amaranthus ready for harvest
watering with too much force results in patches in the beds as seen above
- the seeds must be mixed in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio with sand. since the seeds are small, mixing with filler material is done and then broadcast
- the growing beds must be of even shape & dimensions. an ideal bed will be 6 to 10 inches raised height
- the height is raised as continuous watering will result in soil compaction & rooting is affected greatly. even harvesting will be affected as the plants break off at the ground level.
- watering must be done with watering can, or hose pipe if a large area is covered & with less intensity. if watering is done with force, the seeds will be displaced from the raised beds. also a lot of water can be conserved by light irrigation
- the seeds will germinate in 3 days & the beds will see uniform growth on 7th day. if by the 4th day, there is no uniform germination, seeds must be again broadcast immediately.
- mixing the seeds with turmeric powder is also done and then broadcast to prevent seeds getting destroyed by ants
- it is important to maintain a chart to keep tab of the harvest cycle. seed beds should be made & seeds broadcast every 5th day to maintain a uniform harvest cycle.
- when conditions are favorable, harvesting can be done every 21 days & the older beds can be worked upon & seeds sowed after adding manure/compost
Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza