Bayan Hijau and Bayam Merah are both vegetables from the Amaranth family.
Bayan Hijau or Amaranthus spp is also known as spinach. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals like iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Bayam Merah or Red Amaranthus is mostly identical to its green cousin Bayan Hijau. It is very nutritious, low in calories and naturally gluten-free, besides being a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.
Both types are easy to grow, especially in tropical countries like Malaysia where it is possible to plant them all year round.
There are several reasons why it is a good idea to grow amaranth plants:
- They are easy to grow.
- They are delicious and they are a great addition to your daily diet.
- These vegetable seeds are tougher than other tropical leafy greens. They can withstand Malaysia weather and long periods without water.
- They are great for salads, soups, pasta, couscous, and you can even add their seeds to your favorite smoothie.
- Amaranth plants are beautiful, they will look great in your vegetable garden.
How to Grow Bayan Hijau and Bayam Merah
What You Need:
- Soil bed
- Black compost
- Red Sandy Soil
- The Sun
Once you have everything, just follow these simple steps:
- Prepare the seeds
Take note that the best way to find and buy Amaranthus seeds is not in your local store, but with online seed retailers who specialize in vegetable seeds.
Buy enough to have a fructified harvest.
- Prepare the soil bed
Fill in three parts of the black compost mix with two parts of red sandy soil, and one part of fertilizer.
Mix it well.
- How to Germinate seeds
Make several holes in the soil bed, leaving a distance of three centimetres between each hole. Place two vegetable seeds per hole.
- Add a thin layer of compost and keep the soil moist
Now that you’ve placed the Amaranth seeds in each hole, just cover them with a thin layer of compost, and sprinkle water to keep the soil moist.
- Thin out sick, old plants and remove weeds
Amaranth plants are easy to grow, but you need to thin out sick, old plants, and remove weeds.
It is important to keep the soil well-drained.
- Fertilizer Application
As with any other vegetable seeds, you need to apply fertilizer to help the plant grow and develop.
We suggest you apply 100 grams of fertilizer after 7 days and 50 grams 14 days after sowing.
- Ready to Harvest
After 25 days, it is time to harvest.
Vegetable Garden Care and Maintenance Tips
As you can see, growing Bayan Hijau and Bayam Merah is easy and you don’t need to do much. Here are some tips and important information you should know to become an expert gardener.
- Amaranth is one of the rare vegetables that can be eaten as a grain and as a legume, and that’s why is considered a superfood.
- One amazing thing about Amaranth plants is that everything is edible from the stalks, leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds, and they are all filled with nutritional value.
- Amaranth seeds are a great substitution for quinoa.
- Both Bayan Hijau and Bayam Merah grow very well in hot humid weather but when the weather gets too hot, above 35° Celsius, the leaves become overly mature and bitter. The perfect temperature is between 25-35° Celsius.
- Amaranth plants have tougher leaves and stems so you should cook the leaves in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and then pass them into cold water. Keep in mind that Bayam Merah will turn green in the process.
- If you want Bayam Merah red colour, cut out the young leaves and use them in your salad.
The Healthy Option
No matter which type of Amaranth seeds you choose to grow, they all contain versatile ingredients. They have a mild flavour or that makes them perfect for salads, pasta, sandwiches, and wraps. They are even used to stuff ravioli and tortellini.
It doesn’t matter if you eat them raw or cooked, they are a great healthy option. Just make sure you don’t overcook them to prevent the loss of nutrients.