Chinese mustard greens – seed saving

The Chinese mustard green plant

The Chinese mustard green plant

Late last year, I attended a gardening workshop conducted by the Centre for Nature Literacy and Enterprise. One of the activities was to sow a potful of Chinese mustard greens with a faster growing partner. It meant that we had a nice memento that lasted for many weeks after the workshop, and in my typical manner, one mustard green plant was left long enough to flower and go to seed.

I like it when plants do that, because it means that the seeds produced are from a plant that has grown and thrived in our garden, and should be more resilient with the next generation (as long as they’re not GMO). So, I happily left the plant alone to let the seeds develop fully before harvesting them. This meant waiting for the pods to turn brown and dry out a little. After that, it was a matter of carefully removing the pods – and I say “carefully” because they could split open if dry enough, scattering precious tiny seeds – then bringing them to a safe place to harvest.

The flowers are tiny...

The flowers are tiny…

The pods formed after successful pollination (some are fuller than others)

The pods are formed after successful pollination (some are fuller than others)

Collect the seeds when the pods dry up

Collect the seeds after the pods dry up

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