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Chia Fence

 
Ben Bishop
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Hi guys,

First post here and wanted to contribute something useful. I have been doing something kind of clever with the "chia" plant this past season and thought I would share. I thickly direct-sowed the chia seeds into a border around my garden. Within 2-3 months a dense green fence popped up and now protects my garden from small animals and deer seem to be avoiding it. They grow very fast and fairly straight. As a secondary and tertiary functions, they also blossom to attract pollinators and produce seeds that just so happen to be super foods. Tons of omega 3s!

Hope you find this useful. Ill try to post pictures soon.

Ben
 
Steven Baxter
Posts: 254
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BenB wrote:
Hi guys,

First post here and wanted to contribute something useful. I have been doing something kind of clever with the "chia" plant this past season and thought I would share. I thickly direct-sowed the chia seeds into a border around my garden. Within 2-3 months a dense green fence popped up and now protects my garden from small animals and deer seem to be avoiding it. They grow very fast and fairly straight. As a secondary and tertiary functions, they also blossom to attract pollinators and produce seeds that just so happen to be super foods. Tons of omega 3s!

Hope you find this useful. Ill try to post pictures soon.

Ben


That is super cool! So what variety is chia grass anyways? Cuz Chia just seems like a marketing name.
ok I found this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica
 
Ben Bishop
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I just use the kind found in health food stores. You can buy an 8oz bag of seeds for about 6 bucks. I found them to have a near 100% germination rate.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i havent used them as a living fence, but grow chia. i started with seeds i got from the health food store. even at 20$ a lb for them, its still cheaper than buying a packet of chia seeds for what you get.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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I put hemp and chia in my smoothies.. I wanna see this living fence.. Photos please!

Peace -
 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
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Location: France
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Very interesting - how high does the 'fence' grow?
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:
Very interesting - how high does the 'fence' grow?


Chia (s. hispanica) grows about 1m (3.3 ft) high...

 
Paula Edwards
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I grew chia once and I liked it because it is a very pretty plant, but I wasn't able to collect the seeds. As a fence it won't serve too much because it's an annual - or you might only need a fence in summer.
 
                                
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chia is a super food. You hydrate it in fruit juice of hibiscus tea and you get little gelatinous crunchy grains.  Delicious.
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 255
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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Right, it's an annual. Plus, I don't see my cows being deterred by an edge of chia at all 

As far as the superfood, I really don't care to eat gelatinous seeds, but I do want to eat the sprouts in salads, and I know it sprouts fairly easily (remember the clay faces that grow chia "hair"?). However, mine never went past the gelatine phase. How do you sprout chia?
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Living Wind - where is that picture from?  Can I grow this here in SC?  I love the plant and I do put chia seeds in a lot of my foods.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Living Wind - where is that picture from?  Can I grow this here in SC?  I love the plant and I do put chia seeds in a lot of my foods.


That photo is from Australia (where the most Chia is grown). It's really a zone 9 plant. I'm in SC too (six mile/sunset) and we're 7-7b zone...
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Chia is salvia hispanica, warm season annual, but can harvest in Britain. Due to gelatinousness, it sprouts best on a porous surface... hence, the clay figures. See more at PFaF - http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salvia+hispanica. Wonder if it would self sow in Western Washington...? Might be great for chickens...?
 
john muckleroy jr
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Location: nacogdoches,texas
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Go to amazon.com and you can get chia seeds for less than 6 bucks a pound.I'm a regular consumer of them.I buy them 6lbs. at a time.Read "Born to Run" for more on them.I make a drink the Indians made called iskiate two tablespoons of chia seeds in a cup of water stir and let them set for about 5 hours or overnight and a lime and drink.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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At your suggestion, John, I did read 'Born to Run'.... wow!! What an engaging story and eye-opening education! Another nudge to get 'back to nature', i.e., outside... to run.... barefoot.... in the (Vit D) sunshine.... permaculture sneaks in from so many places :)

I'm also drinking up my chia, ($8/lb at health food store), will try growing some this summer... it is described as self-sowing.
 
Cee Ray
Posts: 98
Location: BC Interior, zone 5a
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I grew some in southern Quebec (45N lat)..it did not flower in time to make seed. In my experience it can grow 6 feet or more. For folks north of 30 or 35 degrees latitude who want to grow chia for seed, I would instead recommend green shiso (Perilla frutescens) as it has many of the same qualities (high omega-3, mucilaginous).
 
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