A recent article discussed a problem with lettuce and other vegetable plants bolting and going to seed prematurely, but flowering is just a part of the natural cycle of things out in the veggie patch.
A look around the back yard revealed quite a few edible plants that are bolting and flowering, but for the most part it’s not a problem if it occurs at the proper time and shouldn’t be taken as a sigh of something gone wrong.
Here’s just a sampling of all the vegetable seed factories currently in production out in the garden:
Kale – This one is at the top of my list and I frequently refer to it as mock broccoli. It’s not only attractive with the reddish tinged florets of this “wild kale mix” variety, but it’s also edible and delicious whether you enjoy them cooked or raw.
Arugula – Not mush to feast on here but I do like the odd looking flowers and tiny pods that adorn the the seed stalks. My plan is to let a few of these plants fully mature to produce a crop of seed for growing arugula sprouts in the kitchen, and additional arugula plants in the garden.
Garden Cress – Clusters of tiny yellow flowers rise from the peppery flavored, dark green leaves of the cress plants that were planted last fall and are now reaching the final days of their life in the garden.
Horseradish – A little plain Jane, except for the serrated leaf shapes, but at least the stalks give away the location of the spicy roots that are waiting to be dug and turned into the best homemade horseradish sauce you ever tasted.
Chives – These buds are just developing and don’t give much of a clue of the showy display that is to come as the buds open into round, spiky, colorful blossoms. And don;t forget that chive flowers are edible and impart the same familiar chive flavor to your favorite dishes.
Alliums – This row of ornamental alliums is situated between rows of asparagus plants. Once the allium flowers open up they will stand tall and provide a low maintenance accent in the perennial vegetable bed.
Dandelion – This may be the most common and dreaded edible plant of them all. I’ve expressed my affection for dandelions in the past and there must be a reason that they are so plentiful. Look closely and you have to admit that both the dandelion flowers and the seed puffs are pretty amazing!
Rhubarb – A peculiar seed stalk for sure, rhubarb stalks should be removed from the plant as soon as they appear, but I couldn’t resist letting this one grow for a spell just so that I could take a look at it.
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