Millet is one of many seed grasses that can be used as a food source. The grain, similar in nutrient composition to corn, is richer in protein and fiber. Millet has been cultivated for thousands of years and is believed to be one of the first grains harvested by humans for food. Millet prefers hot, extended summers and does well growing in the southern states below the Mason-Dixon line.
Prepare the plot for planting. Work in organic compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Plant the seed, spacing each individual seed approximately 2 inches apart. Make your rows at least 1 foot apart. Cover with at least 1 inch of soil.
Add additional compost to the plot as the millet grows. Like corn, millet draws a lot of nitrogen from the soil.
Mulch the plot with straw or other covering if desired. This can help the soil retain water and cut down on pests.
Harvest the millet when the grasses and seed heads have turned golden brown. Millet can be harvested either by hand or with the use of a mechanical thresher.
Tips & Warnings
Millet was first brought to the United States in 1874 and first planted in Southern California. Millet grains were found entombed with the pharaohs of Egypt. Millet is a classed as grain sorghum and is a popular ingredient in birdseed. Millet can be planted in any soil that can produce corn. Millet is being studied as a possible source for ethanol production. Millet can be cooked as porridge, a side dish similar to rice or ground to make flour or meal.
Normal average rainfall should take care of watering requirements to enable the grass to reach optimum growth. In the meantime, as the grass grows, it attracts more wildlife with the cover it affords.