Saturday, September 2, 2017

Try self-seeding veggies and flowers

Bee on zinnia in the edible garden

Saturday, September 2, 2017

An easy option for a plant once and be done are self-seeders.  These are plants that produce many seeds.  One trick to self-sowing is letting the seeds sprout before adding a thick layer of mulch which may dampen how many seedlings can push up through the crust if put down before they have a chance to sprout.

There are many self-seeding vegetable and herbs.  Here are a few we are growing:
*Mache (corn salad)
*Miner’s lettuce (claytonia)
*Giant Red mustard
*Brilliant Red orach
*Cocks comb
*Hummingbird vine
*Morning glory

The trick to self-seeders is you have to let them go to seed in the garden.  That means leaving the brown flower heads on or the dropped tomatoes on the ground so they can leave their seeds.

I have "volunteer" tomato plants that sprout every year, here and there.  They are easy to pop out of the ground and plant where you want them or leave them where they are.  I always let them grow because they must be happy and adapted to my garden conditions.  It is always a surprise to see what type of tomato it is.  I had an orange cherry type and a chocolate paste type that did well as volunteers this year.

In the garden right now, I have cock's comb and zinnias that have filled the garden.  There are baby cilantro and lettuces popping up.  I'm hoping spinach starts coming up soon!
A caution with growing self sowing plants is that they can self sow a little too well.  The only one on the above list that I would not let loose in my garden is the purslane.  I only let it grow in pots.  The rest are easy to pluck out the ones you don’t need.

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