Amaranth red continues to bloom until it hits the first hard frost. Seeds usually ripen several weeks before that, usually within three months. The best way to determine if a seed can be harvested is to shake it gently but quickly or rub the flower heads between your hands and see if the seeds fall off easily. (Many small and appreciative birds can offer tips on when to start doing this.) An easy way to collect ripe grain, in dry weather, is to bend the plants over a bucket and rub the seed heads between your hands. My favorite method of divination is to rub flower heads by examining them in writing and then brushing the fine husks using my air compressor. Pruning and hanging plants to dry indoors does not work very well: the plants become extremely bristly and difficult to separate from seeds and husks.
Harvesting amaranth red seeds is an easy process. Cut the seedheads just before they dry out and become brittle. Place the seed heads on a cloth or place them in cloth or cloth bags with the heads down and leave in the shade to complete drying. When the seed heads are dry, the seeds can be removed in several ways: by rubbing with your hands (it is recommended to wear gloves), by placing the seed heads between two cloths and stepping on the outside of the shoes, by beating the seed heads inside the cloth. bag, or by beating the heads of the seeds together over the cloth. Once the dried seeds have been removed they can be placed in a shallow bowl and rotated until large flower pieces rise to the top where they are easy to remove. By tapping the bowl you can remove most of the remaining husks. Any small particles of flowers, husks, or leftover dirt can be removed by moving the seeds with a small dining screen the size of a window screen. Gently sowing the seeds will also remove the flower and husks successfully. Seeds are very light so it is important to sow carefully when there is only fresh air.
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