Fast growing, nutritious, and lovely to behold, Moringa is gaining in popularity daily. What could be easier than walking into your yard, and gathering healthy greens to put on the table?
Step 1. Obtain some Moringa seeds from one of the many sources that sell them.
There are several varieties, but the seeds of Moringa oleifera and Moringa stenopetala are the easiest to obtain.
- For a fast-growing tree that will bear leaves, blossoms and seed pods the first year, choose Moringa Oleifera.
- If you want a fast-growing tree with much larger leaves, making the task of gathering them for a meal easier, opt for Moringa Stenopetala.
Step 2. Decide where you would like to grow your Moringa tree.
Keep in mind that Moringa trees can grow over 20 feet (6.1 m) tall, their first year. The average growth is about 15 feet (4.6 m), however, in optimum conditions, they can grow much taller. Because the branches will grow, on the average, to about three to four feet wide the first year, consider whether you want to plant your Moringa tree close to any existing structures. Moringas need much sunlight, warmth, and water, to thrive – so think about where your tree will obtain the best exposure to the sun.
Step 3. Get the best organic potting soil that you can find.
Moringa will grow in poor soil, sandy soil, and depleted soil, but they do not like their roots getting wet. Bear this in mind, and if necessary, purchase sand to add to the potting soil mixture, or use whatever soil is available in your area, and add coconut coir, peat moss or sand to loosen it. This gives the roots of the Moringa tree room to go deep, and drain well. Moringa has a taproot, which means a single root that goes straight down like a carrot. Make sure to plant where the taproot has lots of room to go down. If planting in a container, find the deepest one you can. Moringa can be grown as a solitary tree, in rows, or as a hedge.
Step 4. Make a hole in the soil, and plant the Moringa seeds about ¾” to 1″ deep, cover with soil, and tamp it into place.
Make a note of when you planted the seeds, so you can monitor their growth. Once you have covered the seeds, thoroughly water the soil. Whether you plant the seeds in pots, or right into the ground, they will need a thorough soaking every day, until you see the seedlings emerge from the soil. Once they have sprouted, they can be watered once every other day, until they are about 18 inches (45.7 cm) tall. Then, water them once a week.
- When grown in orchards, the tree is normally cut back every year or two (rationing) and allowed to re-grow to encourage vigorous leaf and pod production and so that the pods and leaves remain within arms’ reach.
- It is originally from sub tropical origin but when considering whether it will grow in your area or not; the most important consideration is that the tree can be killed by continuous frost and sub zero temperatures. There are ways of minimizing the effect of cold (e.g. mulching) but there are no guarantees.
- The Moringa Tree enjoys full sun. Initially the seedling must be protected from strong winds. In very hot areas water them daily (just make absolutely sure that the roots are not water-logged – i.e. the water must be able to drain away). If you decide to water it less just keep an eye on it; it will definitely tell you if it needs more water.
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