It has been just wonderful to have lots of fresh organic spinach this spring and early summer for smoothie-making! But, alas, now the spinach has run its course. What to do? I’m spoiled and hate to go back to store- bought. To think of the money we’ve saved!
When I looked for information on saving the seed of my spinach plants, I had trouble finding anything much. It was time to do some detective work in my garden. So I watched and waited.
It had confused me to see two very different kinds of stalks. One was dusty (pollen?) with no real discernable seed (below); the other had round, distinct seed (above). I remembered when I planted the spinach, the seeds were much larger and dark brown. I knew one explanation I had read mentioned a female seed stalk and a male seed stalk.
This is what I have observed. The first stalks to go to seed were male and contained the pollen; this I did notice … lots of yellow dust when bumped. The male seed was doing it’s job of spreading the pollen to the female stalk. Female seeds developed which were much larger, and this is the seed I knew to be the one to plant in the future. (A mini biology analogy– sperm (the pollen) are mobile and small. Eggs (seed) are large and don’t develop until fertilized.)
So don’t pull out all of those spent spinach plants just yet! Keep one or two of the female plants, let it dry out completely. Pull the dried stalks and put them over a screen or metal pan and roll the tight balls of seeds between your fingers. The seeds will just drop off.
Should anyone have further knowledge on this subject of saving spinach seed, please comment. It would be helpful to know. Now I will have to see if the saved seed actually grow! Come back and see what I find out late this summer!
Note: I’m interested to see if this seed comes this fall like the excellent and prolific crop we had this spring. I planted Vital Green spinach by Gurney Seed Co. It is not an heirloom seed, as far as I know.
Hopefully, we’ll have a ready supply of seed to plant for a new crop of spinach greens. More smoothies, here we come 🙂 Well, maybe.
“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1: 11-12
Thanks for reading!