Waste Not: Saving Radish Seeds

Harvesting seeds from your plants to then grow new plants can be rewarding. It can also save money.

It can also come about as a way to utilize the results of an earlier indecision. In my case, not harvesting radishes before they began to bolt. I decided to let them continue to flower and (hopefully) be a source of pollen for the local beneficial insects. When the seed pods began to appear I had the choice of pulling the plants or continuing to let them mature. In the end I picked stalks from one or two radishes, the rest were cleared away. I would not be surprised if volunteers appear in this part of the garden next spring.

The following is what I did with said seed pods in August, having never saved radish seeds before and with a few days of rain in the forecast. However it is by far NOT the easiest or best way to harvest them. That would be to place the stalks with the pods inside a paper bag and collect the seeds as the pods matured and opened up. Yeah, that would have been a lot easier. It is also what I will be doing next time. If, though, you are looking to keep your hands busy while watching television or paint dry, you can do what I did below.

The above photo shows the three containers I used during this activity. The one held the unopened seed pods, the second holds the radish seeds from opened pods, and the third hold the emptied pods.

The seed pods were easy to crack open by placing one between two fingers, squeezing them, and the shaking out the seeds.

Each radish seed pod holds several small, round, brown seeds.

Small is a great way to describe these seeds. The container on the left in the photo above are the empty seed pods, the one on the right contains the seeds from said pods.

Some of those seeds are currently planted in my fall garden. They have a fairly short growing season which is perfect for my Zone 7 garden.

Next year I hope to grow some radishes solely for their flowers as pollinator food in the butterfly garden. They are a wispy sort of plan with small purple flowers. Those plants could also be used as a source of seed pods for eating rather than for saving seeds.