Indigo seed planting guide: when to sow indigo seeds?
Sowing Indigo Seeds – How long do they take to germinate?
How much sunlight does it need for germination?
What temperature does it need to grow successfully?
When is the best time to sow indigo seeds?
Why are there so many varieties of indigo seeds available in the market today?
The Indigofera plant species is one of the most common plants used for dyeing fabrics. There are two types of indigo plants, the indigo tree (Ilex paraguariensis) and the indigo shrub (Ilex purpurea). Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The main difference between these two plants is that Ilex paraguariensis grows faster than Ilex purpurea. The other major difference is that Ilex paraguariensis produces its color with less water while Ilex purpurea requires more.
In Japan, indigo trees are grown mainly in the Kanto region. They produce their leaves and flowers earlier than elsewhere in Japan. However, if you want to get your hands on some indigo seeds, then you will have to travel further north into Honshu or even Kyushu.
The most popular type of indigo seed is the dark blue, which is used to dye fabric. If you want to use it to dye materials, then the color will be more permanent if you use Ilex paraguariensis compared to Ilex purpurea.
The other two types of indigo seeds are less common. The yellowish-green is used in making green dyes, while the reddish-brown one is used to make a pink dye. These darker and lighter shades of indigo are only available with Ilex purpurea.
How to plant indigo seeds for best results?
The first thing you have to know before planting your seeds is what type of seed you have. There are three main types: dark blue, yellowish-green and reddish-brown.
Both dark blue and yellowish-green indigo seeds need a slightly acidic soil and an ample amount of water. However, dark blue tends to grow much better in wet areas. Yellowish-green tends to work better in dry areas. The reddish-brown seeds require more nutrients and can grow in a wider range of temperatures.
To grow these seeds, all you have to do is place the seeds on top of the soil. However, it is important that the soil doesn’t dry out. These seeds should be placed in areas that receive a lot of sunlight for best growth results.
How long does it take for the plant to grow?
All types of indigo plants grow from seeds to maturity in roughly two to three months. The exact time may vary depending on the type of plant you ordered. After these plants are fully grown, you can harvest them and use their leaves and flowers to make your own dyes.
What is the best soil type for growing these plants?
There are three main soil types you can use for your plants. The first is a sandy-loam soil, which has a balanced mix of sand and soil with a bit of organic matter. The second type of soil is loam, which is a mix of sand, silt, clay and decayed plant matter. The third type is silty clay loam, which contains a high amount of silt and clay.
The plants grow in all three soil types, although some soil types are more ideal than others. If you have acidic soil that is high in nitrogen and phosphorus, then the dark blue and yellowish-green plants will grow best in these conditions. The reddish-brown plant grows well in all three soil types.
Which flowers can be mixed with the leaves to create different colors?
The main flowers that are used to create different colors are the Morning Glory, Jonquil and Nasturtium. Each of these flowers can be used individually or in combination with one another to produce a range of colors. The Dendranthema produces a yellowish color, the Rose provides reds and pinks, while the Calendula and Cornflower both provide a range of oranges, yellows and golds.
Which fabric materials can be dyed?
You can use your dyes on a range of different fabric materials such as cotton, linen and wool. The color of the resulting material is determined by how long you leave the fabric in contact with the dye. If you leave it in for five minutes, then the material will be a light shade of the color. Leave it in for ten minutes, and the result will be a dark shade.
Which plants should you avoid when growing your indigo plants?
There are a number of plants that shouldn’t be planted in the same area as your indigo plants. These plants include cabbage, radishes, onion and carrots. Many of these are avoided because they deprive the soil of important nutrients.
However, there are some plants that work well when grown alongside your indigo plants. These include lavender, tobacco and sage. The flowers from these plants can even be combined with the indigo leaves to produce different colors.
Do you need to plant anything else in your garden for the success of your plants?
If you want your plants to grow to their full potential, then it is important that you provide them with enough water. It may be a good idea to create a small waterway in your garden to allow a steady flow of water throughout the day. You can also give your plants a larger amount of nutrients by adding manure to the soil.
What are some of the challenges of growing indigo?
One of the common problems when growing indigo is known as spider mites. These are tiny eight-legged creatures that thrive in hot and dry conditions. The mites pierce the leaves and flowers of your plants to suck out the juice, which can prevent them from growing or developing properly.
Another common problem is mold. The wet and humid conditions in your garden mean that your plants are at risk of developing mold. While this may not seem too serious, the mold releases a substance called spore that can prevent your plants from growing. If you find yellow spots on your leaves, then it is likely that you have mold.
What should you do if you find mold or spider mites in your garden?
If you find either of these problems in your garden, then it is important that you act quickly to resolve them. Spider mites can quickly infest the entire garden, so you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.
It may be a good idea to ask one of your workers to spend a few hours every week looking for signs of mold or spider mites. If they find any, they can remove the infected plants and discard them.
Which workers would be best for looking after your garden?
Your foreman would be the most logical choice to look after your garden full time. He will already be familiar with all of the tasks involved and should have no trouble identifying any potential problems early on.
You can choose to employ another worker to help him, but this may not be necessary based on how much work there is to do.
Which other workers would be able to help him?
Rebecca could be an ideal candidate to take care of your garden. She is familiar with the basics of farming as she once grew tomatoes for sale. She could also help work in the fields during the growing season and then work in the garden when there are no crops to be planted or harvested.
You can also hire Jacob, another field worker, to help out. While he is strong and works hard in the fields, he can be a bit of a troublemaker and has gotten into fights with his coworkers on more than one occasion.
What if you don’t want to hire any extra workers?
If you decide that you do not want to hire any extra workers to help out in your garden, then this task will fall on your foreman entirely. While he does know a lot about farming, he may not have enough free time to adequately look after the garden. As such, you may not get the best results, and you may have to spend more money to get extra help if you need it.
What do you want to do?
» You can ask your foreman to look after the garden himself.
After giving it some thought, you decide that your foreman should be able to handle the garden on his own. Since he is already familiar with growing and harvesting crops, he should have no trouble performing these tasks for your garden.
Later on in the year, when your other workers head out to the fields, you can reassign them so that Jacob is transferred to the garden. This will free up your foreman to work on other tasks around the plantation.
To improve efficiency, you can also get the gardeners to start growing a few profitable plants such as tobacco or ginger for you.
Your choice results in an adequate harvest, and your workers are able to effectively manage both tasks. While the work isn’t of the highest quality, it is good enough to earn a small profit.
» You can hire Jacob and Rebecca to look after the garden.
You decide to hire Jacob and Rebecca to work in the garden, both of whom seem happy enough to have the work. This frees up your other workers to focus on the main task of growing tobacco, which significantly increases your profits.
While Jacob gets along well with Rebecca and works well with her, he and Orin become increasingly hostile towards each other over the course of the year.
Sources & references used in this article:
Impacts of wild indigo weevil on seed production in longbract wild indigo by ND Mundahl, KM Plucinski – … of the 21st North American Prairie …, 2010 – course1.winona.edu
Sowing date, transplanting, plant density and nitrogen fertilization affect indigo production from Isatis species in a Mediterranean region of Spain by E Sales, R Kanhonou, C Baixauli, A Giner… – Industrial Crops and …, 2006 – Elsevier
Storage life of Illinois bundleflower and western indigo seed. by CA Call – Rangeland Ecology & Management/Journal of …, 1985 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Creeping indigo (Indigofera spicata forsk.) (Fabaceae)—A hazard to herbivores in Florida by JF Morton – Economic Botany, 1989 – Springer