In order to do something different each week of the year, I have a list of challenges to undertake...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Week 37 - Grow a Plant for Seed

Normally, when I grow beans and peas, I save a few pods for drying, and they can be used in stews over winter, and for sowing next year. Easy peasy.

What is rather more unknown territory is seed saving from other types of veg. So this season, I have let one of my radishes sprout a big old flower stem in order to let it go to seed and collect the seeds.

It's been quite a surprise, and I've learnt a lot:

  • firstly, given that radish goes from a seed sown to eating a radish in about 6 weeks, the whole going to seed business has taken AGES - over 4 months from flowering plant to seed pod gathering. 
  • Also, a radish grows into quite a sizable bush - certainly 2'-3' in diameter. 
  • I found that the bees and all manner of insect love the little white flowers, and have been all over it all during the summer. 
  • The flowers lead to pods, which I think are edible - although I missed a trick there and didn't think to try them. 
  • And finally, you don't get many radish seeds to a pod, and they are really fiddly to extract from the papery membrane inside. 

Given that radish seeds are about 29p for a packet of 1,000, I don't think that I'll be doing this particular plant experiment again, but I've learnt plenty, and that's my Challenge done!


  1. Maybe radish wasn't the ideal choice for this challenge but that doesn't matter. You did it. Well done :}

    1. I agree, Bilbo. It was a worthwhile exercise, though - I had no idea about the flowers, for example, and how attractive to the pollinators they are. They look like night scented stock flowers.