Rosy radishes need not be totally trashed

If you are part of the growing movement that promotes self-sustaining organic gardening, you are likely a seed harvester. If you are using heirloom seeds or plants in your vegetable garden, harvesting your seeds will make it possible for you to grow more plants during the next growing season, without having to buy more seeds.

With that being said, it is important to understand that not all vegetables are created equally. For example, it is a cinch to harvest pepper seeds; you simply harvest a pepper, cut it open, and pull out some seeds. Seed storage is another issue, but we will get to that shortly.

Radishes are one of the more interesting plants whose seeds you can harvest. What’s more, if you are growing radishes and eating them, good on you. Radishes have a lot of great health benefits, including providing vitamin C, digestion help, diuretic help for kidneys and more.

So to keep these benefits rolling in, you want to harvest some seeds. Harvesting radish seeds is pretty simple.

Step 1 is to choose several radish plants that you will let go to seed. Let them grow all they want and they will soon send up a stem or two that won’t be leafy. As these stems grow, they will begin to sprout small pods at the top. These pods will grow to be somewhat long and pointed at the end.

Step 2 is to simply let them be. You want to let the pods start to turn yellow and then begin drying out.  When the pods are nice and dry, the seeds inside will be turning tan and then brown.

Step 3 is to collect the seedpods and take them to a work area, such as your kitchen counter. You will find that the seedpods of radishes usually don’t just split open on their own the way broccoli and cabbage do. You will need to open them yourself.

Step 4 involves opening the seedpods. Go ahead and line your work area with some paper towels. When you’re ready, open the seedpods and spread the small, pebble-like brown seeds out on the paper towels. Allow them to dry completely.

Step 5 requires you to store the seeds. Probably the best way to store recently harvested seeds is to keep them in a paper envelope. So find the smallest envelope that will hold all of your seeds with some space left over and carefully slide the seeds into it. Seal the envelope tightly.

Step 6 is your last step. You simply need to label the envelope clearly, making sure to mark the date clearly.

Just like that, you have harvested and nicely stored radish seeds.

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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