Grow Lambsquarters Easily For Healthy Organic Snacks
November 8, 2023
Organic produce is the trendiest way to go when it comes to healthy eating, but it can be expensive and hard to find in a lot of places. Growing food at home is a great way to save money while still getting the benefits of organic produce, and one of the most nutritious and delicious vegetables you can grow is lambsquarters. Not only can lambsquarters enhance your salads and other recipes, but it's easy to grow in almost any environment and can be harvested at any stage of growth. In this blog post I will share the essentials for growing your own lambsquarters and how to prepare them for meals.
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📝 Lambsquarters Growing Cheatsheet
- ✅ Thrives in full sun or partial shade
- 💧 Water regularly, maintaining moist soil
- ⏰ Sows from early spring to mid-fall
- 🌱 Sow seeds directly, spacing 12 inches apart
- 💨 Requires well-drained soil
Harvesting & Using:
- ✂️ Harvest young leaves within 4-6 weeks
- 💪 Packed with vitamins A, C, and K
- 🍃 Add to salads, soups, or sautés
- 🔪 Use raw or cooked for diverse recipes
- 🌿 Make nutrient-rich pesto or tea
Benefits & Fun Facts:
- 🌿 Edible weed with remarkable self-sufficiency
- 🌱 Contains more calcium than spinach
- 🌽 Superior to corn in iron and protein content
- 🥗 Helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- 🌍 Sustainable, organic, and tasty snacking option!
As a lover of unique greens and snacks, one of my favourites has to be Lambsquarters. More than just a common weed, these plants dash a vibrant pop of green to any garden. The resilience and speedy growth that earn these plants their weed badge make them a delight for the gardener who has an appreciation for ease and quick results.
Why Bother Growing Lambsquarters?
Firstly, Lambsquarters are not just another weed - they are nature’s nutritious powerhouse! Rich in Vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, they are nature's idea of slow-release energy tablets!
According to the USDA, a 100g serving of lambsquarters leaves contains an impressive 43 percent of the daily recommended Vitamin A intake and over 70 percent of Vitamin C intake.
Cultivating Your Own Lambsquarters
The beauty of growing Lambsquarters is their sheer simplicity. Start by sourcing seeds either online, from a gardening store, or from another gardener in the know. Make sure to find a sunny and well-drained spot in your garden - they aren't fussy but do like to bathe in the sun.
Planting and Irrigation
To plant these seeds, scatter them across the prepared soil and lightly rake them in. Do not bury them deep - they are surface lovers. Water the ground immediately after planting. Regular watering is key, but be careful not to waterlog them.
Even though they grow fast, patience is necessary during the cultivation period. Wait until the plants are 20-30 cm tall before you start your harvest. Gently snip or pinch the top few inches of each plant, and those tender leaves and the shoots are all set to be your next delicious, nutritious meal!
Cooking With Lambsquarters
I personally liken Lambsquarters to spinach, with a mild and pleasing taste. There are various ways you can prepare them. I adore them in my morning smoothie or sautéed with a pinch of garlic and lemon. Cooking them seems to enhance their nutrients too!
A Word of Caution
Despite their boons, one must remember that raw lambsquarters have high levels of oxalate, which can block the absorption of iron and calcium if consumed excessively. So try to stick to cooking or juicing, and avoid raw consumption.
Growing Lambsquarters is an easy and enjoyable way to bring a dash of good health to your snack drawer. Embrace this so-called weed and you won't be disappointed!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to grow lambsquarters successfully?
Plant lambsquarters in well-draining soil and provide full sun. Keep soil consistently moist.
2. When is the best time to sow lambsquarters seeds?
Sow lambsquarters seeds in early spring after the last frost or in late summer for a fall crop.
3. How close should I space lambsquarters plants?
Space lambsquarters plants 12-18 inches apart to allow sufficient room for growth.
4. How often should I water lambsquarters?
Water lambsquarters regularly, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged.
5. Can lambsquarters tolerate drought?
Yes, lambsquarters have some tolerance to drought, but consistent moisture is beneficial for optimal growth.
6. Do lambsquarters require fertilization?
Lambsquarters don't require heavy fertilization. Incorporating compost or organic matter before planting is sufficient.
7. Are lambsquarters susceptible to pests or diseases?
Lambsquarters are generally resistant to pests and diseases, making them a low-maintenance plant.
8. When can I harvest lambsquarters leaves?
Harvest lambsquarters leaves when they reach the desired size, usually around 4-6 weeks after germination.
9. How can I use lambsquarters in my cooking?
Use lambsquarters leaves in salads, stir-fries, or steamed as a nutritious, spinach-like addition to your meals.
10. Can I save lambsquarters seeds for future planting?
Absolutely! Allow lambsquarters plants to flower and produce seeds, then collect and store them for next year's planting.
Growing Lambsquarters can provide a bounty of nutrition benefits, as well as a pleasing and calming visual addition to any garden. As a natural pest repellent, it can also keep your other plants healthy and as a mineral accumulator, it can boost the surrounding soil's fertility. From a culinary perspective, it is incredibly versatile and can provide a cost-effective replacement to store-bought greens. Growing Lambsquarters is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a journey of discovery into the wonderful world of gardening.