A great alternative to Spinach, Growing Lamb’s Quarters is quite easy and it just takes a little more than a month to harvest! Let’s know more!
Lamb’s Quarters is a hugely underrated, healthy, and delicious vegetable. It is a storehouse of magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, and various other nutrients. In India, Lamb’s Quarters is famous by the name ‘Bathua,’ and the people cultivate and consume it as a food crop. Let’s have a look at all the details on Growing Lamb’s Quarters easily.
Botanical Name: Chenopodium Album
Other Names: Wild Spinach, Allgood, Melde, Fat-Hen, Pigweed, Manure Weed, Goosefoot, Bathua, Cheel bhaaji, and White Goosefoot.
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Propagating Lamb’s Quarters
Growing the plant from seeds is as easy as it can get. You can directly sow them in the garden or pot at any time of the year. Also, this plant does best alongside potatoes, corn, and cucurbits.
Requirements for Growing Lamb’s Quarters
Lamb’s Quarters is an easygoing plant and does well in both sun and indirect light. If you are growing it in containers, you can easily keep the pot in a balcony or patio.
Lamb’s Quarters can be planted in light (sandy), medium (loamy) as well as heavy (clay) soils. However, the plant is not too picky about the medium and can do well in regular garden soil too.
Water the plant regularly but avoid overwatering. It is best to follow the ‘let the topsoil dry between waterings’ method to make sure it thrives.
It is quite a versatile plant and can tolerate a broad range of climates and temperatures ranging from 41-86 °F (5-30°C).
In India, which is the largest cultivator of Bathua, the plant flourishes in the months of monsoon and winter. It dies back in summer. If you live in a cold region, it can be grown as annual. For tropics, growing it in winters will be best.
Taking Care of Lamb’s Quarters
If you are using a quality potting mix, then you don’t have to fertilize the plant at all! For the garden, just add manure or compost at the time of growing.
Pests and Diseases
You don’t have to worry much about pests and diseases for this weed. It is only susceptible to leaf miners, which also makes it a great trap crop. Get rid of the affected leaves as soon as you spot them.
Harvesting Lamb’s Quarters
The tender leaves of the plant taste much better so you can harvest them when they are about an inch in length and use them as microgreens. Hold the stem with one hand and gently pull the greens out. Do make sure you are not damaging the plant in the process.
You can also eat the seeds of Lamb’s Quarters. Mature seeds are easy to harvest; simply bend the seed heads and shake the plant – they’ll fall off.
Lamb’s Quarters Health Benefits
The plant is high in manganese, vitamins A, C, K, and B, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins A, C, K, and B along with copper. About 24% of the total leaves are pure protein. It is also beneficial in curing stomach aches and diarrhea. You can also crush its leaves and apply its juice to soothe burns, itches, and inflammation on the skin.
Uses of Lamb’s Quarters
Include it in your diet in the form of vegetables by boiling the leaves. You can also finely chop its leaves and boil them. Lamb’s Quarters also make for an excellent addition to stews and soups. If you want your salads to taste different, then add its leaves. Also, you can sprinkle its leaves into any dish!