Seed Saving for the Valerianaceae Family

Corn salad is the only member of this family that we grow to eat, and it’s a bit tricky because it drops all its seed on the ground very quickly after it matures. It also needs light to germinate so it’s a great self seeder.

Pollination: By insect.

Isolation Distance: We find keeping them 20m apart in the garden with tall crops between ensures no noticeable crossing.

Minimum Numbers: 32-64.

When To Plant: While still warm in Autumn

Rogueing/Selection: Watch for exceptional plants to save seed from, remove all weak plants.

Support/Protection: They don’t need anything except vigilance to ensure all seed doesn’t drop out on the ground before you harvest it.

Harvest: Take a sheet and lay it beside your cornsalad bed. Cut the plants from their roots and remove the entire plant into your sheet. In order to harvest the maximum amount of seed it is best to let the first seed drop, and harvest the plants to obtain maximum seed in the middle of its seeding stage.

Drying: Leave to finish drying in greenhouse. I put the plants on a fine meshed sheet on a shelf in the greenhouse and the plants dry and drop all their seed on the sheet.

Seed Life Expectancy: Unsure, but short lived seed.