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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever planted quinoa before? My mom gave me some seeds to try so I tossed a bunch in a large pot near the house. I have about 50 starts in there, maybe a couple inches high, but I have no idea what this plant is supposed to look like when it matures, how big it gets, if I need to thin these out, or how long it takes. Based on what quinoa looks like, I'm guessing that maybe it grows little seed pods? but I really have no idea.

anyone have any experience with quinoa?
 

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Hey Tammy,

I just did a general search and here is what I've come across:

Quinoa is an annual that prefers cooler weather, and is well-suited for more northern growing. Your summers should not get hotter than 90F or your plants will suffer. Your harvest of seeds can be used like many other grains, typically cooked and used alone as a rice-like side dish or incorporated into any number of recipes.

Starting from Seed

Quinoa isn’t usually started indoors for transplant, but rather just put out into the garden once the soil has warmed to around 60F. This usually makes for an early spring planting, around the time of your last frost.

Dig up your soil beforehand to loosen the earth and to kill any early weeds. Quinoa grows slowly and can have trouble competing with fast growing weeds, so it’s best to get rid of any other growth in the garden before planting.

Plant your seeds in rows, putting them no more than 1/4 inch deep. Your final plants should be 10 to 14 inches apart, so plant a few seeds at each location. If more than one sprouts, just thin down to one in each spot. While you can always sow along the entire row and thin out, it’s a bit of a waste of seed considering how quickly quinoa germinates. If any of your seeds don’t sprout, you can replant them almost within the week.

Growing Instructions

Quinoa is closely related to lamb’s-quarters, a common (but much smaller) garden weed. As a seedling, they look very similar. So take care to watch your rows when you are weeding to make sure you aren’t pulling up quinoa and leaving the weeds to thrive. And you will be doing weeding for the first several weeks. Quinoa is slow growing at first and will suffer if crowded by weeds. Once it reaches a foot high, it will start to grow much faster and should be self-sufficient.

You shouldn’t worry about watering unless your area has a longer dry spell. Quinoa is very adaptable to dry conditions and will do just fine with minimal water.

Containers

Quinoa plants are too large for container gardening, and it’s usually impractical to try and grow just a couple of plants because the harvest isn’t worth the effort.

*Information was taken from gardeningblog.net*
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for that. I also did a google search (after I posted this question) and found that they are usually not great for containers. And we are in the upper 90's now and will likely stay that way for several wks. I'll just keep watering it just to see what they do, and probably move it to a shadier area, but not expecting to actually get any quinoa from it. I think I read on whatever site I hit when I googled that a 4x8' planting of quinoa only yielded around 2-3 servings of quinoa! LOL.
so not worth it, and quinoa is cheap.
 
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