Amaranthus Red (Multi Cut) – Thandu keerai
Amaranthus are collectively know as Amaranth, is the most popular warm season leafy vegetable of south India. These red amaranths are grown for 3 to 4 month as a multi cut leafy vegetable or for grain purpose. It is rich source of Vitamin A and iron.
Pack size : 3 gm (Approx 300 – 400 seeds),
Crop type : Summer & Rainy season crop,
Ideal climate : Full Sunlight,
Ideal Temperature : 20 – 30° C.
Sowing method: Direct sowing,
Germination rate : 85%,
Sowing Season : Throughout the year,
First Harvest : 25 – 30 after Germination,
Plant Height : 45 – 60 cm,
Crop use : Leafy and Grain purpose,
Grow bag size : 12″ – 16″ Dia & 12″ Height,
Crop duration : 3 – 4 months.
It is annuals or short-lived perennials. The stem and leaves are reddish in color and they bear simple, alternately arranged leaves with a pinkish taproot. It is generally upright, bushy herbs 90-130cm tall.
Amaranths flowers are typically feature colorful bracts and are arranged in dense showy inflorescence, a single plant can produce hundreds or thousands of seeds. The plants have drought tolerance capacity. Several species of amaranth used for both the leafy greens and the seeds.
Amaranths typically produce high yields of leaves and seeds, are easy to grow and harvest, and are simple to cook. Both the leaves and the seeds are nutritionally dense and are good sources iron. The leaves can be eaten fresh or cooked like spinach and are often added to salads or soups.
Red-leaf vegetable amaranths has medium green leaves with burgundy-red overlay creates an attractive splash of color to your summertime salads.
Other Names: Thandu keerai (Tamil), Chaulai sag (Hindi), Cheera (Malayalam), Dantu (Kannada), Thotakoorai (Telugu), Math (Marathi).
Amaranths is a warm season crop adapted to the condition of hot climate i.e direct sunlight. Custard Apple trees prefer bright light and direct sun. If possible 12 hours of bright sun light is best for growth and fruit production Although these tree can grow well under partial shade i.e it may withstand upto 30% shade.
The most Optimum temperature for growing amaranths is around 20° – 30 °C. Amaranth is a warm season crop that requires full sun. Best germination occurs when soil temperatures range from 65 to 75°F (18-24°C).
Amaranths can grow wide rage of soil, but it respond well in well drained loamy soil with good organic matter. Red soil with good organic matter and nitrogen is recommended for growing in natural earth. For pots, a mixture of soil, sand/perlite and manure of ratio 2:1:1 is highly recommended.
Seeds of amaranths are very small. The seed is sown broadcast in raised beds or grow bags after mixing those with fine soil for well distribution. Raised beds of width 30-35 cm and convenient length are formed. Then seed will be broadcast or line sowing at a distance of 20 cm in between two rows can be done. In case of grow bags, broadcasting is followed. Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days. Once seeds are completely germinated, thinning out needs to be done to reduce competition between plants.
At the time of sowing, there should be enough moisture in the soil for better germination, otherwise a light watering need to be given after sowing. The first irrigation is given immediately after sowing. Avoid rapid water flow to prevent washing off of seeds. Subsequent irrigation may be given at 4 days intervals except rainy days.
Amaranths respond well to soils rich in organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. Neem cake or Vermicompost can be added at the time of sowing and once in 20 days for better germination. Chemical fertilizers like N:P2O5:K2O @1:1:1 ratio can be applied before sowing. Spraying panchakavya or neem oil at weekly interval helps to boost the plant growth.
Mulches helps to retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves gives a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil fertility as it is decomposed in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
The crop become ready fro harvesting about three to four weeks after sowing and subsequent cuttings may be done after 7 to 10 days. The plants are harvested by cutting them periodically.