Lamb’s Quarter plant is closely related to spinach and has a similar nutritional profile as well. Learn how to grow Lamb’s Quarters plant in the container by going through this post.
Lambs quarter is an edible leafy plant of the amaranth family that grows to around 3 feet in height. Due to Lamb’s Quarters plant’s fast-growing and invasive nature, it is considered a weed in some regions. But don’t let this fact fool you into believing that Lamb’s quarter plant is worthless as it’s cultivated in many parts of the world. It’s a close relative of spinach, and just like the spinach, it’s also packed on with nutrients. A study conducted by NCBI found that the lambs quarter plant contains functional nutrients and has medicinal properties. So without further ado, let’s find out how to grow lambs quarter plant.
Scientific Name: Chenopodium album
Common Names: Lamb’s quarters, Melde, Lambsquarters, White Goosefoot, Bathua, Manure weed, Wild spinach, and Fat-hen
How to Grow Lamb Quarters Plant
Propagating Lamb’s Quarter Plant
Buy the seeds from any trustworthy nursery, garden center, or online store. You can also collect the seeds from an existing plant if you already have one. Lamb’s quarter plant doesn’t fare well to transplanting, so it’s better to start the seeds directly in the container rather than seedling trays. Sow the seeds at a depth of around an inch or sprinkle them and lightly cover them up with the soil. Water thoroughly and let the excess water drain from the bottom of the pot if you plant the seeds in a container. Make sure to keep the soil consistently moist till the seeds germinate. Seeds will germinate in a couple of weeks, and shoots will start to appear. Thin out the seedlings that lack growth so that the healthy seedlings become spaced 2-3 inches apart.
The ideal temperature for seed germination range from 60 to 78 degrees F, but seeds can germinate in temperature as high as 90 degrees F. It can tolerate moderate to cold temperatures and is grown in winters in subtropical regions. In case winters are harsh in your area, move the plant indoors to protect it from frost. For proper growth, temperatures range should range from 60 to 75 degrees F.
It’s an annual plant, so you can grow it all year round when it’s protected from frost and severe cold. The ideal time for planting is in the springs when the temperature is moderate. Harvest the greens in the sprigs, which can even last till summers. Collect the seeds in the fall and save them over the winters. Replant the seeds in the springs!
Growing Lamb’s Quarters in Container
Lamb’s quarters care in the container is no different from directly growing it in the backyard. Not only you’ll save up space but will also also keep the plant contained. Choose a container that’s 6-8 inches wide and deep and sow the seeds in it. Make sure that the container has drainage holes at the bottom to remove excess water. Locate the container at a spot where it receives full sun or bright indirect light.
Although the lambs quarter plant thrives in full sun, it isn’t a picky plant and will grow in partial shade as well. Locate it on the patio, balcony, windowsill, or backyard, where it receives full sun to partial shade.
It’ll do well in both poor and rich soil! Soil that’s rich in growing organic matter is loose, and lightweight is ideal for growing lamb quarters plant. As it doesn’t like to sit in the water amending the soil with aged compost or mulch will benefit the plant.
It’s a forgiving plant and can tolerate drought to a degree so that it won’t suffer from your forgetful nature. To ensure good growth of the plant, you should keep the soil moist but never overwater as it makes the soil soggy. To be on the safer side, check that the soil is dry an inch below the surface before you water.
Lamb Quarters Care
Lambs quarter plant can grow in poor soils, so there won’t be a need for fertilization. Still, you can add aged compost or fish emulsion to the soil before planting for your peace of mind. Add a well-balanced fertilizer diluted half to its strength if the plant isn’t showing proper growth.
Pests And Diseases
Common garden pests such as aphids, mites, slugs, and snail, and beet leafhopper, which carries the curly top virus to beetroot, can cause trouble to some extent. Giving the plant a thorough shower under the water will quickly eliminate such pests or spray neem oil solution over the plant if the problem persists. Leaf miners are attracted to this plant, making it a great companion to other leafy greens as a trap crop. Avoid overwatering as it leads to root rot.
Harvest the leaves when the plant is young by snipping off the leaves from where it’s attached to the stem. Stems tend to be greenish on the young plant, which changes to pinkish color as the plant gets older. Apart from the foliage, the seeds are also edible and rich in protein, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and phosphorus. Collect the seeds by shaking the seed pod over any bucket or utensil.
Note: Consume the leaves in moderation as they contain a high amount of oxalic acid.