Studies on the cultivation and weediness potential of edible amaranth, Amaranthus hybridus L. in southern Ontario
Amaranthus hybridus L. is a leafy vegetable grown primarily in tropical regions. Similarities to other amaranths in Ontario suggest it could grow efficiently as a crop, but certain characteristics of this species raise the concern of introducing a new weed. Various harvest techniques were implemented to mimic cultural preferences in combination with different cutting frequencies. Germination trials at various depths and in plots with varying levels of disturbance examined the ability of seeds to establish and persist. The highest yields and quality measures were found in plants harvested every 2-3 weeks, cutting the thicker stems 15cm above ground level. Germination was highest when seeds were planted close to the surface but seeds lacked the ability to establish in untilled surfaces. Results suggest Amaranthus hybridus has the potential to become a successful vegetable crop in southern Ontario and that there limited ability for the edible cultivar to become a problematic weed.