Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seed Production in Amaranthus

Following are the methods adopted for seed production of Amaranthus also called harive soppu and bhaji.

  • healthy plants with good inflorescence must be selected.
  • diseased, infested by insects , weak plants are not selected as the seeds obtained from them will be of poor quality
  • care should be taken to see that weed plants are not harvested along with main plants
  • all the unwanted leaves, branches, stem etc are trimmed & only the inflorescence is sun dried for a period of 7 to 15 days
  • white or transparent plastic sheet must be used and the inflorescence must be spread out evenly on the surface
  • drying process is complete when there is total discoloration of the plant. it changes from green to burnt yellow/brown color.

Packing and storage
  • once the plant is completely dried, the seeds can be separated by threshing or beating the plant on a wooden plank or rough surface. even rubbing the inflorescence against each other dislodges the seeds
  • the seeds are very small in size & black in color & round in shape.
  • the seeds thus obtained must be kept in air tight containers & stored in a dry place.

Precautions and tips
  • since there are 2 distinct color types, one green the other maroon, seeds of the required color plants can be obtained by not mixing the 2 while threshing, separate the green plants from the maroon plants
  • do not keep in containers that are defective or have cracks as even a little moisture in these containers will encourage the growth of fungus & will damage the seeds
  • ants & other insects can also be a problem if the storage containers are not proper. to control ants, 3 or 6 pieces of cloves can be added in the containers.
  • certain chemicals like Thiram can be used for longer storage to prevent attack from insects
  • the area of storage must be in a dry place, well aerated to prevent any kind of fungal attack.
  • after using the seeds, the container must be closed properly,
  • always use clean hands while handling seeds. after using any chemicals, wash hands with clean water thoroughly before handling seeds

    Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza


  1. Hi there,

    I have a question about sticky traps for white flies. My plants are spread all over the garden - placing traps everywhere will be difficult. Will garlic sprays help?

    Many thanks

  2. hi
    u dont have to keep a lot of sticky traps.... keep one or 2... the yellow color of the plastic trap will attract the insects... u dnt have to run behind them....:)
    use garlic sprays and the sticky traps...together

  3. Hello,

    I have been using garlic sprays for couple of days and the results have been disappointing - not sure why that is the case. The white flies appear to have increased in numbers :( I have put traps today - hopefully they should work.

    Take care

  4. if garlic sprays dont work, maybe the concentration is not enough.. use 2 garlics instead of one... or just switch over to good ol neem