Have you always wondered how to grow your own sorghum? Great! We have all you need to know to get a bumper crop yield!
Sorghum originated from Africa and is now considered as the world’s fifth most important cereal crop, after rice, wheat, maize, and barley. Growing sorghum could be very beneficial for everyone as they are enriched with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Sorghum is commonly used as food for humans, animal feed, and ethanol production. Sorghum requires well-drained loamy soils and warm temperatures, as they produce many roots compared to other cereals. It can be best grown in summers (late May or early June) with normal daytime temperatures of approximately 30°C.
There are mainly three types of sorghum; grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, and broom corn. Let’s take a look at this guide on how to grow sorghum along with tips on caring and harvesting.
How To Plant Sorghum
While growing sorghum, make sure the soil is warm enough to generate and grow healthy crops. The soil temperature should be at least 15°C. You also need prepare the soil by mixing a balanced organic fertilizer into the bed before planting sorghum. This crop is also is self-fertile, so there is no need for you to use large pots for pollination purposes.
When growing sorghum in the garden, you need to plant it by hand, 1 ½ inches deep, in clumps of four seeds per hole. Make sure the spacing of the holes is 18 to 24 inches apart. These four seeds should yield about three uniform stalks and heads to make a few dried arrangements if you’re growing them for ornamental use.
How To Care For Sorghum
Make sure to keep watering them regularly for the first few weeks. But on sunny afternoons I’d avoid it, to minimize the amount of moisture lost to evaporation.
While growing sorghum, make sure you keep weeds under control and after six weeks since the date you planted them, drown your sorghum crop with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer to encourage new growth.
If you are growing sorghum in pots, you need to keep a check on the top-soil often, by observing, or touching it with your fingers.
How To Harvest Sorghum
Harvesting all three varieties of sorghum is quite easy. the sweet variety of sorghum can be harvested two weeks after the milky stage.
It would be best if you cut the canes at ground level. Next, strip off the leaves and set aside the green canes, pressed canes yield a sweet green juice, which can later be cooked into sorghum syrup. The seeds are not fully mature, but they can be fed to animals or cooked and eaten like other whole grains.
For grain and broom sorghum, this can be harvested a little later, after the seeds are fully mature. They can be harvested when they have hard glossy seed coats. You need to cut off the seed clusters with a few inches of stalk attached and then dry them in a warm environment.
Make sure you roll the dried seed heads with a cloth screen to free the seeds, and then winnow out plant debris and store your processed harvest in the freezer.