Seed Stalks Parading Through the Veggie Garden

May 4, 2008

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:

Wild Kale Flower Buds

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 Flower

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.

Cress Flower Buds

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 Flower Stalk

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.

Chive Plant with Buds

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.

Ornamental Allium in Bud

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 Seed Ball

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 Seed Stalk

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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  • Cameron

    Gorgeous…simply gorgeous…your garden is beautiful and bountiful!!! You’re an inspiration…

  • Interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the seed stalk on rhubarb.

  • loved the arugula flower—so pretty. the heat in the california desert has caused much of the garden to go to seed. but–the watermelon and squash is going nuts—can’t wait to harvest some. come visit the garden.

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