Should I let vegetables flower and set seed? How to save seeds for next year’s garden

Why should you let vegetables flower and set seed?

Visitors to my garden are often surprised to see my lettuce, mizuna and other veggies flowering and going to seed at the end of the season.

Why don’t you just rip them out they ask?

How to save seeds for next year's garden

Lettuce in flower

Well, one of the reasons is that vegetables flower and provide a great food source for my native bees and other beneficial insects! They actually help to attract these beneficial insects into my garden!

Beneficial insects are great because they will attack and eat the bad bugs likely to be feasting on your veggies.

Besides, as a bonus, I get new seeds that are totally adapted to their environment. This means that they grow quicker, are more resistant to pests and diseases and taste better!

How to save seeds for next year's garden

Lettuce seeds on the plant

Most importantly, I know that the vegetable seeds haven’t been coated in any fungicides or pesticides. This means they are organic and just as nature intended!

At the moment I am on my sixth generation of mignonette lettuces. The lettuces continue to happily self-seed in the vegetable garden and adjacent path. Therefore all I have to do is give them the occasional water, some organic fertiliser and then I get to pick the leaves as I need them!

How to save seeds for next year's garden

Mignonette lettuce seedlings

The mignonette lettuces seem to be almost totally immune to any pests or diseases. And they taste so much better than anything you can buy in the shops!

So, why don’t you experiment on letting some of your vegetables flower and develop seeds for your garden?

You too can benefit from growing your own seeds and vegetables that have become conditioned to your natural environment!

Happy gardening

Rohanne, your Personal Garden Expert

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