I live in Denver and have a yard but not the time to work the soil this year. I have some Sorghum seeds, will they grow ok if I do so out of containers? I am growing them for grain/syrup.

  • Growing in pots with holes at the bottom and using ONLY potting soil will work just fine. For this season. Also a little balanced fertilizer. What do you mean when you say 'work' the soil? Doing these in containers sounds like a bit more work than a simple double dug bed in the garden. Any plant grown in any container has to be planted in good old sterilized potting medium, only. No rocks at the bottom beneath the soil. Match plant to pot size, tiny plant in big pot is a no no. Plants in pots have roots that are vulnerable to the cold of winter and will die if not planted in the garden. – stormy Apr 24 '18 at 4:54
  • I've never grown sorghum in containers, but I have started some corn plants in an 18-gallon tote once, and I have grown sorghum in the ground. Sorghum is related to and looks similar to corn, except with smaller plants. I get the impression that it should do pretty well in containers, especially with regard to canes for the syrup, but I don't really know. What varieties of sorghum do you have? I tried Mennonite. I get the feeling drip irrigation may help, as containers can dry out and damage plants if you're not diligent. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Apr 24 '18 at 4:59
  • @stormy, I mean digging beds as you described. I did some last year and it was a ton of time and a subpar outcome, and the weeds situation and amount of dirt to purchase/move(without a car) was troublesome. you've got me thinking though and it might be about the same effort/cost so I'll consider it. Though the ground isn't the best to work with now either... – Liz Young Apr 24 '18 at 15:52
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    @shule, Mennonite is one variety, the other is like "Libya" or something maybe? – Liz Young Apr 24 '18 at 15:52
  • Ben, you are in Denver and should be able to work the soil using a shovel. You've got lots of clay, yes? Good time to just dig big globs throw them on the surface, they dry and disintegrate...honest. Gosh, I need to understand what your process has been, this making of raised or elevated beds is the easiest thing to establish. I have to highlight the fact that I AM THE LAZIEST gardener of all!! Hate touching anything twice, dealing with any labor or effort twice, takes a bit of planning. I think we are on the same page...I am unable to imagine NOT preparing beds in this way. – stormy Apr 25 '18 at 0:03

Yeah, it will grow fine in a container, sorghum is pretty tough... the only thing to be aware of is if you have a small pot and loose soil it will need some external support... because can be tall... almost as tall as corn and has pretty small roots. If you are planning to eat it be aware of the cyanide it can accumulate, both when it is small and when it is heat stressed near harvest time.

  • cyanide eh? sounds... like something to avoid – Liz Young May 5 '18 at 19:34
  • mainly a problem for when it gets heat stressed and they use the stalks for cow feed... you are not likely going to run into an issue with it. – Grady Player May 6 '18 at 3:19

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