Wednesday, October 16, 2019

How To Save Seeds from Arugula and other Cabbage family plants

Have you been growing Arugula and noticed a flower stalk growing out of the top? This means the plant has bolted and will start to produce seeds. In this article, you will learn how to save seeds from your arugula and similar plants.

When arugula is stressed or exposed to heat, it will typical send up a flower stalk. It's tendency to do this has earned it the alternative name "Rocket". When you see a flower stalk come up, you will see little purple and white flowers growing off of it. Aside from being an edible part of the plant, these flowers form the seed pods. When the flower is pollinated, the seed pod will begin to swell and then eventually dry out. This is when your seeds are ready to harvest. It is best to let the flower stalk dry out first, then to harvest the whole stalk. Try to be careful when cutting down the stalk. The seed pods are somewhat fragile and can break open when handled.
Place the flower stalks in a bin. Using your hands, gently agitate the stalks and pods. You'll notice the pods will break open and scatter seeds all over the container. Continue to agitate until all the pods are broken. Once the seeds have been extracted from the pods, remove the bigger pieces of stalk by hand. You can then gently blow away the smaller pieces with your breath or a fan.
When complete, place the seeds into a bag. Label the bag as arugula seed and the date. Store in a cool, dry location And that's it! Pretty easy to do. You can test to see if your seeds are viable by planting them. Since I was a bit messy when harvesting the stalks, I spilled some seeds which you can now see growing in this bin here. Well I'll have to replant these once summer is over...

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