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Broom corn

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Project by daltxguy posted 10-22-2013 10:46 AM 1882 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve grown this before but in a milder climate.
This year’s experiment in my zone 4 garden was to grow broom corn.
I only started a few seeds more on a whim than an actual bona fide scientfic experiment. ( I wanted to find out if a couple of seeds still hanging on to my broom would still germinate).
The seeds germinated and grew quickly and so I transferred it to the garden.

Although it relied heavily on favourable weather from Sept 1 on to the end of Oct, it did eventually reach about 2.5m (8ft) and a seed head formed.

I whacked it off today as we are expecting freezing temps every night this week until April of next year, probably.
I have no idea how well it does in the freezing temps but I didn’t want to lose the seed head.
I will test next year if they are viable and plant some more.
If all is well, then I will plant a long row next summer and be ready for when my current broom wears out!

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau



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daltxguy

882 posts in 1812 days
hardiness zone 4a

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sorghum bicolor broom corn zone 4

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5 comments so far

View sharad's profile

sharad

1648 posts in 1931 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 10-22-2013 11:24 AM

Very interesting experiment Daltxguy. I am sure you will be able to make your broom next season.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4307 posts in 1977 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-23-2013 04:41 AM

It is a start! You are now living in a much more challenging climate than in Murchison. As you save your seeds over the seasons, you can select for fast-growing, short growing season tolerant broom corn.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2714 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-23-2013 05:38 AM

you’re my hero.

zone 4 experimenting! Nice.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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daltxguy

882 posts in 1812 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 10-23-2013 06:43 AM

Thanks Sharad, RFG and MsDeb!

The original packet said something like 115 days. I notice some seed say 105 days – so I think this is well within reason of a zone 4.

Next year I’ll start it sooner. I don’t think I got it in the ground before mid June.

I think I managed to harvest at just the right time. You shouldn’t wait until the seed heads are fully mature, otherwise the ‘broom’ dries out and stays fixed in a splayed out position, as in the photos above. The seed heads must be cut earlier and then hung up to dry upside down, to ensure the broom heads close up and stay tight while they dry, which then makes it useful for decoration or brooms.

The seeds, when dry, apparently can be harvested by pulling the seed heads across a handsaw fastened upright to a bench. The last time I did this, I simply pushed the seeds off by running my running my fingers down through the straw.

These generate a lot of seeds and the seeds sell for roughly $22/lb ($50/kg), so it could even be a reasonable seed business.

I think these two will make a fine benchtop duster

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14688 posts in 2714 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 10-24-2013 02:51 AM

and a side business!! bonus.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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