GardenTenders

PLANT INFO: Flax

  • Advertise with us

« back to The Technical Side of Gardening forum

Topic by MsDebbieP posted 09-10-2010 08:03 AM 4102 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-10-2010 08:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: flax plant info gateway

This is a GATEWAY to postings at GardenTenders.com, tagged as FLAX

Projects
Blogs
Forum Topics

-PLANT INFO MASTER LIST http://gardentenders.com/topics/1678

————————————————————————-

Flax .. I grew some a few years ago, “just because” and, well, I wanted to add flax seed to my baking. And then I saw the plant and flower and I’m addicted! I love this plant.

Planting
- I plant my seeds fairly early in the spring (before the last frost date) and I also plant some later so I get a continued flowering period.
- the plants like a nice rich soil, so I understand.

The Flower

(I’ll have to see what happened to this photo.)

- such a delicate little blue flower
- the flower doesn’t stay long but each plant has several little flowers on it

The Harvest
- easy to harvest.. when they are all dried, just pull the seed balls off
- now the tricky part. If you want to plant them again next year – just store them as is but if you want the seeds for eating, you have a little work to do. Each seed ball has many seeds in them and you have to get them out of the little casing and separate it. (I’ll get a picture for you.) I like using my wire screen. Rub them in my hands to break it apart and then toss it in the air lightly and let the wind taking the lighter casings away and the seeds fall back into the tray.

Other Information
- I just learned that linseed oil is flaxseed oil! huh!
- flax fibres are used for fine linen. huh!
- flax seeds are extremely healthy (but don’t overdo it).
- flax seeds have to be broken up for the body to absorb the nutrients.

And—what else do we know about flax?

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



View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3502 days
hardiness zone 5a

09-10-2010 09:07 AM

Have you ever visited Baden, in the Kitchener-Waterloo area? Castle Kilbride is a very interesting ‘historic home’ built in 1877 by an oil magnate, James Livingston…....flaxseed oil, that is. He was known as the ‘Flax and Oil King of Canada’. :) He and his brother, John, had flax scrutching mills in six villages and their linseed oil mill was the largest in Canada. Linseed oil, made by pressing the flaxseed, was used in the production of paint, soap and many other items. The remaining residue, oil cake was fed to livestock. The flax plant made fibres from which linen was made. Their business was very successful and the Livingstons had many other business interests.

Some interesting history in our own ‘backyard’. Visiting this historic house/castle was the first time I had heard about flax.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-10-2010 09:13 AM

I didn’t know!!

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

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-10-2010 09:19 AM

I found this great site (also lists all the nutrients)

Topical use

  • When applied as a poultice, flaxseed helps heal skin inflammations and ease joint pain.

Vegetarian Alternative

Did you know you can even lower your cholesterol by substituting flaxseed in recipes calling for fat, oil or eggs?

  • A fat substitute – 3 TB. Flaxseed can be used to replace 1 TB. Of fat or oil
  • An egg substitute – 1 TB. Flaxseed + 3 TB water = 1 egg

Other ways to include flaxseed in your diet:

  • Add a spoonful of ground flaxseed to hot or cold cereals.
  • Add a spoonful of ground flaxseed to mayo or mustard on sandwiches
  • Mix spoonful of ground flaxseed with serving of yogurt
  • Bake ground flaxseed into cookies, breads and other baked goods
  • Mix a tablespoonful of seeds with juice or water and take at bedtime
  • Enjoyed as a tea flaxseed can be used to help 1) remedy colds and coughs 2) as well as urinary tract irritations.

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

View terrilynne's profile

terrilynne

4 posts in 2719 days
hardiness zone 10

09-10-2010 11:17 AM

A ground flaxseed poultice works wonders. Growing up on the farm us kids were always getting hurt. If it got infected Mom would slap a poultice on it overnight and it would draw out the poison. I’ve also used it on my horses over the years.

View sharad's profile

sharad

1671 posts in 3090 days
hardiness zone 11

09-10-2010 12:14 PM

Very good information on Flax. Canada is the largest producer of Flax, India is third. Flax known as Javas in my part of the country is used to make dry chutney for its taste and nutrition.

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 Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3653 days
hardiness zone 5a

09-10-2010 12:31 PM

Interesting blog.I had no idea that flax could be used for so many things.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-10-2010 01:32 PM

dry chutney… horse liniment… the list keeps growing!

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

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3135 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-13-2010 06:43 AM

I finally had a moment to look at your post, Debbie. Thank you for the photos and additional information. We have been using ground flax seed in food, particularly our bread, for years but it is fun to learn so many new uses for flax. I like the idea of growing it! How much of any area do you have planted and how much seed do you get? I am thinking I could use it as part of a our crop rotation or else I could incorporate it into a guild. Based on your photo, it seems to do well mixed with other flowers. For those of you with birds, our chickens love to eat flax seed as well.

Iris, I think I would enjoy that museum!

-- "...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

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-13-2010 07:56 AM

I use it as a border in my flowerbeds (a tall border.. but a border no less) and along my one fenceline.
Next year I’m going to use it more in my flowerbeds.

As to how much … hmmm .. one plant get several flowers and each flower has several seeds …that’s all the info I can give you
other than this that I found online: seed yields of 1000–4000 kilograms per hectare

and here is another great website

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

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3135 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-13-2010 09:35 AM

I took this verbatim from the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Website:

“How to Grow Flax

Management practices for oilseed flax are similar to that of spring oats. It is adapted to soils that are good for wheat or oats, but is not suited to poorly drained soils. Flax should not be grown in the same field every year, but instead should be rotated with other crops to reduce disease potential and improve yields. As described in the economics section of this publication, the greatest opportunity for flax may be in growing it as a double crop with buckwheat, thereby getting two crop incomes in one growing season.”

and

“Planting

Flax should be planted in early April in northern Missouri, or late March in southern Missouri. Although late frosts may occur after flax emergence, they are unlikely to damage flax. North Dakota researchers report that flax seedlings can survive temperatures down to 28°F. upon emergence, and can tolerate the low 20s after they reach the two leaf stage. Seed should be planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep, or up to 1 1/2 inches on coarser soils (such as sandy loams). A standard grain drill can be used with flax, planting it in narrow rows (preferably 6 inches or less). Seed treatment with a fungicide is frequently recommended in North Dakota, especially for the golden-seeded type, but in rapidly warming soils such seed treatment is probably not necessary.

Recommended seeding rate is 50 pounds per acre. North Dakota extension staff recommends that an optimum plant population for flax is 70 plants per square foot, with a minimum stand of 40 plants per square foot. If flax stands are too thin, weeds will be more of a problem and light will get down into the canopy, stimulating an extended flowering period and slower plant dry down. At seeding rates that are too high, branching of the stem into multiple seed capsules is inhibited, leading to fewer capsules and lower yields. Fiber flax is seeded at double the rate of oilseed flax, to reduce branching and promote higher fiber yields.”

There is more information on the site about fertility needs, types of flax, etc. Very interesting if you are seriously interested in growing flax. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

-- "...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

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-13-2010 11:00 AM

gotta love the internet and gotta love all the wonderful people who have posted their “wisdom”.

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

View Penny's profile

Penny

318 posts in 3208 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-16-2010 06:07 AM

I love that, Debbie…...its so pretty!!

-- Gardening is Great Therapy!!.....Georgian Bay area....zone 5b

View IceFlower's profile

IceFlower

156 posts in 2948 days
hardiness zone 9b

09-19-2010 09:21 AM

I’m going to try this Debbie, TY. we use flax, and bake our own bread 9bread machine, but at least I can control what I’m eating) In zone 9, i wonder if I need to start it out earlier in spring? Or in fall? will the organic seeds I buy at supermarket work? hmmm

-- Alynxia**** It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. 'The Buddha'****

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3135 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-20-2010 06:59 AM

Alynxia, I think the organic seeds from the market will work.

-- "...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 daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 2970 days
hardiness zone 4a

09-22-2010 07:15 AM

and my favorite – beware of falling into a vat of soaked flaxseed as you may never get out and drown. Flaxseed, when soaked in water produces a slippery, slimy coating. I don’t know of what use this information is ( unless you are looking for a way of organically eliminating someone), but it’s interesting.

so late March or early April for planting eh? That would be about now in southern hemispherese. I think I have just the spot for an experimental bed..

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

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

09-22-2010 07:20 AM

another stored piece of information! :)

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

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3135 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-10-2010 05:07 PM

I just ordered some golden flax seeds for next year. : )

-- "...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

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-10-2010 08:32 PM

excellent !!!

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

View Penny's profile

Penny

318 posts in 3208 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-27-2010 07:22 AM

I have some seeds that i am going to try this spring.

-- Gardening is Great Therapy!!.....Georgian Bay area....zone 5b

View firecaster's profile

firecaster

81 posts in 3318 days
hardiness zone 7

12-30-2010 08:17 AM

I’ve used flax seed to replace eggs when baking. I keep some at work and some at home for putting on oatmeal or others stuff life breakfast smoothies. It is very good for you according to the reading I’ve done. But you have to start small and build up. You’ll get stomach cramps if you start out with too much.

-- Father of two boys. Both Eagle Scouts.

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 3135 days
hardiness zone 5b

12-31-2010 06:27 PM

Firecaster, I also have learned that children in particular have a hard time digesting the whole seed so that it is better to use freshly ground flax seed rather than whole flax seeds.

-- "...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

14694 posts in 3873 days
hardiness zone 5b

01-01-2011 02:47 AM

From what I understand, humans can’t break down a whole seed – it needs to be crushed, otherwise it just passes through us.

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

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: All views and comments posted by members are not necessarily those of GardenTenders.com or of those working on the site.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

LumberJocks.com :: woodworking showcase

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com