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Saving radish seeds - do I need to separate them from the pods?

 
Posts: 19
Location: London, England
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I have dried radish pods from last year and wish to save the seeds. They are fiddly to remove from the pods.

Aiming at maximum laziness, can I simply crush the dried pods and plant the whole crushed-pod-plus-seed mixture instead of painstakingly separating the seed from the pods?

Hey, maybe the crushed pods will hold moisture or something, actually benefiting the germination ... maybe I'm not just being lazy

Anyone tried this?

Thanks!
 
gardener
Posts: 1876
Location: West Tennessee
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Hi Tom-

Crush the pods to get the seeds out. I don't think planting the pods will yield desirable results.

Here's some information on saving radish seeds. The following comes from the International Seed Saving Institute; https://www.seedsave.org/issi/904/experienced.html

Radish - Raphanus sativus

PLANT: Separate different varieties being grown for seed at the same time by at least 1/2 mile to ensure purity. Satisfactory results for home gardeners require no more that 250 feet of separation. As radishes cannot self-pollinate, pollen must be carried by insects from plant to plant. Seed to seed: Mulch in the fall to insure winter survival. The following spring, thin to 9" spacing, leaving those roots that showed no sign of bolting. Root to seed: Harvest roots in fall. Select desirable roots and trim tops to within an inch of the roots leaving small, new leaves. Store at 40° F. in humid location. Replant in early spring at 9" intervals and cover with 1" of soil. Note: Garden varieties of radish will cross with all wild varieties.

FLOWER: Radishes produce annual flowers which require pollination by insects, primarily bees.

HARVEST: Harvest 3' tall stalks containing seeds pods when pods have dried brown. Pull entire plant and hang in cool, dry place if all pods are not dried at the end of the growing season.

PROCESS: Open pods by hand for small amounts of seed. Pods that do not open when rubbed between hands can be pounded with hammer or mallet. Winnow to remove remaining chaff.



 
Tom Nicholson
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Location: London, England
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Thanks James, that's great info. They're from an allotment, so very possibly randomly crossed, so I guess it's not worth going to too much trouble with them.

Having said that, if I have a space somewhere I may try planting the whole crushed pod / seed mixture as an experiment (and if it works harvest the resulting fresh pods as food - apparently any variety taste OK cooked or pickled).
 
Tom Nicholson
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Location: London, England
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... or see see how easy it is to winnow them
 
James Freyr
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I would certainly give them a try, even if cross pollination is suspected. They can still turn out to be delicious, and there's always the potential you have some super awesome hybrid on your hands. :)
 
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Planting an entire, intact pod will result in very over-crowded radishes that would have to be separated and replanted for a decent crop, not hard but a little time consuming.

The way I would plant whole pods would be in seed starting flats (one or two in each depression of the first row, then you have the rest of the tray to plant the separated seedlings when they come up).

Many times accidental crosses of radishes end up with what I call "sweet fire" very tasty, some will end up "woody" and those can be discarded unless you like them for chop and drop humus addition to where you grow them.

If you do find some sweet fire ones that you like, try to save a few by manual pollination so you can create a pure strain for saving.

Redhawk
 
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My general strategy for harvesting most any type of seed that grows in a pod is:

Collect the pods or entire plants.
Let them fully dry.
Put them on a tarp and jump up and down on them, or beat them with a stick.
Winnow on a windy day by pouring between containers.


 
pollinator
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How much cleaning you do for the radish pods depends in part on your goals,space, and techniques. Daikon radishes are amongst my long term volunteering vegetables. In practice it has not been necessary to do anything but provide some form of disturbance so that the perennialgrass doesn't completely take over.

So I do collect some seed- I plan to move it to new areas of the garden. I would clean it fully if I had time and wanted to run it through my garden seeder.

I have more space then time and may simply designate a newly tilled area and spread a seed mix of long term volunteers and just rake it in. In that case lightly crushed pods might work fine.

If I had a big tilled area I could also spread the whole pods. They would most probably be moved and opened by rodents and seedlings would grow from that. Or I could spread whole pods right before tilling or mulching an area and some seedlings would probably result.

In California where I have worked extensively there are large stands of wild radishes- no one plants them, tends them, or waters them. They don't have good roots but the green pods have the normal "radish" taste and are easy to pick. I've also noticed that when cooked the radish taste mellows out.

Fukuoka raised his Daikon in a semi-feral state. If you have the space this is a vegetable that definitely lends itself to the art of doing less.

So do you need to clean the seeds? No. Do you need to crush the pods? No. Do you need to pick the pods? No.

However in each case you might want to occasionally even if you just want to introduce them to a new area- you might literally pick them into a tub, then stomp on them a bit in the tub, then walk them over to a new area and dump out the tub. Or you might want to occasionally grow a nice crop of them in straight rows in which case you might want perfectly clean seeds to run through a garden seeder!



 
Tom Nicholson
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Location: London, England
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Thanks everyone, great info. I'll try winnowing and maybe try some crushed pods+seeds and compare results. I don't have a whole lot of experience so for me it's all about learning and finding out what works in different situations.

On reflection, it's very possible that they are not hybridised as the other allotmenteers probably picked all theirs before flowering.
 
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