Farmers once grew proso millet (Panicum milliaceum) primarily for ground cover, bird seed and feed in the United States. Now, U.S. farmers and gardeners grow it for human consumption as well. An annual grass, proso millet reaches 4 feet in height. Ripening in 60 to 90 days, proso millet can thrive with as little as six inches of water during its growth period.
Gardeners should choose planting sites that receive full sun for best growth.Prepare the soil in early spring by digging in manure or compost high in nitrogen. Make sure the soil drains well.Test the soil for acidity. If it has a pH of less than 5.6, add 5 to 10 lb of lime to the soil per 100 square feet of the garden.Weed the soil well before sowing proso millet seeds, as millet does not compete well with weeds. The Northern Grain Growers Association suggests keeping the soil weed-free with a tine-weeder or “inter-seeding with another grass or legume” to keep weeds from emerging. Sow seeds at a depth of 1/2 to 1 inch in rows that are about a foot apart. (If inter-seeding with another grass or legume, you do not need rows). Seeds should be sown at a rate of 15 to 25 pounds per acre, according to the Iowa State University Extension. Thin seedlings to about three inches apart. Compact the soil after sowing to ensure the seeds have good contact with the soil. Keep the soil moist during and after germination.