Growing Flax – A summary;
Flax takes about 2 – 3 weeks to germinate when you plant the seeds. It also takes about 100 days to harvest. Flax requires a full sun and light watering all through the entire growth period. It also does well in well drained soils that are rich in organic matter. You can plant it directly in your open lands, or you can start with a nursery and then transplant to the open land after about 5 weeks.
It is commonly known for its fiber content, but flax produces some very nutritious seeds that have been associated with helping out in eliminating and managing various health conditions, disorders and diseases. These seeds have a slightly nutty taste. It is also from flax seeds that linseed oil is made. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent addition to your kids and old family members’ diets for an improved memory and brain development.
Flax seeds also contain high levels of mucilage gum content which helps with the digestion process. This mucilage slows the process of stomach contents emptying in to the small intestines, thus allowing ample time for digestion and nutrient absorption to take place.
On top of this, flax has a rich dose of soluble and insoluble fiber that allow for colon detoxification, reducing sugar cravings and fat loss.
The antioxidants also help with fighting various cancers, including breast, prostate, colon and ovarian cancers. Ladies who are in their menopausal period will also find it quite useful.
Learn more about the benefits of flax seeds here on Dr. Axe’s website.
Flax Seeds – How to Grow Flax
As mentioned earlier in this post, you can either plant flax in a nursery bed to transplant the sprouted seedlings later, or you can plant the seeds directly on an open land. If done on seedbeds, transplant after about 5 weeks.
Prepare your land well by digging and furrowing it well. Then add manure (avoid organic fertilizers). Then go ahead and plant the flax seeds in shallow furrows, just covering the seeds to avoid direct exposure. The spacing of the seedlings in the open land should be 12 inches apart both along and across (1 foot by 1 foot OR 30cm by 30 cm).
Make sure you weed the plants regularly as they get easily overwhelmed by weeds. The plants grow to a height of no more than 3 feet. A well drained soil is important as they o not grow well in soggy soils. If in a dry place, ensure you water the plants regularly. Sometimes, it may be necessary to add manure about once a month to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Some people also use standard formula fertilizers (which we don’t recommend) although organic manure should be enough.
Pests and Diseases
These plants are prone to attacks by fungus infections, rust and wilts. Always have a regular fungicide to spray them with if you notice strangely colored patches on the flax plant leaves and stems.
These plants are also attacked by bollworms, green stripped caterpillars and cutworms. Having pesticides with you is a great idea.
Harvesting Flax Seeds
You get to know that your seeds are ready for harvesting when you see the large seed pods on the flax plants turn yellow and start splitting open. Simply cut off these pods from the plants and dry them off in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
For small harvests, you can use your hands to manually pop open the seed pods to release the seeds (on average, you get 4-6 seeds per pod). However, for large harvests, you can use threshing by, for instance, placing the pods in to a sac and beating them up with a blunt stick for the pods to release the seeds. You then fan/sift the seeds in wind to get rid of the pods and debris.
Well dried seeds can be stored in tight containers for up to 10months at room temperature.
Growing flax seeds can be a lucrative venture if done right. There is a growing market for these seeds especially now that people are realizing the health benefits of eating these seeds, and consuming linseed oil. Try it today and it might be your farming venture that brings you and your family good health and great wealth too.
If you need high quality, organically grown and certified flax seeds, both for planting and/or consumption, order them below.
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