I have only recently started growing greens at home, and I am very happy with the results so far. I made an extensive video detailing how I planted seeds and then harvested red amaranth leaves from them. I’ve used my homemade compost while preparing the potting mix as well as bio enzyme as a plant growth enabler cum pesticide when growing my greens. Here is how I grew amaranth greens in containers at home.
Click the links to watch these videos:
Basics of Growing Greens in Containers
I use 40% of homemade compost along with 60% of soil medium which contains normal soil and coco peat. Coco peat is coconut husk that is sold in blocks and is reasonably cheap. You can get it at any gardening store. What is good about coco peat is that it is very light weight and absorbent. So as a soil medium it absorbs water well and keeps the potting medium low weight. This is important for us city dwellers who use pots to do our farming. I also added some neem mix to the potting mix because it apparently drives away insects.
Amaranth has longer roots, hence needs a deeper container or pot. It must have 6 inches to 1 ft. depth. I used a cleaned paint bucket for the same. These are sturdy and lightweight.
If you have seeds from amaranth that you’ve grown earlier, you can use those. Else, it is better to buy good quality seeds from a good store. I used store bought seeds in this case.
Method to Plant Amaranth Seeds
I took enough potting mix in the tall bucket, randomly sprinkled amaranth seeds avoiding overcrowding. Then covered it with ¼ in to ½ inch potting soil. Then I watered it daily. I added my bio enzyme to the water to help with any pests and also to increase growth. I am happy to say that I did not see any insects till third harvest of amaranth from the same batch.
- Weeds: Weeds like kulfa plants, bathua plants and even wild amaranth along with grass start coming up. The only solution is to uproot them on a regular basis. These weeds take away precious nutrition and space meant for the greens.
- Pests: Pests can be a huge issue when you do organic farming. You can use neem spray, garlic chilli spray, bio enzyme spray etc. to ward off small insects and pests like aphids. Moving location of the container may help too. If it is a severe outbreak then sometimes one can’t do much. Also keep away caterpillars who love to feed on these tender leaves.
- Seeds not sprouting: This can happen and unfortunately one can’t do much about this. In case seeds have not sprouted get a fresh batch and repeat.
- Low growth: Sometimes the greens may not be growing as quickly as they should. It could be due to lack of adequate sunshine, lack of water or lack of nutrients. Amaranth requires a lot of sunlight (at least 4-6 hours daily) so accordingly keep it in a sunny spot in your balcony and terrace. You need to water it daily and I topped up with homemade compost every 2 weeks.
Overall, I have had good learning while growing amaranth greens which was quite hassle-free and gives a good harvest each time. If you have a larger family or want more harvest, then plant seeds in two containers at one time. Accordingly you can grow produce to match your food needs.
Do share with me your thoughts and ideas. Hope you liked this post. I would really love for you to try growing some of your own food. You would be surprised to know how much it teaches your kids about food and also renews our respect for those who grow food for us.