Do you do what I do? Every year, I forget to harvest some of my radishes on time and they end up growing thick stalks and the radishes become woody and inedible. In previous years, I wasn’t sure what to do about this, except to throw them on the compost pile (if I had one) or throw them in the green trash dispenser that our city provides for us. But this year, I got smart.
|The view from across my growing onions and bolting lettuce,
taken in April 2012.
I became interested in seed saving last year which led me to some research on how to save seeds from the plants that I grow each year. One of those, of course, is radish, and so rather than yanking the woody radishes out of the ground and throwing them away, instead I allowed them to continue growing.
|A little closer view over the bolting lettuce. I’m not sure if you can make
out any of the pods, but there are a ton of them.
They grew to about 4 feet high and bloomed with the most adorable, delicate little flowers. The bees loved them! The pollinated for days, allowing the plants to produce an abundance of lovely little seed pods, hopefully full of seeds!
|After the whole bunch of pod-laden branches are dry.|
Once the plants start dying off and the seed pods turn brown, it’s time to pull up the plants and set them in a well-ventilated area to dry. You can stack or hang them, either way is fine, they just need to be able to dry completely.
|A closer look at the dried pods.|
Once the pods are completely dry, they are ready to be broken open for seed harvesting. You may notice that the inside of the pods are very similar to styrofoam. I wonder if that’s where man got the idea for it?
|Radish seeds in the pod. That white stuff inside feels a bit like styrofoam.|
Once you have finished your harvesting, store the seeds in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Seed viability is about 5 years, so make sure you label your container with what type of seeds and the year you harvested the seed.
|Radish seeds. Don’t mind the “styrofoam”, just separate that
before you plant. Or leave it in, I can’t imagine it would matter.
*Aside from the experience, any additional seed harvesting information came from the book Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner (Storey’s Gardening Skills Illustrated series).
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