Today I pulled the last of the spinach stalks that I had left in the ground with the seeds drying. I am saving spinach seeds for the first time and thought I would elaborate on what I learned about saving the seed. I did notice an interest in the picture of the Drying Seeds on my Veggie Blog and since that’s a photo blog there is no explanation. I know that when I first decided to save the seed I searched the internet and didn’t find too much detailed information. What had me confused was the first stalks to go to seed were small, very small and I remembered when I planted the spinach the seeds were much larger and dark. So I searched and watched and waited. I know one explanation I had read mentioned a female seed stalk and a male seed – so even though this made no sense I thought I would see what happened and sure enough … I did notice two totally different seeds developing on separate stalks.
Here is the explanation I offer from my observations (I could be way off but at least this makes sense to me!) The first stalks to go to seed were male and contained the pollen and this I did notice … ALOT of yellow dust when the stalks were moved. The male seed was doing it’s job of spreading the pollen and when it reached the female stalk, seeds developed which were much larger and this is the seed I knew to be the one to plant in the future. The drying of the seed I concluded has to take place while the stalks are still in the ground so they can complete their process. I did pull a stalk and let it air dry in the house and it never turned dark like the others that remained in the ground. I pulled many stalks today that had not finished the final drying but the cucumber vines needed the space and I have PLENTY of spinach seeds to plant. Here are some pictures to help clarify what the seeds look like and I regret not having one of the male seed stalks which were present earlier in the season (hm, where did they go?) I will have to watch them closer next year now that I think I know how the process works!! If anyone has further knowledge on this subject of saving spinach seed, please comment. It would be much appreciated! Now to see if the saved seeds actually Grow … stay tuned
Next is the spinach seed I air dryed in the house and it remained green