I'm wanting to grow sorghum next year, and the stuff I purchased for this years growing season is doing very poorly (height/thickness wise). What type of sorghum should I plan to grow a plot of next year for stalks (not grain)? I'm thinking about lowering the dirt area with mounds about 3-6" to have a large flooding water catchment for the grass to grow in.

  • I went with Mennonite for the same reasons. I planted it in May and the seeds are just now turning red and are not mushy(Nov. 11) That is at least 120 days so I don't know why they were so short and took so long to mature. Since I was growing seed for next year I did not try to get any juice from the stalks in Aug. I read where they were supposed to be 7 ft. tall. Mine only made it to 4 ft. I thought they would do fine in Arkansas since they supposedly come out of Missouri. I may try Dale next year which seems to be the most popular thru the mid south. Any ideas on why mine were stunted? Nov 11 '20 at 16:34

The type of sorghum you'll want is known as sweet sorghum. The kind for food seed is known as grain sorghum. There's also broomcorn (sorghum for making brooms). Anyway, these are just classifications of sorghum—they're not breeds. It should be noted that sorghum is in the same family as corn, and looks a lot like it (but my plants weren't nearly as tall as cornstalks). Sorghum is also in the same family as sugarcane, and has similar uses, but it isn't sugarcane. Sorghum is actually a genus (so there are different species of sorghum). Sugarcane is in the Saccharum genus.

I've only grown one breed of sorghum, so far (so, I don't have a lot of specific breeds to recommend), after a considerable amount of research. I chose Mennonite sorghum, since it was both a sweet sorghum and a grain sorghum, and I read a rumor that it was productive (although in my garden, it didn't seem to produce a lot).

The stalks were sweet, but not very juicy. I didn't see myself making syrup with them, though, but I could see myself growing a few plants every other year to chew on. It would have been much easier to make syrup out of cantaloupe (a soft, juicy breed like Ginger's Pride), watermelon, grapes or dates.

The sugar content of sorghum stalks seems to decline when you freeze the stalks (I still have some in the freezer).

Hopefully someone else will answer with more experience on sweet sorghum. I'm guessing there are sweeter sorghums out there than Mennonite sorghum.

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