully, you need to take care of the plants by mulching them. This will help to keep the roots healthy and ensure that the plants have enough moisture.

Step 6: Weeding and Fertilizer Application

To ensure healthy millet growth, regular weeding and fertilizer application are necessary. Weeds can be removed manually using hoes or by hand. However, in the case of large farming, chemical sprays should be used.

After the initial fertilizer is applied before planting, there is a need to add fertilizer as soon as the plant germinates and when they are near maturity.

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Step 7: Harvest

You will know that your millet is ready for harvest when the grasses and seed heads have turned a goldenbrown color.

Is Millet Easy to Grow?

Millet is easy to grow, but some simple guidelines must be followed. Most of the steps have been discussed earlier.

How Long Does Millet Take to Grow?

Millets grow to maturity within 60 to 70 days. it can be shorter in areas with warmer climates

Where Does Millet Grow Best?

Millet grows best in dry, high-temperature conditions. That is why it is popularly grown in Asia and Africa especially in India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger as the highest producers.

How Long Does It Take Millet to Sprout?

The majority of millet species planted, particularly in a warmer climate grow within two months. It can be longer in cooler climates.

Will Millet Regrow After Cutting?

Millet does not regrow after cutting. If allowed to reach full maturity, it will perform poorly.

Does Millet Need A Lot of Water?

Millet doesn’t require much water because it can withstand droughts very well.

Does Millet Need Fertilizer?

Most varieties of millet need fertilizer to aid growth.

When Should Millet Be Planted?

Millets need a warm climate to grow to their fullest. As such, the best time to plant millet is in May or early June.

Is Millet Invasive?

Typically, millet is not invasive because the plant grows upright with a firm stem that does not spread.

Does Millet Need Full Sun?

Millet thrives in warm climates and is drought tolerant. This plant prefers to be exposed to full sun minimum of 6 hours per day.

Can I Sprout Millet At Home?

You can sprout millet at home. The process takes 10 to 21 days.

Can You Eat Sprouted Millet Raw?

Sprouted millet can be eaten raw, cooked briefly, added to bread recipes, or dried and ground into flour.

Is Millet Toxic?

Millet is safe and it contains a rich nutrient that is healthy for the body. However, it is advised that consumption should be moderate because excess consumption can lead to adverse effects as the cereals contain goitrogens that interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Do Chickens Eat Millet?

Yes, Millet is one of the favorite foods for chickens.

What Bird Eats Millet Seed?

Many native birds eat millet seed including finches, sparrows, towhees, juncos, doves, cowbirds, House Sparrows, and many more bird species.

Is Millet Healthier Than Rice?

Millet is healthier than rice because millet contains significantly more protein and fiber than rice.

Will Millet Grow in Shade?

Most millet species require full sun and do not grow well under shade. Only Golden Millet prefers a shady location.

Is Millet Good for Diabetics?

Because millet has a lower glycemic index (GI) than many other grains. This indicates that it raises your blood sugar gradually rather than in sharp spikes. It is not only beneficial but also healthy for those who have diabetes.

Can You Broadcast Millet Seed?

Yes, you can broadcast millet seed. However, make sure that the seedbed is well prepared with a grain drill into the firm.

Is Millet A Cash Crop?

Yes, millet is a cash crop.

What Does A Millet Plant Look Like?


Is Millet Invasive?

Millet is typically not invasive because it grows upright with a firm stem, and t does not spread.

When Should Millet Be Planted?

Millet plants cannot withstand cold or frost. So, due to its sensitivity to cold, millet should only be planted when the soil temperature is consistently at or above 18 °C at a depth of 1inch.

How Do You Take Care Of Millet?

  1. Mulching the plant to keep it moist
  2. Weeding and pest control
  3. Regular watering
  4. Fertilizer application

Does Millet Need Full Sun?

Millet grows best in regions with a temperate warm climate. The plant requires 6 to 7 hours of full sunlight daily.

How To Grow Millet For Birds

The individual seeds should be planted 1 inch deep and spaced at least 2 inches (50 centimeters) apart. Cover the seed with at least 1-inch soil.

Make sure the seed rows have separated a minimum of 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) apart. As the millet grows, add more compost or nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil.

How To Grow Millet Indoors

Step 1: Get a planting container or establish a mini garden in your backyard.

Step 2: Pour the potting mix or compost into the container

Step 3: Apply manure

Step 4: Plant the seeds minimum of 2 seeds in a hole and 2 inches space at 1-inch deep.

Step 5: Place the Container in a sunny location

Step 6: Add fertilizer or manure

Step 7: Harvest

How To Grow Millet For Budgies

To grow millet for budgies, make sure the seeds are planted at least 2 inches apart and cover the seeds with soil. Seed rows should be spaced at least 12 inches apart. As the millet grows, add more compost or nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil.

How To Harvest Millet By Hand

Millet can be harvested by hand. Make use of a pair of garden shears to cut the seed head off from the stalk.

Growing Millet for Food

To grow millet for food, you have to get a location that receives adequate sunlight with well-drained loose soil. Prepare the land and make sure the ridges are well drained and prepared.

Plant the 2 inches apart, and cover the seeds with soil. Water and fertilize intermittently, and harvest when the seed heads have turned a goldenbrown color.

How Much Water Does Millet Need To Grow

Millet does not need too much water to grow to be a plant that can withstand drought and sunny locations. Millet needs 1-inch of water weekly.

Growing Millet for Chickens

To grow millet for chicken, broadcast millet seeds in an area with adequate sunlight and well-drained loose soil. Prepare the land by ensuring that the planting beds are properly drained and prepared.

Plant the seeds 2 inches apart and cover them with soil. Water and fertilize regularly, and harvest when the seed heads turn a golden-brown color.

Growing Millet in Containers

Step 1: Get your preferred planting container

Step 2: Pour in the potting mix or compost

Step 3: Apply manure

Step 4: Moist the soil and plant the seeds minimum of 2 seeds in a hole and 2 inches space at 1-inch deep.

Step 5: Place the container in a sunny location

Step 6: Maintain the plant

Step 7: Harvest


Millet is easy to grow and can be planted smallscale or largescale. Interestingly, planting millet is not strenuous and can be done by anyone including you reading this material. So, waste no time to start planting millets today after reading and digesting this informative piece.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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