Plant new seedlings of leafy greens now

Many favorite leafy greens are annuals so they grow from

  • seed to
  • seedling to
  • adult green leafy plant,
  • then on to maturity by sending up a flowering head to make the next generation of seeds

All in one year – or less if stressed.

Spring is when plants which had grown well, producing abundant leaves over the past months, suddenly sprout flower/seed stalks and send their energy to produce seeds instead of growing lush leaves.

You can see when this is beginning:


Silver-beet starting to make a flowering/seeding stalk instead of lush green leaves


We pick the stalks out from the plants which first shoot up – and eat the leaves.

The plants left to grow are those which lasted longer before bolting to flower/seed.

They can grow on and produce more leaves and then, later, seeds. This way we  select for plants which last longer giving the parts we like to eat – leaves.

If we left the first plants to shoot up and seed, we are selecting for a shorter season of the leaves we like – hmmm.

So the take-away message:

Select for the qualities you want in your crops.

  • Flavor
  • Tenderness
  • Size of the part you eat
  • Vibrancy and disease-resistance of the whole plant
  • Length of season of the part you like to eat
  • Early/mid/late season production which avoid pests/diseases [and provide special treats at the start of the season – gee they taste lovely after not having the crop for some months]
  • And any other qualities important to you.

Consider the whole life-cycle when you are choosing which plants to let flower and seed.


When you see leafy greens starting to produce a flowering stalk

It is time to plant new seeds and seedlings to grow up for crops to harvest in a month or so. 

You have an indicator telling you that now is a good time to start a new batch of seedlings. [Well, within their seasons – e.g. leafy greens like cool, moist conditions and summer heat quickly causes them stress so they bolt to seed when small.]

= Succession planting.

To give a continuous supply of the veg you want, within its season.


[PS – tiny leafy greens are loved by snails and slugs so protect them!]

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