W,H/Matures 13-17/Height 4-6'/Harvest 0-4/Yield grain 6-26, dry biomass 26-158/Spacing 12"
Days to Maturity are with cold nights (nights averaging 50-58 all summer) figures are really just for comparing between varieties within a category. Actual days will vary from location to location, depending on garden conditions.
Gluten-free, super high-protein, high-yielding, and easy to process, as there is no hull. We have pioneered this crop with American home gardens, and now have the best selection of quinoa in the US. All are apted to North America, and tolerate both acid and alkaline soils.
Quinoa is drought-tolerant, requiring only 10-12" water for the season. Work in compost before planting. Seedling will stand light frost, and seeds will not sprout once the weather is really hot, so get them in 2 weeks before your lastfrost date. We sow in flats even earlier (a month before last frost) and transplant, but it can be direct-sown.
Quinoa needs cool temperatures to set seed, BUT it doesn't have to be cool all day. We have 100-degree days but 50-60-degree nights, and get an abundant crop. if you have nights above 75 degrees, it may be hard for you to grow--in that case, try a small amount and use amaranth for your main summer grain crop, until you find out.
Dampness is the challenge for quinoa growers outside of the arid West. Protect from fall rains once grains ripen the seed can sprout in the head, as it has no dormancy. If necessary cut before rain and hang indoors to finish drying. Or cover. There will be a lot of chaff to remove by winnowing, but it is all loose; there is nothing to detach from the grains. Usually cooked like rice. CAUTION: Quinoa seed has a natural soapy coating (saponin) that MUST be washed off before cooking or eating. Use the rinse water as laundry soap.
HOW DO I CHOOSE? Gardeners in areas where nights are warm in the summer should start with Temuko or Redhead. if you get summer rain, Temuko and Redhead are both adapted to moister climates. (Temuko is being grown in Ireland and Redhead in Oregon.) If your summer nights are below 75 and your summers are fairly dry, you can grow any of our varieties. Pick the height, earliness, and color you prefer. Temuko and Biobio tastes extremely mild, like rice. Black Quinoa has a deeper, nutty, earthier flavor. Most of the rest are golden in color, with medium-nutty flavors. Usually, the larger, later varieties are the highest yielding. They also give lots of compost material.