I have mistakenly forgotten to save some seeds of the root vegetables for planting separately for harvesting the seeds. I know that people plant the root vegetable tops for harvesting greens, so I would guess that greens would flower and hence seeds can be harvested.

Am I right ?

1 Answer 1


The key question is whether the vegetables have enough time this year to either set seed or establish themselves enough to overwinter well? The deadline is the end of your growing season, which may end with a frost, with low light (the darkest 4 months are a rough estimate) or, close to the equator, not at all. Some root vegetables like beets and carrots set seed in their second year. So this year the plant has to photosynthesize enough to put good carbohydrate storage in its taproot for a surge of energy to make seed next spring/early summer. You referred to roots, but to use a different example for an annual plant as comparison, it takes beans and lettuce many months longer to produce seed than to produce their edible "vegetable" parts.

Don't expect a lot of seeds. Seeds are what plants work toward. From the plant's perspective seeds are expensive to produce. Without the harvested root, the part you ate, the remaining plant is in deficit from the start. It may be able to make a few seeds, and the seeds may be on the small end. And if it's a biennial and lucky, it might do pretty well.

  • I think I will have to experiment.
    – lsbmsb
    Oct 9, 2020 at 12:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.