If you sometimes like to walk around the squares and parks of your city, then you probably noticed a plant with lush foliage and red garlands. This plant is called amaranth. For a long time, amaranth in agriculture was considered a weed and they were fed animals, only recently its decorative and healing properties were discovered.
Amaranth is an annual plant that is most often planted with seedlings because it grows for a long time. Although in regions with a warm climate, amaranth is grown in open ground.
In total, there are almost 900 species of amaranth and 65 genera. In Russia, 17 species of this plant are grown, of which the most common are amaranth tricolor, caudate, scarlet, paniculate, upturned, common shchiritsa.
Growing amaranth from seeds
If you are thinking whether it is worth growing an amaranth, then no doubt it is worth it! This plant does have beneficial properties.
- Any soil will be suitable for growing amaranth. If this condition is met, then the need for weeding the beds will not be, because the greenery will grow much faster than weeds.
- If you want to grow the early shoots of amaranth, the seeds should be sown before the ground freezes.
- When late shoots of this plant should constantly weed weeds and monitor watering. Also do not forget about the pests - various insects, from which amaranth must be constantly protected.
- It is necessary to sow amaranth with 45 cm between ridges, the distance between seeds should be 10 cm. If this condition is not met, the plant will grow small and the harvest will be small.
- It is necessary to plant seeds in a moist soil, to a small depth, about 1-1.5 cm.
- Since amaranth seeds are very small (1000 grains of amaranth weigh only 0.6-0.9 g), they should be mixed with river sand or common sawdust in a ratio of 1:20 before planting, the mixture should be uniform. Also, before sowing, do not forget to level the soil and fertilize the soil.
- The first shoots will appear within 8-10 days after sowing. The upper part of amaranth develops rather slowly at first, therefore, it is necessary to thin out the plant once every 10 days, as well as loosen and weed the soil.
- When amaranth reaches a height of 20 cm, it is necessary to add fertilizer to the soil, it must be done before precipitation or before irrigation.
- Further, amaranth will add 6-7 cm daily to its growth. This plant fully ripens 100-110 days after planting.
- If you live in the northern region of the country, then it is better to plant amaranth seedlings, otherwise it will not have time to develop properly before the onset of cold weather.
- At the moment when the so-called "panicle" is formed on the plant, it must be removed. This phenomenon gives a sign that the plant has collected the maximum amount of useful substances. Panicles need to be collected at the moment when the seeds have just begun to ripen. After harvesting, they need some time for ripening. To do this, the seeds need to be expanded in a room with good ventilation for 7-10 days.
- To prevent small rodents, such as mice, from destroying your harvest, spread elder branches around the seeds.
- To clear amaranth seeds, pass them through a sieve with very small cells, and then dry. After these actions, amaranth seeds can be planted for about 5 years.
- For the use of amaranth in the winter time, it can be frozen, dried or pickled.
How to dry amaranth?
There are several ways to dry amaranth. You can cut the plant in a medium-sized and decompose it in a well-ventilated room, stirring occasionally, so that the plant does not stick. You can also collect the leaves of the plant in a small bundle and hang. It only remains to periodically check the amaranth for readiness - rub the leaf of the plant between the fingers - if it crumbles, it means that the amaranth has dried.
- If you want to keep in the amaranth as much as possible useful substances, then dry it in the refrigerator. To do this, cut the plant in small size, lay it on a cutting board and put it in the refrigerator, but not the topmost shelf. The plant with this method of drying is not only the most useful, but green and beautiful. Amaranth is usually stored in a dark, ventilated, non-humid room in a suspended state. Freeze the plant bundles, pre-washed and dried, by tucking beams in the freezer.
- To marinate amaranth, you can pour it with brine prepared from water, sugar and salt, or you can simply put it in a container and fill it with salt.
Useful properties of amaranth
Amaranth contains many beneficial substances for our body. Many experts argue that amaranth protein is even better than milk protein. Amaranth protein is recognized as dietary, it is often used to prepare baby food. Also amaranth contains more lysine than other plants.
Another amaranth includes elements such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. This plant is very rich in dietary fiber, very beneficial to our health. Amaranth contains 18% sugar, 14% fiber and 18% protein.
Amaranth oil for health
From amaranth squeeze oil, which has a mass of beneficial properties and is easily absorbed by our body. The oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of a plant, and stems and vegetation are used much less often.
The composition of amaranth seeds includes squalene, with its help it is very good to treat tumors, it also helps to increase immunity. Amaranth oil tastes like a nut, because of this it is also used in cooking.
Amaranth is a very useful plant, it can be used to cure many diseases, from colitis to hemorrhoidal bleeding. Plant oil has a positive effect on our immunity. Growing amaranth at home is not at all troublesome, it requires a bit of care and attention, and the result of applying these small efforts will exceed all your expectations!