Quinoa is an ancient small seed that is packed with nutrients and extremely versatile. By growing quinoa, you can have a hearty, earthy-tasting grain without having to worry about where your next meal is coming from.
Growing quinoa can be done year-round. The different phases of growing quinoa start from soil Properties, Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site, choosing a variety of seeds, Planting Site Preparation, seed planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding, pest and disease control, and harvest.
It takes about four months for quinoa to produce seeds, and it can be grown in a small plot of ground or hydroponically. It’s simple to grow, drought-resistant, and disease-resistant. Ensure you read through to the end to learn how to grow quinoa.
How to Grow Quinoa
Here are important steps that you need to follow to start growing quinoa regardless of the scale, and your location.
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Step 1: Soil and Climate Properties
As you search for a perfect location to grow your quinoa plant, make sure you select a site that offers plenty of suns as well as well-draining soil, especially loamy soil.
The quinoa plant is not cold-tolerant. With a little frost, the plant will produce high yield than expected. More so, the ideal climate condition to grow quinoa is during short days with cool nights and daytime temperatures below 95 degrees F. (35 C.).
Step 2: Choosing and Preparing a Planting Site
When going in search of farmland, you should consider the soil and climate properties that are mentioned above. In the case of large-scale farming, the farmland should be motorable and away from a polluted environment. More so, the land should have access to water and adequate sun and rainfall as well.
Step 3: Choosing the variety of seeds
Numerous varieties thrive in both warm and coastal climates. Most quinoa varieties have plants that grow four to six feet tall and produce seeds that are light tan, red, or black.
Make sure you purchase quality variety from a reliable breeder or established farmer. Ensure you inspect the seedlings to avoid purchasing poor-yielding quinoa seeds.
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Also, depending on the planting method you choose, you can purchase direct seedlings or already-sprouted seeds to be raised in a nursery or grown directly.
Step 4: Planting Site Preparation
This is the time to prepare your farmland. The land should be deforested, tilled, and deeply plowed to make the soil ideal for planting. To enrich the soil, add a layer of compost or fertilizer.
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Few weeks to when planting will commence, make farm beds that are about 3 feet wide and 18 inches apart.
Step 5: Seed Planting
You can choose to plant the seeds directly on the farm or start them indoors to be transplanted at the right time. Spring is the ideal time to grow your plant, just after the last frost.
You should plant the seeds or already sprouted plants no more than one-inch deep in rows, and one and a half to two feet apart or wide enough to allow a rototiller to pass between the rows without damaging the plants. Planting can be done either manually or with a row seeder. Also, don’t plant the seed in a dry soil but make sure the soil is moist before planting.
Step 6: Watering and Fertilizing
You must continue to care for your plant, especially the soil moisture. Water the soil when it feels dry to replenish moisture. However, be careful not to overwater the plant to avoid the seed becoming rot.
Also, add fertilizer to your plant after the seedlings during the early stage of germination with a diluted water-soluble organic fertilizer.
Step 7: Weeding and Mulching
Weeding in the early stage is discouraged because some of the plants can be damaged during the process. So, it is best to mulch the plant at an early stage to help retain soil moisture and to reduce weed growth.
It is best to remove weeds by hand rather than use chemicals. You should start watching out for weeds that are to be removed by hand when the plants are 4 inches (10 cm) tall, then thin to 18 inches (46 cm) apart. Most summer weeds will be shaded out as the plants grow.
Step 8: Pest and Disease Control
Quinoa is sometimes bothered by some pests and diseases. That is why you need to be on the lookout for any signs of disease and pests and tackle them as soon as possible. Aphids, leaf miners, and slugs are an example of pests that attack the quinoa plant.
You can apply an organic pesticide that uses Bacillus thuringiensis to control pests and diseases on your farm. Meet with an expert for information on how to apply pesticides on your farm.
Step 9: Harvest
Harvest your quinoa after the plants have shed their leaves. bend the seed head over a bucket and clip them off. Strip off the seeds, winnow out debris with a fan and spread the seeds on screens or trays to dry indoors.
Is Quinoa Difficult To Grow?
Quinoa is not difficult to grow, it is rather easy to cultivate and it will grow in a wide range of climatic conditions.
How Long Does Quinoa Take To Grow?
Quinoa plant begins to germinate within 4 to 5 days and grow to maturity within 90 to 120 days.
Can I Grow My Quinoa?
Quinoa is relatively easy to grow, so you can grow it on your own at home either indoors or in your backyard.
Can Quinoa Be Grown Anywhere?
Quinoa is not a picky plant and can be grown anywhere. However, the plant will only flower and produce seeds if the soil temperature remains cool.
Are Quinoa Leaves Edible?
Quinoa’s young leaves are also nutritious and can be eaten as a vegetable because it is a complete amino acid.
Can I Plant Quinoa From The Grocery Store?
Quinoa seeds are bought from the grocery store as long as they are unwashed or prewashed seed.
What Climate Does Quinoa Grow In?
Quinoa grows in a warm climate crop that requires full sunlight. Also, the soil temperature must be warm with temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees.
Is Quinoa Better Than Rice?
Quinoa is better than rice because it contains more nutrients.
How Tall Does A Quinoa Plant Get?
The quinoa plant can grow as high as 9.8 feet (3 meters). However, the height depends on the variety planted.
Is Quinoa A Perennial?
Quinoa is not a perennial crop but an annual crop.
What Country Grows The Most Quinoa?
Peru in South America grows the largest amount of quinoa.
Will Deer Eat Quinoa?
Deer don’t eat quinoa because they are covered with a bitter substance known as saponin.
Does Quinoa Need Fertilizer?
Quinoa requires soil that is rich in nutrients to grow healthily. As such, you ought to apply fertilizer to the soil to help replenish nutrients and aid plants’ growth.
Is Quinoa A Fruit Or Vegetable?
Quinoa is neither a fruit nor a vegetable. It is classed as a grain or cereal crop.
Does Quinoa Last Longer In The Freezer?
Quinoa lasts long in the freezer reaching 8 to 12 months. However, the taste and quality will be affected.
Can You Eat Unwashed Quinoa?
You can eat unwashed quinoa as long as there is no dirt attached to it. Don’t try to eat unwashed quinoa if you cannot withstand the bitter taste, otherwise, wash it before you eat.
When Should I Start Quinoa Seeds?
You can start your quinoa seeds 3-4 weeks before the last frost.
How Much Space Do You Need To Grow Quinoa?
Quinoa seeds should be planted at depth of 1-inch and the plant spacing should be 8 to 10 inches apart.
Is Quinoa Destroying The Environment?
Quinoa does not pose any threat to the environment. The air, water, land, soil, and forests that are around quinoa plants are safe.
What Conditions Do You Need To Grow Quinoa?
Under these conditions can you plant quinoa, they are:
- Full sun
- Warm climate with temperatures below 35 C
- Well drain soil
What Zone Does Quinoa Grow In?
Zones 4-10 are where quinoa is grown.
How To Grow Quinoa In Containers
- Purchase a planting container of your preferred size
- Prepare compost and fill the container
- Plant the seed but not too deeply
- Place the containers under grow lights or in a sunny location
- Water the plant just after planting
- Maintain your plant
How Much Quinoa Per Plant
You can get about six ounces of quinoa per plant
How To Grow Quinoa Indoors
To grow quinoa indoors, follow the step outlined below.
Step 1: Purchase a planting container
Step 2: Prepare potting mix
Step 3: Fill the container with soil
Step 4: Plant the seed but not too deeply
Step 5: Place the containers under grow lights or in a sunny location
Step 6: Water the plant just after planting
Step 7: Maintain your plant
Step 8: Harvest
How To Grow Quinoa Commercially
Step 1: Choosing Planting Site
Step 2: Test soil PH
Step 3: Preparing a Planting Site
Step 4: Choosing a variety of seeds
Step 5: Planting Site Preparation
Step 6: Seed Planting
Step 7: Watering and Fertilizing
Step 8: Weeding and Mulching
Step 9: Pest and Disease Control
Step 10: Harvest and store
Step 11: Market your product
Can I Grow Quinoa From The Store
As long as the quinoa seeds you purchased from the store are unwashed or prewashed, you can grow them in your garden.
How Is Quinoa Grown and Harvested
Quinoa is grown indoors or on the field under full sun with loosed well-drain soil. Harvesting quinoa is simple and easy. All you have to do is to push the seeds upwards towards the stalk, which effortlessly dislodges them.
Where To Buy Quinoa Seeds For Planting
Visit a reliable seed shop to buy quinoa seeds for planting. Also, you can visit the ministry of agriculture in your location to purchase your quinoa seeds or any other reliable source.
Quinoa Growing Zones
Zones 4-10 is a quinoa growing zone in USDA.
This informative piece on how to grow Quinoa is a detailed and thorough guide to the growing process. It has been carefully written, to introduce and guide you through the process. Ensure you go through this step-by-step guide compiled to show you how to grow quinoa either on a small or large scale.