Lately, it seems that seeds are commanding my time. Decisions to be made. Good, bad, live, dead, feed, compost, sheep, pig, chicken, or cow. Seeds at first glance are so innocent, and they bring so much good, but placed in the wrong place can be so troublesome.
Some decisions were made for me by others. Jane’s season would not coincide with the AI tech, so Jane spent the night with her boyfriend, as opposed to being mated with some long dead bull in a can… Live cover is not nearly so iffy, so I am expecting that she is settled. One type of seed down, many to go.
With a pending raincast, the parsnip seed needed gathering. So that was on the agenda in the garden. Jane eats a lot of parsnips during the winter, so I need a lot of seed. Since parsnip seed is about as viable as onion seed, this is something I have to do each year to ensure I have good vigorous seed for planting.
Checking for rogues only turned up one bolting carrot. Carrots are biennials, so finding a bolting carrot is not good. This was pulled and added to the weed pile for feeding.
We’re at the point in the garden season that any weeds we have missed have grown and set seed, gone is the time frame where we can just throw weeds down as future fertilizer. Adding further complications, who gets to eat the weeds since the garden can’t. If I put these on the compost pile, they can possibly be brought right back to the garden, ditto if I feed these greens to the chickens. So, that leaves cow, sheep or pigs. So believe or not I have to sort my weeds. I don’t actually sort them, but use two wheelbarrows, one for Jane with weeds she will eat, and won’t make her milk taste, and a wheelbarrow for the sheep or pigs with anything else, checking carefully for poisonous weeds of course.
Lately Jane has only been getting Lambsquarter in her pile, normally this protein rich plant goes to the hens and pullets, but now that the seeds are present, I can’t risk all that seed ending up in the chicken bedding compost. Don’t ask me how I know that fascinating fact about lambsquarter seed and poultry digestive tracts. Sigh.
Gardening is nothing if not honing your observation skills, so all that innocent looking calendula that reseeds so vigorously in my garden each spring is actually a rodent hotel for voles! They love the seeds, and the hiding area that the dense foliage provides. So since I have tons of calendula, and calendula seed, I pulled the thicket near the carrots and celeriac and put all the plants on the compost pile, since none of my eaters care to partake of the sticky medicinal stalks. Calendula is not a plant I worry about infecting the garden via the compost.
The good seeds are not much of a worry, just waiting, waiting, waiting. Have you ever noticed when you want something to bolt and set seed it takes its sweet time? Notice to serial dead headers – stay out of my garden this time of year if you can’t resist that annoying habit of snipping off spent flowers and fat bean or pea pods! I am saving seeds.