Ask a Question forum: Growing Grains in Sub Tropical Climate

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Dobus
Apr 21, 2017 7:08 PM CST
Hi,
I'm a primary school teacher. My class has a garden that we are working on this year. I'd really like to grow some grains to harvest and bake bread over the course of the year if possible. I am in Sub Tropical Auckland in New Zealand. It is currently April so we are half way through autumn here. I haven't had much luck with googling. Any advice on types of grain to plant and when?
Thanks!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 21, 2017 9:03 PM CST
Hi and welcome! I'm in Sarasota, Florida so also sub-tropical. You should try planting sorghum. It's easy, not very demanding of water or fertilizer, and grows really quickly, too. This is a great encouragement to kids at school. I've helped with a garden at our local elementary school for the last 5 years.

We grew just one row of "popping" sorghum that actually does pop like popcorn. It was delicious but our 8 plants barely made enough popped sorghum for one class to have a taste. (the grains are about 1/4 the size of popcorn) The most amazing thing, though, is that the plants came back from the roots after we thought we had pulled them all out. We now have a second crop of sorghum coming along from the roots of plants that were planted in September.

It really is an impressive thing to show the kids how many plants, how long they take to produce, and how much grain it takes to make a loaf of bread.

Btw, the best "lesson plant" for us has been bush beans. They have large seeds that small kids can handle, grow really fast, make pretty flowers, come in a lot of different colors, produce a lot and also get pests that are SO much fun for the kids to experience. (the big lesson for us was that it's the things that go wrong that teach the most). Bean leaf rollers are by far the most popular thing in the garden, closely followed by the tomato hornworms.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 22, 2017 7:11 AM CST
Dobus - You might try the "Gardening Australia" website or here's a link I found - https://www.organicgardener.co...
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

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