Renewal is what spring is all about. With spring, comes the urge to garden. To plant. Anything.
Ooops, I did it again.
Here I am, with my latest attempt at Let's Hope It Grows gardening. You know us gardening types. We have to tinker and experiment.
Spouse and I took a pre-Easter trip to a local farm store called Frog Pond, an indoor farm market in Bainbridge, New York.
Chia seedlings. Yes, the chia of "chia pet" fame. Many people, nowadays, use chia seeds to add valuable nutrients to their diets, especially Omega 3's.
I had no idea what I was going to do with these plants, but I bought them, anyway.
So I bought, and then I researched, and this is what I found.
Chia plants are an annual in the mint family Lamiaceae (and they do have mint-y like stems). They are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Their botanical name is Salvia hispanica. Its flowers are purple or white. It does not like especially wet ground.
The problem is going to be, apparently, that chia is a short day flowerer. To those who do not garden, a crash course: some crops are day neutral. Others depend on either long days (like in northern latitudes here in the Northern Hemisphere or the reverse in the Southern) or short days (being closer to the Equator) i.e. they react to day length to produce their crop. For example, onions come in either long day or short day varieties. So do some sunflowers. Cucumbers and tomatoes, on the other hand, tend to be day neutral. So, length of daylight is just one factor in determining what plants you can grow successfully.
Chia wants short days. The long summer days of upstate New York will not result in seeds. By the time the day length shortens enough, it will (I'm guessing) be time for frost. If I want seeds, I'm out of luck. But maybe I will get to see some flowers.
We'll just have to see. I'll be disappointed if I can't, at least, grow these for the flowers.
Do any of you have experience with growing plants that aren't supposed to grow where you live?