Seeding Experiments

I am experimenting this year with allowing my spring-planted lettuce and radish to develop and drop their own seeds.

by Jessica Walliser
I might try braiding my garlic this year. Photo by Jessica Walliser (
Photo by Jessica Walliser
I did pretty well on my garlic harvest this year.

Although it hasn’t been the best year for the vegetable garden, it has been a respectable one. I’m still a few weeks away from the first tomato, but I spent the afternoon yesterday harvesting onions. They didn’t get quite as large as I wanted them too (they never do!) but, still, it was a good harvest. I pulled garlic last week and ended up with quite a few small heads and even a nice amount of larger ones. I will leave the harvested heads spread out in the garage for another week or two before I tie them into bunches and hang them to dry. I think I may even try my hand at braiding them!

I am also experimenting this year with allowing my spring-planted lettuce and radish to develop and drop their own seeds. The radish seedpods are nearly ready to burst and the lettuce has just come into flower. I was told by an old-time farmer friend that letting the plants drop their own seed means you’ll have a perfectly timed fall crop. In the past I have allowed a few lettuce plants to drop seed and have gotten some nice seedings out of it. They weren’t big enough to harvest in the fall, but they overwintered nicely (I put some row cover over them) and were the first I harvested the following spring. I’m letting all of them go to seed this year just to see how it goes.

The green beans are also looking good. Thankfully it got a bit dry the past few weeks, and the slugs seemed to stay away from them. I suspect they’ll come into flower within the next two or three weeks. And lastly, the vine crops are just beginning to spread their tendrils. The cukes, zukes, pumpkins and gourds are vining out—my volunteer pumpkin even has some male flowers on it already. Soon enough the female flowers will open and we’ll be on our way to a bountiful harvest.

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