Della is an earlier maturing, mid-season sweet sorghum variety with good disease resistance, great syrup quality, and slightly variable height (10-12'). Della matures about one week earlier than Dale and about 6 days later than Sugar Drip. It is listed as a sweet sorghum best adapted for Kentucky, where our friend and grower Chris Keeve of Fugitive Seed Project saved these seeds for our catalog.
Bob Harrison of Virginia Polytechnic Institute developed this strain as a backcross of Dale Sorghum with a sorghum called ‘ATX622’ to select for early maturity while maintaining some disease resistance, and introduced it in 1991. Compared to Dale, Della plants are more likely to fall over, more variable in plant height, and similar to Dale in syrup quality - but one week earlier!
Sorghum is an African species grown now throughout much of the Southern US for several purposes, including syrup and grain production.
Days to maturity: 115
Seeds per pack: 350
Germination rate: 93% on 02/10/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct seed 1/4" into well-drained soil once the danger of frost has passed. Thin to 8"-12" in row, rows 24-30" apart. Needs full sun and thrives in warm climates. Best to harvest cane for molasses when seed head has turned from the milk stage to soft dough and the external color from green to a purplish-red.
Seed keeping notes
While sorghum is generally self pollinating, people concerned with unwanted cross pollination should isolate various varieties of S. bicolor (including Johnson grass) by 990 feet. Alternatively, you can plant your different sorghums closer together and bag the plants' tassels when they emerge with weather resistant corn tassel bags, or with paper bags in drier climates. Allowing the seed heads to reach the hard dough stage is best when harvesting for seed.