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Growing Good Food at Home

How—and When—to Water Your Quinoa Plants

Quinoa plants don’t need much water, but they like rainwater.

Quinoa plants don’t need much water, but they like rainwater.

Quinoa is a drought-resistant plant and needs just 10 inches of water during the growing season. It’s important to water your quinoa plants regularly at the beginning. Evenly moist soil will help the plants sprout and grow. ‘Moist’ is the key word here—don’t overwater and allow standing puddles to form. Once your plants are established, water during dry spells. But don’t just give your quinoa garden a sprinkling. Wait until the first few inches of soil are dry. Then water slowly and deeply. If you don’t have the time or patience to do it yourself, consider a drip hose or some other drip-irrigation method that will deliver water slowly and deeply into the soil for your quinoa plants.

How often you water your quinoa plants depends on how hot it is and how often they receive water naturally from the rain. In the heat of the summer, your quinoa plants need water more frequently. Once the seeds ripen you can scale back watering, letting the moisture in the soil be your guide.

Tip: Dawn is the best time of day to water your quinoa plants. Avoid watering during the hottest time of the day.

When watering quinoa plants, direct the water straight to the soil and the roots. Don’t spray the plants from above. Spraying the plants from above can cause disease and pests to thrive on your plants. Also, watering quinoa plants from above leads to premature water evaporation, unnecessarily wasting water. Using mulch can help keep water where the plants need it and also slow down evaporation.

Rainwater is best for your garden plants. If it is possible for you to collect rainwater, your quinoa will benefit from that.

When you properly water your quinoa, you’ll have healthy plants and a good harvest. Improper watering can lead to the following problems that you want to avoid:

  • Stunted growth and root loss
  • Susceptibility to pests and disease
  • Reduced harvests and lesser-quality quinoa

How often do you water your quinoa plants? And what time of day do you water? Please tell us how you ensure that your quinoa plants get the right amount of water.

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