Ad Code

Your Backyard Edible Seeds

 7 Edible Seeds You Can Grow in Your Backyard

As is often the case, this article was inspired by a leisurely potting session in my garden. As you do in late summer, I was collecting seeds and wondering how many people know that cilantro seeds come from cilantro seeds.

Once this train of thought left the station, I took a quick look around to pick up some edible seeds currently growing in my small backyard. If I can pack fennel, dill, aniseed henna, caraway, and celery into my small garden, surely there must be other tasty seeds that are easy to grow.

Why should I grow my own edible seeds?

Of course, you can find most of these seeds in the spice aisle of any supermarket these days. Why bother growing them in your garden? I'll give you the main reasons for doing it.

The seeds I grow are fresh.

As with growing our own vegetables, any store-bought seeds and spices aren't always as fresh as those harvested a few feet from my kitchen. Importing seeds is more profitable than growing them domestically, so most of the seeds you'll find in North American supermarkets come from Asia and the Middle East.

Back yard Shurbs 👇

1. Coriander (Coriander sativum)

Since this seed is the inspiration for the article, it's only fair to start with cilantro. But first, I have a confession to make. I am coriander. I am one of those people whose cilantro tastes like soap. And bad soap. (Not that I ate too much soap, mind you!) Disliking cilantro is genetic and about seventeen percent of people have this gene. Here's more about the study in Nature.

What is the relationship between cilantro and cilantro? You might be surprised, especially if you're one of our American readers. The fresh leaves are often referred to as cilantro in the US, while the seeds of the same plant are called cilantro seeds.

Can you hate cilantro while loving cilantro?

Yes, I am one of those people. I use cilantro with abandon while being a proud card-carrying member of the IHateCilatro club. So even if you don't like the soapiness of cilantro, give the seeds a try.

I grow two cilantro plants each year, starting them from seed in pots about a month before the last frost. Since I'm interested in the seeds, not the leaves, I plant enough of it in the spring and let it roll when it warms up in the summer. If you like the flavor of the leaves, you can sow cilantro every three weeks in the spring.

Garden Ideas

Garden Hints And Tips

2. Fennel (Foniculum vulgare)

Two types of fennel are popular among gardeners:

A tall perennial herb with slender bulbs (Foeniculum vulgare).

Florence Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum) - A cultivar with an inflated bulb, best harvested young.

Although keeping Florence fennel as a bulbous annual is the most productive practice, you can use both varieties for seed harvesting.

It is hardy in USDA zones 4-9, but it can be grown as an annual in cool climates. Fennel seeds are very similar to anise and star anise seeds because of the aromatic compound anethole that they all have in common.

Fennel can be planted from seed directly into the ground in full sun after the last spring frost. Once established, common fennel is drought tolerant, but it can react with bolting. Obviously, that's not a problem when you're chasing seeds. You can harvest fennel seeds in mid-August.

3. Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Not getting poetic here, but I agree that what Madeleines were to Proust. Whenever I taste fenugreek, I am transported back to my childhood and the taste (and smell) of my grandmother's homemade fenugreek pickle. She used both dill stalks and seeds to flavor everything she pickled, from pickles and cauliflower to bell peppers and carrots.

A native of the Mediterranean, dill loves both sun and heat. So plant in a place that gets at least six hours of sunlight. Seedlings are difficult to transplant and don't handle root disturbance well, so it's best if you sow dill directly into the ground after the last spring frost date has passed. You can plant every three weeks until mid-summer. Your first dill seeds will be ready to pick from late August to early September.

Garden Ideas For You 👇

Best  Home Seed Startups

Low Maintenance Landscape Ideas 

Root Rot Houseplants 

4. Celery (Apium graveolens)

If you think the perfection of mac and cheese can't be improved upon, you've never tried adding celery seed to it. Check it out and you can thank me later! Celery seeds can be used in any dish that wants to enhance the flavor of celery without adding bulk celery stalks, such as stews, soups, and oven roasts.

Celery seed is usually harvested from wild celery. That doesn't mean it only grows in the wild; Of course, you can plant it in your garden. But we use the name "wild celery" to distinguish it from the juicy stalks found in most supermarkets. The stalks of wild celery are thinner and more fibrous and are tastier than when cooked raw.

5. Mustard (Brassica nigra)

Mustard, a member of the Brassica family, is a cool-season crop that can be sown every four weeks. You can start it outdoors about five weeks before your last expected frost date in the spring. I think this is an instant gratification crop as it only takes about 40 days to reach reasonable harvest size. Black mustard has been used as a spice in Europe and Asia for thousands of years and is documented in agricultural contracts as early as the 1st century AD. You don't have to start making your own mustard spice to enjoy the seeds. You can use them in curries, stews, roasts, and salad dressings. As for the mustard plant, it's easy to grow (perhaps too easy, since it's been declared invasive in some states).

You can keep it under control by harvesting the young leaves (for salads), the old leaves (you can dry them in a pan with garlic and olive oil), and the seed pods before they have a chance to spread. You can find lots of recipes for mustard greens, so here's where to start with mustard seeds:

Home Garden Tips 👇

6. Caraway (Caram Garvi)

I admit that I first planted caraway on a whim. Let's call it curiosity, shall we? I put some caraway seeds in the ground that I bought from my local Turkish shop to see what would happen. The experiment was successful and I have been growing caraway seeds from saved seeds ever since.

You can start caraway in pots and move it outside after the last spring frost. But if you live in a warmer climate, you can start it outside in the fall. If you plan to harvest the seeds, it is best to grow them in full sunlight. Water well until the plant grows. In warm climates, you can treat it as a perennial and prune it in spring. However, it is often considered annual or biennial in temperate climates.

7. Radish pods

I agree, I'm expanding my criteria here to include seed pods, as many gardeners don't realize that radish pods are edible fresh as a snack and as an ingredient in stir-fries, risottos, and curries. Elizabeth wrote an entire article on how to grow, harvest, and cook radish pods, so I won't go into detail. Suffice to say, you can use them in almost every recipe that calls for radishes.

Post a Comment