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Salvia hispanica L.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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I hit up the bulk section of the grocer today and got some more beans of different varieties (which I'm pretty sure the ducks and geese are eating as I type) as well as a bunch of amaranth, flax and chia (Salvia hispanica). I feel pretty comfortable with amaranth and flax even though I haven't grown them really. The chia I really don't know anything about. But it was 1.99 a pound and those seeds are tiny. I know that it was an extremely important food source for meso-america prior to the Colombian era. In reading it says that it grows in USDA Zone 9-12. I live in an 8b region, it seems to be a warm year, and it seems likely that we will have more warm seasons. Does anyone have any experience growing this? Anyone have any good info or tidbits. The Wikipedia on it pretty much amounts to my full understanding of this plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica
 
gardener
Posts: 1029
Location: Northern Italy
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It's your number of hot sunny days that determines your ability to grow this plant for seed. You can always grow it for leafy greens (but you have to re-buy seeds every year). Check the number of days needed to reach maturity or to seed. I'd check pfaf.org.

I have some growing right now. Quinoa and Chia didn't germinate all that well. Need to space out the seeds better. You could mix it with potting soil and then put that on top of a tub of potting soil and you might get the space you need.

I'm trying to grow this for microgreens. The seed is hugely expensive here (16 euro/kilo -- 7 dollars-ish a pound), so this was just a test, nothing I'm planning to do long-term. You can only find it in health-food shops as food, not seed.

William
 
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