All About Growing Sorghum

Growing sorghum is as simple as growing corn, and you can choose between growing grain sorghum (milo), sorghum varieties known as broom corn, or sweet sorghum for making into sorghum syrup.


| January 10, 2014



Sorghum Illustration

Step aside, honey and maple syrup — there’s a new sweetener on the block, and it can be grown and processed right at home. If you haven’t tried sweet sorghum syrup, you’re missing out.


Illustration by Keith Ward

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

One of the most versatile members of the grass family, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) can be grown for grain, crafting or for processing into sorghum syrup. Appropriate sorghum varieties must be chosen for each use, but all types are as easy to grow as corn.

Sorghum grows best where summers are quite warm, with daytime temperatures regularly topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Sandy soils in warm climates are especially good for growing sorghum because it withstands drought and flooding better than corn does.

Types of Sorghum

Understand the three types of sorghum is key to choosing the best varieties to grow.

Grain sorghum, also called milo, produces tall panicles covered with small, round seeds in late summer. The grain can be milled into fresh flour, and some varieties such as ‘Tarahumara’ can be popped like popcorn. Cracked grain sorghum makes excellent animal feed.

bethannyparker
11/23/2014 6:15:09 AM

You say this can be grown and processed at home, but I am left wondering how on earth you grind and press 8-foot stalks at home. That sounds like something that would require special equipment. Please provide more details about processing sweet sorghum stalks at home.






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