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Amaranth

Also known as Chinese Spinach or Joseph's Coat, Amaranth is an ornamental annual, a valuable cutting flower and a culinary green. It may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to transplanting outside after the last spring frost date, or it may be direct-sown after the last possible frost date. It may be grown as a tender baby leaf for upscale salad mixtures or as a mature leaf when it may be cooked in much the same way as Spinach. As a mature leaf, its rich, earthy flavor is perfect in soups, stews and sautes. But wait, there's more. Amaranth seed can be crushed into gluten-free flour and its decorative red bracts can be used as a natural dye. It is one amazing plant. Deer resistant.

Average seed life: 1 year.

To broaden the range of texture and flavor in your garden and salads, don't forget to plant some of these specialty Salad Greens: Arugula, Asian Greens, Chervil, Claytonia, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Escarole, Frisee, Giant Red Mustard, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mache, Mibuna, Minutina, Mizuna, Orach, Radicchio, Salad Blends, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Tatsoi.

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Gardening Tips

Direct-Sow Basics

Amaranth Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/8”
Seed Spacing:2”-3”
Plant Spacing:6”-18”
Days to Germination:3-10 days
Germination Temperature:60°-80°F

This wine-red ornamental is also a good salad green. Heat-loving, it can be direct-sown outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in warmer areas. In colder areas, it may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting out after the last frost. Sow seeds in good seed-starting medium with even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. Prepare bed in full sunlight with rich, well-draining soil. Harden off the seedlings by gradually acclimating them to outside conditions for 1 to 2 weeks before transplanting out. When plants are 4" to 8" tall, thin or transplant 6" to 18" apart. For salad greens, harvest thinnings and whole young plants. Larger, mature leaves may be cooked like spinach. Seed heads will form on mature plants and may be harvested, dried, crushed and winnowed. This grain may be used in high-protein, gluten-free red flour or as cereal.

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