What is the best way to grow and harvest chia easily? Our simple guide outlines how you can get this superfood growing in your own home or garden.
Chia seeds are the fruits of the sage species Salvia hispanica. With a little skill, you can grow chia yourself. We reveal what you need to consider when growing the superfood.
Chia is literally on everyone’s lips: For some years now, it has been hard to imagine health-conscious people without superfood. No wonder, because the South American seeds contain many vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron, as well as antioxidants.
Chia was already popular with the Maya as a staple food. Together with water, milk or plant-based drink, the seeds form a gel-like shell and swell, making them satiated for a long time. It was believed that even a teaspoon could feed a person for 24 hours.
Grow and harvest chia easily: requirements
You can also grow the superfood chia yourself . Both the garden and the terrace and balcony are suitable for this. When you grow chia, three factors are particularly important:
- Light location
- Protection from wind and frost
- Avoid waterlogging.
Growing chia yourself is particularly interesting for sensitive and health-conscious people. This way you always have control over how the plant is fertilized and whether it is treated with pesticides.
Growing and harvesting chia
You can also easily grow chia in your own garden or on the balcony . The South American sage variety rewards gardeners with delicate purple flowers and later with the popular superfood, the seeds. The flowers are also gladly accepted and pollinated by our local bees .
- To plant chia, first pre-germinate the seeds . To do this, pour plenty of water over about a tablespoon of the seeds and let them soak for a few hours.
- Then pour off the excess water and distribute the swollen seeds evenly on a clean plate , which you place in a warm, bright place on the windowsill.
- Rinse the seeds with water daily so the seeds stay moist. Waterlogging should, however, be avoided .
- After about a week, you can plant the seedlings individually in small flower pots . Cover the seeds with just a little soil and continue to be careful to avoid waterlogging. Continue to leave the flower pots in a bright, warm place on the windowsill.
- As soon as the plants have reached a size of about five centimeters , you can move outside. In any case, wait for the cold weather to go away, because the chia plants must not get frost.
- When planting chia, it all comes down to the right location . Put the plants in a sunny, warm and sheltered place. You can also plant chia in pots.
- Chia plants reach heights of up to two meters . Therefore, make sure that there is enough space upwards at the chosen location and, if necessary, offer the plants climbing aids as support.
- Water the chia plants regularly , but continue to avoid waterlogging .
- When the flowers have faded, the seed pods begin to turn light brown. Once the seeds are ripe, usually between September and November , you can carefully hand harvest the capsules before they fall to the ground.
You can use the chia seeds in pastries, either pure or swollen with liquid as an egg substitute. You can also easily make the popular chia pudding yourself.
Don’t forget to save some of the seeds so you can continue growing chia for the next year.