Growing Your Own Garden Seeds


A Look at Seed-Saving Vegetable Plants in Flower

      
by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
July 10, 2020
The seed head of a leek. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.

A leek in flower

The shortage of garden seeds this spring gave a foretaste of what it is like when supplies run out. If anything, the shortages demonstrated just how important it is to grow and save your own seeds.

Many gardeners miss the second part of vegetable growing: allowing plants shoot into flower and produce seeds. We’ve been told to have tidy gardens and to pull out our plants as the harvest slows. Nothing could be farther from the truth! As the harvest season slows down, the seeding season is just beginning. The garden is abundant with seeds. We have only to gather and store them to have the most an ample supply we could ever want.

What Do Vegetables Look Like When They Go to Seed?

As gardeners and food eaters, we know what carrot or lettuce plants look like, but many of us have never seen these plants when they produce their seeds. To save seeds, you need to choose a few of your best of each kind of your plants and allow them to grow tall and flower.

Take a tour through this gallery of seed saving vegetables to see the garden’s second harvest. It’s nature at work, reproducing itself and adapting to the conditions around it, feeding the bees with pollen and nectar from the flowers, forming fruits that mature and release seeds for birds to eat and disseminate, or humans to harvest for next season.

A Seed Saver’s Gallery of Flowering Vegetables

lettuce plant. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. lettuce in flower. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. lettuce seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Lettuce – When the weather is hot and days are long, the lettuce plant sends up a stalk which forms a flower head with tiny yellow flowers. In time, the flowers mature into tufts with the seeds attached.
carrot plant. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. carrot flower. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. carrot seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds
Carrots are biennials. In the second year, the plant sends up a tall, branched stalk with large flower heads, which eventually produce seeds.
 beet plants. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. Beet plants going to seed. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.-230 Beet seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Beets are biennials that produce their seed stalk in the second year. The tall seed stem branches extensively and develops small “balls,” each containing multiple seeds.
Yellow tomato flowers. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. Red and green cherry tomatoes on a tomato plant. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. tomato seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Tomato seeds come from inside the fruit. As the plant grows it produces multiple small yellow flowers. Each of these becomes a tomato (fruit), containing seeds for the next generation.
radish plant. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. radish seed pods. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. radish pod and seed. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Radishes send up a flower stalk which eventually produces seed pods. When the pods are brown, the seed is ready for harvest.
zucchini plant in flower. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. zucchini with seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. zucchini seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
The seeds of zucchini and other summer squashes develop inside the fruit. Zucchini seeds ripen about eight weeks after the normal harvest time for eating the squash.
bunching onions in flower. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. onion seed head. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. onion seeds. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Onions – In the second year of growth, onions send up a tall, thick-necked stalk with a beautiful round umbel composed of many tiny flowers. Once the flowers dry, they expose small black seeds.
A Lacinato kale plant. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. Flowering Lacinato kale plants with bright yellow blossoms. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds. kale seeds and pods. Growing Your Own Garden Seeds.
Kale sends up tall stems with yellow four-petaled flowers, and bears long, narrow seed pods over a period of time. As they dry on the stalk, kale pods break open and scatter their small round seeds.

 

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More about gardening:
10 Tips for Year-Round Vegetable Gardens10 Tips for Year-Round Vegetable Gardens

Plan a Seed Saving GardenPlan a Seed Saving Garden

tomato seed savingHow to Save Tomato Seeds

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