Sunday, April 10, 2011

Seeds to Be

      For the last couple of years, I have been leaving some plants to go to seed.  Some to collect, and some to be left to self seed for volunteers.  The other added benefit is the attraction of beneficial insects to the flowers, especially the early blooming flowers from the cold frame plants.  The members of the cole family supposedly cross pollinate very easily, so it is not suggested to save seed.  I figured that since you can eat the leaves from broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, etc., what difference would it matter if you did get a cross.  Having harvested seed from last summer, everything appears to be breeding true!  Go figure.  With that in mind, I will be letting many more veggies go to seed so that I can collect for next year.
      Another benefit to allowing plants to flower, is that the young flower stalks are edible.  Our salad at lunch today was graced with yellow mizuna flowers and pretty little white arugula flowers.  The flowers taste just like what the parent crop tastes like.  The following pictures are of plants that overwintered successfully in the cold frames.  They are flowering now, as most of these veggies flower in the second year.

Territorial Chinese Cabbage, 4/9/11

      The plant above is a miniature chinese cabbage from Territorial Seed Co. called Tenderheart.  It is best grown late in the summer for fall harvest, and is great because the heads are smaller than some of those big chinese cabbage that can take two weeks for two people to polish off.  The glass frame at the right of the picturr is an attempt to keep the deer off of the radicchio.

Tatsoi gone to flower, 4/9/11
Mizuna mustard, 4/9/11

Arugula with white flowers, 4/9/11

Mild volunteer mustard, 4/9/11

      The mustard plant above overwintered with straw and leaves covering it as deer protection.  It is a very tasty mild mustard green, and I am thrilled that it is throwing a flower spike.  I am certainly going to save this seed, and need to come up with a name for the seed.
      The seeds collected soon from these and other overwintered plants will provide fresh seed for the starts of the 2011 fall garden.  Recycling at its best.


  1. Recycling at its best and also as organic as can be!

  2. I am trying to save seeds this year for the first time. It will be interesting to see how I do, and how they (the seeds) do next year.

  3. Welcome to blogger family. I am looking forward to reading your next post. Greetings from Croatia!