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How to Plant & Harvest Chia Seeds

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How to Plant & Harvest Chia Seeds

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Overview

Chia is an annual herb that is a member of the mint family. Its seeds are highly nutritious and contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin C and a host of other minerals. Consequently, many health-conscious gardeners want to grow the chia at home so they can harvest its nutritious seeds. The chia plant is quite easy to grow in western North America where it grows wild. Once sown in August, the chia can be left to its own devices until the flowers dry and it is time to harvest the seeds.

Step 1

Spread 1/2 inch of sand and 1 inch of aged compost over the soil. Then loosen the soil to a depth of 3 inches with your garden hoe. Turn in the sand and compost as you go.

Step 2

Hand broadcast the chia seeds over the soil. You will need roughly 1/4 cup of chia seeds per square foot. Sprinkle them so that there is a little space between each seed, but don't worry too much about accuracy.

Step 3

Lightly rake in the chia seeds.

Step 4

Sprinkle roughly 1/4 inch of charate (the burnt remains of plants) over the seed bed.

Step 5

Lightly water the seedbed so that the soil is moist. Continue to keep the soil moist until the chia seeds germinate in about two weeks. Once the chia seeds have germinated, they should only be watered in case of drought.

Step 6

Chia seeds are ready to harvest when the flowers have yellowed and dried. The easiest way to harvest chia seeds is to pull up the entire plant then beat the stalks over a container in order to collect the tiny seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hoe
  • Sand
  • Aged compost
  • Rake
  • Charate

References

  • Sprout People: Chia
  • Jenny's Garden: Herbs
Keywords: plant chia seeds, harvest chia seeds, grow chia seeds

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.