To direct seed chia, weed out the garden in your selected spot. You’ll want to
choose a location that has well-drained soil and gets plenty of sun. Loosen the
topsoil and layer in the chia seeds. Chia seeds are always sold raw, and you can
plant the same ones you’d use in the kitchen. Thin out the chia sprouts after
they are a few inches tall, leaving about 30cm of spacing on each side. This
ensures that the chia plant can grow in all directions.
During the growth phase, keep the soil moist. Once established, chia plants can
handle drier conditions, as its desert-based Meso-American roots imply. The
plant will flower after about 12 weeks of growth. Chia plants will need to
flower for you to harvest seeds.
Chia plants are grown as an annual
Chia plants are easy to grow organically, and natural compounds in the leaves
prevent most bugs. Although, they can be susceptible to whiteflies. As
sprouting chia plants are quite delicate, herbicides are not recommended—
instead, manually weed out any chia sprouts that are not thriving along with
any other weeds in the garden bed to ensure that the chia is off to a good start.
Chia seeds are easy to harvest from slightly dried flower heads. As the pretty
purple flowers of the chia flower stalk start to dry, they will lose their petals.
This is the ideal time to harvest. Don’t wait until the flower browns, as this will
compromise the harvest.
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