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Self-Seeding Crops: Plant Once and Forget 'Em

12/19/2013 3:03:00 PM

Tags: self-seeding vegetables, self-seeding herbs, Ohio, Melodie Metje

garlic chives

Like flowers, there are also self-seeding herbs and vegetables.  If you are the type that likes to plant once and forget about ‘em, these are the ones for you!

The only trick to the whole adventure is that you have to let them go to seed so they can sow the next season’s crop for you.  When they have produced their seed, you can either let the wind do the work for you or you can cut off the seed head and strategically shake the seed where you would like new plants to come up.

Self-Sowing Herbs

Basil (bring in the volunteers to overwinter in a pot)
Borage
Chamomile
Chives (garlic chives are particularly aggressive)
Cilantro
Dill
Oregano
Parsley

seed stage

Self-Sowing Edible Flowers

Calendula
Chamomile
Marigolds
Nasturtiums
Sunflowers

Self-Sowing Vegetables

Celery
Beets
Broccoli raab
Carrots
Egyptian walking onions
Parsnips
Radishes
Runner beans
Tomatillo
Tomato
Turnips
Winter squash

Self-Sowing Greens

chard

Arugula
Chard
Collards
French sorrel
French dandelions (bred to have larger, sweeter leaves than “common” dandelions, but both are very nutritious and great in salads)
Kale
Lettuce
Mache
Miner’s lettuce
Orach
Mustards (Giant Red Mustard does great in our garden)
New Zealand spinach
Purslane
Salad burnet
Sorrel

A gentle watch-out: These are plants that easily self-sow so you can get more than you want over time.  When you get the number you want, just remove future seed heads or start harvesting your new seedlings to sell the plants at your neighborhood farmers market or give away to friends



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