Radish Seeds and Dried Seed Pods

Comprehensive Guide On How To Save Radish Seeds

Radishes are a quick turn around crop. Some varieties can be harvested in as little as 21 days. That means you are going to go through a lot of seeds in a short period of time. That doesn’t sound to bad if you spend a few dollars on a packet of seeds and get to eat radishes all year. But, there is a simple way you can reduce that needless cost. Seed saving in general is a fun hobby of mine and saving your own radish seeds is a simple process with added benefits you might not know about. Lets get right to it.

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Let The Radish Go To Seed

The first step to saving radish seeds is to actually grow radishes. Find which radishes you enjoy to eat and don’t harvest all of them. Leave a couple of your favourite radishes in the ground. You only need a couple of radishes to go to seed to get enough seeds for years.

How Do Radishes Produce Seeds?

In order for a radish to produce seeds it needs to be left in the ground. After a short period of time you’ll notice the radish leaves and stem start to grow upwards and branching out. This is the beginning of the bolting (i.e. flowering) process.

When a radish bolts it transforms from a small root crop that can be planted 2 inches apart from one another into a behemoth plant full of flowers and eventually seed pods. The seed pods is where the radish seeds are going to form.

How Big Does A Bolting Radish Get?

You’ll need to leave some space for your bolting radish. Each radish will turn into a plant that can grow in excess of 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. When planning to save radish seeds it would be a good idea to pick a place in your garden specifically for seed harvesting. Plant an additional couple of radishes in the designated seed area over and above what you plant for eating.

Full size of bolted radish plant.
Full size of bolted radish plant.

How Many Radish Seeds Do You Get From One Plant?

Each branch will form dozens of beautiful flowers which will then turn into long slender greed seed pods that will be filled with seeds. From one radish that goes to seed you could get hundreds of seeds.

When Can You Harvest Radish Seeds?

Before you are able to harvest the seeds, they need to let the seed pods dry out. To get the best germination rate of your seeds it is best to let them dry out while they are still on the plant in the garden bed.

This can take a month or so after the seed pods form before they are dry enough to harvest. The pods will become brown and dry. If you pick one off and shake it you might even be able to hear the seeds rattling around on the inside.

What Does A Radish Seed Pod Look Like?

Dozens of bright green radish seed pods
Bright green radish seed pods

The seed pods are little green cylinder shapes that develop after the flowers have bloomed. Once you get to this stage in your radish seed saving venture you won’t be able to miss them.

Can You Harvest The Radish Seed Pods Before They Are Completely Dry?

Yes you can, but you might not get the best germination rate from those seeds. The longer the seed pods stay on the plant the better they form and have a higher likelihood of being a viable seed.

How To Harvest Radish Seeds?

Once the seed pods are brown and dry to the touch it’s time to harvest them. Harvest using a pair of clean garden pruners and a bowl. Cut the seed pods off the plant and into the bowl.

Radishes that have bolted
Radishes that have bolted
Other Easy Seeds To Save For Beginners

Can You Eat The Radish After Collecting The Seeds?

No. Once the radish has begun to bolt the radish itself will become larger and harder. It is still technically edible but it would not be pleasant to eat.

How Do You Remove The Radish Seeds From The Pod?

Removing the seeds is a fairly easy task. Simple break open the dried seed pods with your hand the seeds should fall right out. It’s sort of like getting peas out of a pod.

How Do You Dry Radish Seeds?

Before storing radish seeds you need to make sure they are completely dry. If they aren’t the seeds could mold during storage. To dry them spread them out in a single layer on a large dish or baking pan. Let them sit in a warm dry place for a couple of weeks.

How To Store Radish Seeds?

Glass jars are an excellent way to store seeds of any kind. Depending on how many seed varieties you have, having a glass jar for each one might not be feasible.

A more space saving way to store seeds, and this is what we do, is to use a resealable sandwich bag. We put a silica gel packet that we’ve kept from packages we get when we buy things from the store and we use that do make sure the seeds stay dry.

Can You Eat Radish Seed Pods?

Vibrant green fresh radish seed pods on the left and brown dried radish seed pods on the right.
Fresh vs dried radish seed pods.

Yes! While you might think the only benefits of saving radish seeds is that you get the seeds for free. That’s not the only thing you get. There is an added benefit to radish seeds. When the seed pods are first forming and they are a bright vibrant green colour. The seed pods are edible. So while you do lose out on eating that one radish that bolted. You end up with hundreds of edible seeds pods.

What Do Radish Seed Pods Taste Like?

Radish seeds pods taste like, well you guessed it, radishes. They taste just like the root vegetable they are growing from but with a crispy milder flavour. They are so good I’ve started letting a few extra radishes go to seed every year just to eat some seed pods.

Is Saving Radish Seeds Worth It?

In my opinion, yes! It saves money, is a fun hobby, and if you eat the pods, it grows more food as well. Having the skill to be able to save seeds also give you food security, which is never a bad thing to have.

We have more seed saving guides for you to expand your knowledge, and if there is another guide you would like us to write up let us know in the comments below.

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