Six Seed Types You Probably Have in Your Kitchen Right Now


It's funny how we separate things in our minds, isn't it? Even though we know sesame and flax are seeds, since we're used to eating and not growing them, we put them in the "food" category as opposed to mentally classifying them as seeds that we could stick in the ground and grow. We can, though, and each of these seeds produces a beautiful plant.

Quinoa

Yes, you can plant the quinoa you have in your cupboard right now. It produces a  4 foot tall plant with a strong stalk holding a clustered flower head at the end. Different types of quinoa have differently colored flower heads. The leaves are edible, too!

Sesame

Plants grown from sesame seeds are tall and slender, with pretty blue flowers and one inch seed pods that contain several sesame seeds each. Make sure the seeds you plant are not roasted or otherwise treated. You may want to do a germination test before you sprinkled them in your flower bed!

Flax

Flax flowers (pictured in the photo accompanying this post) are some of my favorite to grow. The plants are a couple feet tall and slender, and look beautiful growing in a clump. The blooms last only about a day, but they give way to plump, green seed pods that look great in a bouquet. 

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a quick to mature plant that is often used by farmers as a cover crop between field plantings. One great reason to grow buckwheat is for bees. Since it's among the first plants to bloom in the spring, it's a much-needed source of nutrition for bees. Buckwheat's pretty white blooms give way to buckwheat seeds, which are what we eat whole, turn into groats, or grind into flour (which you should definitely make into buckwheat pancakes!).

Buckwheat self-sows readily, so pull these plants before they set seed. They make wonderful compost, so you can just pluck them and leave them on your garden bed to decompose, or add them to a compost pile.

Chia

Chia is a member of the salvia family, and has a similar growth habit - slim, branching stems with flat, broad leaves and a spike of periwinkle flowers at the end of each. Chia is a lot taller than most salvias, though, topping out around six feet, so make sure to give it plenty of room to spread.

Chia seeds are so small that you can sprinkle a pinch on top of your cleared (weed-free and loosened) soil, thinning out the seedlings once they get a few inches tall - no need to bury the seeds.

Fennel

Most of us are familiar with fennel seed from its use flavoring sausages or as the candy-coated treat served at the end of a meal at an Indian food restaurant. Fennel is also used for it's bulb-like root, either sliced and added to a dish or roasted whole. It's flavor is distinctive and delicious. The plant itself is about a foot tall with soft, fern-y foliage. 

 

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