Chia seeds are considered to be one of the healthiest food items these days. Chia seeds can be consumed in several ways. There are a lot of chia recipes you can invent yourself. You can also do some experimentation work for yourself.
Chia seeds contain essential nutrients that are not produced by our body. You might have probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for the heart. Chia seeds oil too are beneficial for the hair and skin. So, after knowing all these cool properties of chia you would probably want some of those.
Now, how about growing chia seeds in your own backyard? Growing chia seeds will probably be one of the healthiest options to save money and do a bit of recreational work. Growing chia is not that tough all you need is some chia seeds and a bit of effort. So, with that, we begin our discussion on how to grow chia seeds?
There are readymade starter kits available on Amazon, but you can do it all by yourself as well. Specially if you want to do it on a bit larger scale, these kits might not fit in the requirement.
The first step- Find a good place
Well, it’s obvious that the first step is to buy some good seeds but we will keep that in the zero step. So, before you try and find a place for growing your chia plant let us inform you that chia plants occupy a large space. A space larger than usually what a mint plant occupies! Chia plant grows up to the size of a large shrub or a small tree. If you grow your plants in vessels i.e. in smaller areas then you should be buying some larger pots or select an open area which has good space. Chia plants can grow up to four- six feet tall.
Can we plant all kinds of chia seeds?
Chia seeds have different color variations. You can find black, white, and gray chia seeds. Colors don’t make a difference and if you plant any of these, then they are going to be growing into the same old chia plants producing the same chia seeds you want. Just make sure that you buy good quality seeds that are feasible to be planted. Sometimes the seeds are not stored properly and when you buy such seeds you might find that they already have lost their viability.
What about the seed plantation season?
While growing chia seeds, you might probably think of the question that whether you can grow chia seeds at any time of the year or not. No, seeds cannot be grown at any time of the year. It indeed has a specific time to be planted and grown. The best time to grow chia seeds is during the winter season or in early spring.
Summers are not good for chia seed plantation. Even though chia seeds are preferred to be planted during the winter, they don’t like iciness or snowflakes. Therefore, the advice is to choose a moderate winter time, probably earlier than the early spring, so that you can get the best results for chia seed plantation.
So, you have chosen good quality seeds and your seeds are feasible to be planted. You also have decided on what part of the year you will start your plantation task. And you have calculated the area where you will be digging up space for sowing the seeds. Now let’s prepare our seeds for the germinating task. So, germinate your seeds before planting them in your garden. Wait until the sprouts are formed and then only take them for the next step. For the sprouts to reach a length of 4 inches it takes a few weeks and then you can take them in your garden to sow them.
What to do in the garden for sowing?
While sowing these seeds in the garden make sure to leave some space between them as you know that chia plants occupy a lot of space. Make sure to create a space that is 11-16 inches wide. Water the soil properly after you sow the seeds. Chia plant is drought resistant but you must surely water them and another thing to keep in mind is that do not over water them otherwise you will find your plants struggling. Only water them when you find the soil quite dry. This way you can ensure the better growth of your chia plant.
If you want continued blooming
Chia seed plants do have beautiful flowers. And most of us love flowers in our garden. If someday your chia plants start blooming and your mind asks you to keep the flowers instead of seeds then you can deadhead the flowers to make sure that they bloom for a longer duration of time.
Have you ever heard of deadheading flowers? If you haven’t then it simply means to remove dead flowers from plants. Why is it done? Deadheading is done in order to avoid the dead flowers to divert the energy for making seeds instead of making flowers. It can help your chia plants to blossom for a longer period of time. The finest time to dead head flowers is just after the blossom time has peaked and is about to fade away. Do not only pluck the flower but cut the entire stem of the dead flower.
What about fertilizers and composts?
Every living organism requires food for growth and maintenance. If you have planted some other plants before then you might have used fertilizers and composts for better plant growth. Chia plants also require these requisites. Fertilizers and composts add essential nutrients to the soil for your plant.
Do not use harsh chemicals otherwise they might affect your health too along with your plant’s health. So, if you are buying some fertilizers from market then just be careful with the dangerous chemicals you might come across and buy mistakenly for your plant. Natural composts are the best options you can choose and there is no replacement for such a choice. So, be wise in your thinking and choose the best products for your plant. Insecticides can also be used for protecting your plant from attackers.
Harvesting the chia seeds
If you want seeds instead of flower blossoms now comes the main part. For the harvesting purpose, you don’t need to deadhead the flowers. All you need is to wait until most of the petals of the flowers fall off. Another thing to keep in mind is that do not wait until the flower heads turn totally brown otherwise you might risk losing seeds.
If you completely grow you chia plant organically without the use of manufactured chemicals then you can give some task of seed harvesting to your children too. It’s easy to do that all they need to do is crush the flower heads to loosen the seeds out. They would love to do it.
After you get some seeds you can put them in a paper bag and leave them to dry. You can also harvest chia seeds by simply shaking the flower heads one by one and collect the falling seeds. This might be a time consuming and tedious task but if you are free and have nothing to do then the idea is not bad at all. Otherwise, you can cut the whole flower head off with scissors and get back to the kitchen to separate seeds. If you wait for flowers to fall off all by themselves then that too isn’t a bad idea.
You can leave the final work of seed drying to air. Just make sure that you place your seeds in such a place where there is enough air circulation.
So, we have finally made it till here. We mean you are now equipped with the idea of growing chia seeds in your own garden or backyard. The demand of chia is increasing as people are getting to know its various benefits. So, hurry up and try some of them yourself and see what benefits you can get from chia seeds.
Chia oil is also not behind in adding up its benefits to our health. Chia oil is beneficial for hair and skin especially. With increasing demand for chia seeds, possibilities are there that their prices might go up. If you plant some of them at your home then you will not have to worry about that and you yourself would be able to distribute them to some of your relatives. Growing and harvesting chia seeds is easy. All you need to do is follow some steps properly and gain enough information for the same. If you have doubts you can consult a specialist gardener and there will be no problem at all.