(Inclusive of all taxes)
Germination Rate: Min 70.00%
Sunlight : Full
Life-cycle : Annual
Kochia is widely grown as an ornamental annual and as a forage crop by farmers in the southwestern United States. Highly drought tolerant, it will usually grow well where nothing else thrives. It has been referred to as the “poor man’s alfalfa” because it grows with very little care, expense or maintenance. It is highly resistant to most diseases and insect pests, so rarely needs applications of costly insecticides or fungicides.
Starting Kochia Seeds:
The seeds of the kochia require no special treatment prior to planting. They are tough seeds with a rough triangular appearance. Left to its own devices, the plant naturally spreads its seeds each year when the plant dries, breaks away from its root system and the wind carries it like a tumbleweed across the expanses. As the plant is carried across the ground via the wind, the flat, grayish-black seeds are strewn across the soil’s surface and readily take hold in the dirt to germinate the following spring.
Planting Kochia Seeds:
In the spring, the field where the kochia seeds will be planted should be prepared. The soil should be plowed or disked so that all weeds are removed. An application of nitrogen should be tilled into the soil at a rate of 50 to 100 pounds per acre. Kochia seeds can be broadcast across the field at a ratio of one to four pounds per acre. The seeds can also be planted via the drilling method. Create 36 inch rows across the acre. Plant 1 pound of seed in the row using a standard drill at a depth of 1/4 of an inch below the soil’s surface. Avoid planting the kochia seeds too deep. When planted below 3/4 of an inch of soil the seeds will often not emerge at all or the growth rate is poor.
Thinning Kochia Plants:
Once the seeds have emerged from the soil, its advisable that the plants be thinned to promote vigorous plant growth. Ideally the seedlings should be thinned to two to ten plants for every square foot of ground.
Weed Control in Kochia Fields:
Kochia plants do not compete well against weeds and grasses. The field where kochia is grown should be kept relatively weed free for optimum growth of kochia plants.
Sometimes ranchers allow cattle to graze naturally on a kochia field, but in other circumstances the kochia plants will need to be harvested before they produce seed. Harvest should take place when the plants stand 18 to 26 inches in height. Cutting the tops off the kochia plants to harvest will allow three or four harvests per season. At the end of the growing season, before winter sets in, farmers often allow the kochia to produce seeds and harvest the seeds using a combine.