It’s that time of season in our garden when we have to make a decision as to how much we harvest and how much seed we want to save for the future.
Since we are new to gardening as of 2013 and have spent the majority of our time on design, soil quality and vegetable varieties. We haven’t invested the time up till now into building up our seed bank, so we have decided to make this year 2015 be the year that we allow a portion of our garden to go to seed and save them for future harvest’s .
The seed saving season in the garden is just as wonderful and beautiful as the growing and harvesting season. Each plant variety goes to seed a little differently than another with different flower colors, some have blooms and some are bulbs.
Here are some pictures of our garden in transition going from harvest to seed and garlic bulbs harvested and curing for next years crop.
Egyptian Walking Onions creating new bulbs.
Cherry Belle Radish
Garlic bulbs harvested and curing for next year!
Last year in 2014 we planted 6 varieties of green beans with great success, we had a really wonderful harvest and were able to save lots of seeds.
This year 2015 we are focusing on pea’s, we have planted 4 varieties which include * Amish snap – * Champion of England – * Cascadia sugar snap – * Sugar snap. The Cascadia seeds we used this year were from our crop last year and the other three remaining will be new to our garden mix.
We have four trellis built according the size needed for each variety.
Our grand daughter serenity helped us plant the seeds in there perspective rows and she did a wonderful job and had fun with us in the garden.
Currently all the varieties are growing well as of May 23, 2015 despite the rain, hail and recent snow we just had a few weeks ago.
Update June 5, 2015
It is always fun to have a surprise in the garden and last year we had one when we decided to try an heirloom variety of Bok Choy called white stem from Botanical Interests. We were not sure how it would do here in our climate and soil and to our surprise it turned out to be one of our best early season crops.
The leaves were so beautiful and glossy and tasted wonderful !!
If you don’t know how to cook or eat bok choy here is a youtube video from chef Jarod on how to prepare it.
This white stem variety is an heirloom so at the end of the season we were able to save the seeds.
The pictures here below are when the plants were bolting in our garden and going to seed, the seed pods were then dried and the seeds saved in small jars for this years season.
A few weeks ago I planted a few of these seeds to see how they would do and they are growing fine so today April 19, 2015 we are going to get a row planted.
We will be updating this page and sharing pictures as they grow and what we harvest. So follow along !
In our 2014 garden, my wife and I decided that we would plant 6 varieties of green beans to see which one’s grew best here in our climate, tasted better and which ones would produced more yield to eat and more yield of seed for our seed bank.
All the plants grew very well but the one I would say gave us less yield over all was the Royal Burgundy.
all the bush beans produced first, while the Kentucky Wonder pole bean came in strong later in the season. I personally did not notice a difference in taste or texture, I guess I just enjoy eating so much that I just wasn’t paying much attention.
Here is a picture of our finished product of canned green beans and garlic from last year, we think they turned quite nice and have been really nice to eat through winter.
Here below are pictures of the six varieties we planted and the seeds they produced at the end of the season.
1 – Cherokee Wax – Bush Bean
2 – Harvester – Bush Bean
3 – Blue Lake 274 – Bush Bean
4 – Kentucky Wonder – Pole Bean
5 – Contender – Bush Bean
6 – Royal Burgundy – Bush Bean
Here are a few pictures of what the actual crop looked like as they grew and the heavy laden bushes full of beans.
Once we harvested all that we were going to harvest for our food storage, we let the rest of the plant mature and dry out so that we could extract the precious seeds for our future gardens. Here is what the seed pods look like dry and and when you break them open out pops the precious seeds within.
Here are the saved green bean seeds for upcoming gardens!
Last year we planted a few different varieties of onions for the first time in our garden just to see how well they would do. We planted walking Egyptian ( which are very easy to grow and almost never go away ), yellow onions and green onions. They all did very well but we decided not to harvest but let them go to seed and save them for a bigger crop this year in 2015. In our garden we are trying to save as much different variety of our seeds as possible to help off set the costs and create a bit of our own seed bank.. The picture to the left shows our yellow onions in 2014 just before going to seed, the next picture are the hundreds of little black seeds we got from them and today 3/22/2015 are being planted. This is the first time we are going to try and see if we can get onions going by seed. We will see what happens.
Just in case we are unable to grow onions from seed, we have a back up of onions sets that are going into the ground at the same time. We will see in time which of the two will give us a better crop this year.
Update June 5, 2015
This week while I was at work, I happened to mention that I was excited that spring is finally here and that we can’t hardly wait to get the early seed crop into the ground. Wow the discussion that went on next was amazing as so many chimed in on how it is to early to plant, it is just cheaper to get your produce at the store and blah, blah, blah.
My thoughts are I don’t care we are just going to “Plant The Seed” and if we get 1 plant or no plants it doesn’t matter. What matters is we (my wife and I ) enjoy being with each other and we enjoy being outside in the garden and experimenting with the elements.If we waited till everything was perfect to plant then we would miss out on opportunities of just enjoying the goodness of the season or day.
So this week we are going to get these seeds pictured here below into the ground and will post what happens along the way, if they grow and produce us a crop then wonderful if not we will do it again. What is important is enjoying the goodness of the day that the Lord has given us, enjoying each other and time spent out in the garden!
We will upgrade this post as the months progress along, let’s see what will happen just “Plant The Seed”.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Time for an update. 4/17/2015
We woke up this morning to 6 inch’s of snow, went to work came home and it was all melted. Typical weather for Colorado Springs. On the drive to work which is only 5 miles away we ran into snow, hail, heavy rain and then sunshine all within that 5 mile drive. Any how got home saw that the snow was gone and went out to see how the seeds were coming along.
Here is what the snow looked like this morning April 17, 2015
Romaine lettuce rows are looking good, snow did not bother them.
Carrots are coming up!
Pea’s are starting to pop out of the ground.
Kale is starting to show up.
Nothing that I can see from the broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, red onions, or swiss chard yet.