Today we are gathering up the Flax in the Herb Garden for Harvest. It is September and the seed pods are ready, well, most of them are ready. With the strong Fall Winds we are having here in Colorado, I have to gather/harvest all the seed heads before they blow away!
First of all what is Flax?
- 1. a blue-flowered herbaceous plant that is cultivated for its seed (linseed) and for textile fiber made from its stalks
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Flax (disambiguation).
|Flax Linum usitatissimum|
|Linum usitatissimum L.|
Promotes heart health
Protects against strokes
Lowers blood pressure
Used for constipation
Helps guard against breast cancer and other cancers
As a healthy source of food and nutrition, flax seeds:
Are used in herbal teas
Can be ground into a low carb meal for making breads and dough.
The oil from the seeds makes linseed oil, and can be used in cooking.
Sprouts are used in salads
Flax seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" of fine garden or potting soil. Keep soil lightly moist during the germination period.*** I planted my flax with a little bit of potting soil and tamped it down so the Spring winds would not blow them away. Kept moist until they sprout and then water as you usually do for your location. We ended up watering 2x's weekly in Spring and 3x's weekly in Summer.
Spring sown plants will not bloom until the next year.***However, I did plant mine in Spring and they did bloom this year. Photos above.
Try sowing seeds early in the fall, and they will bloom the next spring.*** Our area of Colorado seems to do fine when Flax is planted in Spring.
Ideal plant spacing is 10" -12". The plants tolerate a little crowding.*** I planted mine in the Herb garden next to the Alyssum and had the Alyssum on both sides of a "River" of Flax.
Days to Germination: 20 - 30
"Flax is largely grown commercially in the U.S. to make Linseed Oil. Home gardeners highly value the real blue color of the flowers. Some home gardeners harvest the seed for consumption, especially in herbal teas, says "The Gardener's Network" LINK
Plants have clumps of delicate foliage, that give way to true blue flowers in the summer. Grow them in groups for the best effect. They are commonly used as a wildflower. Try them in containers, too.
Did you Know? Common flax is the national flower of Belarus.
Plant Height: 18" - 30""
To grow flax flowers, plant in spring time in a scatter pattern or in rows, or as backdrops to boarders. I have planted them all of the ways listed, but prefer to plant mine in round areas that I can tie the stems up later as the seed pods start to dry on the stems.
How do I harvest Flax?
Flax is harvested for fiber production after approximately 100 days, or a month after the plant flowers and two weeks after the seed capsules form. The base of the plant will begin to turn yellow. If the plant is still green, the seed will not be useful, and the fiber will be underdeveloped. The fiber degrades once the plant is brown.
*** I harvested mine by cutting them off at ground level and turning them, seed head down, in a brown paper sack. I left them outdoor, under cover of the porch, so they would not mold by getting wet. Some of the seed pods I pulled off the flax "linen" stems and placed in a bowl to dry.
How do I use Flax in my Healthy Cooking?
Flax seeds are teeny tiny powerhouses. They're absolutely packed with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting lignans. We only need a few teaspoons of seeds a day to benefit from their healthfulness, and happily for us, finding ways to work them into our daily meals is snap.
Pumpkin-Sunflower-Flax Seed Butterhttp://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-pumpkinsunflowerflax-se-154946
Walnut Flax Pancakes – Low Carb and Gluten-Freehttp://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2012/08/walnut-flax-pancakes-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html
How to Add Flaxseed to Your Diet
Links you may Like:
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