Huacatay is a Marigold that stands taller than me or you with very very small pale yellow flowers. The leaves are called "Black Mint." Peruvians use this herb to make a green sauce called Black Mint Paste, which is an essential ingredient in the potato, ají amarillo, peanut, cheese, and egg dish called ocopa. Many Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Chileans, and Bolivians in North America often look for this fresh herb - for a limited time, you can buy the seed from Truelove Seeds and grow your own! Also called Quinchihue, Chinchilla, and Chincho.
Days to maturity: 110
Seeds per pack: 200
Germination rate: 53% on 04/05/2021 (below standard)
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct sow after last frost when soil is warm. Sow every 2-4", 1/8-1/4" deep, and thin to 12-24" per plant. In one part of our garden this year, we grew 12 plants that filled in a 30-foot row like a solid hedge. Water regularly until germination. Our past experience shows that germination can be spotty in the soil. We oversow and then move thinnings to other parts of the garden. This plant is resistant to deer, groundhogs, and insect pests, so can be grown as a perimeter plant outside of your fences. It will grow much taller with irrigation, but does great without irrigation as well.
Seed keeping notes
Wait until the flowers start to dry out and until you can hear the seeds shaking in their seedheads. At this point, cut branches and whack in a bucket allowing the seeds to fall. Sift through strainers and use wind, breath, or fans to clean off smaller chaff.