If you want to try growing something a little more unusual this year, you might consider the grain Amaranth. A stunning looking plant, with edible leaves which you can use like spinach and brilliant ‘dreadlocks’ of colourful flowers which eventually offer you a crop of small yellow seeds which you can cook as a grain. (use it in dishes where you would use cous cous or quinoa).
This plant grows well in a sunny spot and is very happy in a large pot on the balcony. Because it is so good looking and also edible, it can certainly form a talking point for your dinner party guests!
The timing is right now to sow your Amaranth seeds indoors, so get your skates on! The plants can go outside from the end of April.
Once the flowers are fully open and the grain is starting to fall out they are ready to harvest. You can see our harvest form 2 years ago in the photo. You can shake the grains onto a sheet and then gently blow off the lighter flowers that fall along with them.
You can get amaranth seeds from Vreekens Zaden www.vreeken.nl. Whilst you are there you might want to buy other seeds for the spring planting season. For a more comprehensive guide to growing your own plants from seed you can get yourself a copy of our super affordable e-booklet on growing from seed. Click here for the English version of the booklet and here for the Dutch version.
Roll on Spring!