Seed Update

I checked out the seeds this morning again and I feel like a new parent who can’t stop checking on their newborn baby. This is the first time I’m seriously growing seeds, so I can’t help but be curious on their progress and I’m also interested in improving my general understanding of what each of these plants look like at every stage of growth. The more familiar I am with how they look, the better I’ll be able to keep an eye out for something going wrong.

In the first image there, you can see that the Zinnia and Amaranth are still leading the pack in terms of seed growth. We also have a few new plants showing themselves prominently in this section of the seed starter – Black & White Minstrels Dianthus and Tornado Red Cockcomb.

The Dianthus are part of our “goth garden” plans where we’re trying to plant a lot of black and red flowering plants for the absolute heck of it. Many Dianthus species are herbaceous perennials but this variety is supposed to be a hardy annual, according to their product page on Baker’s Creek Heirloom seeds. Their petals are supposed to be edible and are often crystalized and used to decorate cakes. Eating the leaves is unadvisable, however, as they can cause mild gastrointestinal distress and will even cause mild dermatitis when touched. For more information about this, please read the Dianthus plant profile on the NC State Extension website.

The Cockscomb are also part of our “goth garden” plans as the flowers somewhat resemble big red brains. Cockscomb is also considered a vegetable of the leafy greens variety and the stems, flowers, and leaves are a popular ingredient in large parts of the world as the young plants are rich in protein rivaling the amount of protein that you can find in chickens and eggs. You have to get them young, however, as they tend to get tough and stringy as they mature, as with many leafy greens. If you’re interested in learning how to cook with Cockscomb, check out this article on How to Cook Cockscomb on the Click and Grow blog.

In the second image above, you can see the other end of our edible flower and herb tray where we’re starting to see a huge growth of Thyme and two varieties of tomato plants – some Large Red Cherry Tomatoes and a couple of Roma Tomatoes.

Most people are familiar with the culinary uses of Thyme where it is often used in savory dishes like braised or roasted meat, vegetables, or fish, as well as in savory baking. It can also be used to create a simple syrup as one of our friends did which is delicious as an addition to cocktails, naturally-fermented probiotic sodas, and on top of savory waffles and fried chicken. As a baby herbalist, I’m also interested in the medicinal properties of the herbs that I grow and Thyme is commonly used in combination with other remedies to treat whooping cough, sore throats, gastric distress, and breaking a fever through perspiration. For more information about the herbal uses for Thyme, check out the herbal profile of Thyme on

We use a lot of tomatoes in various ways, so we’ve planted six different varieties of tomatoes to account for our different use cases. The Large Red Cherry Tomatoes are commonly used as salad tomatoes, but can also be canned whole or pickled when the fruits are still green. Roma Tomatoes are not juicy tomatoes, instead having thick and drier flesh which are perfect for making thick pasta sauces or for dicing into omelets. Tomatoes are also known to have several health benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving lipid metabolism, preventing osteoporosis, and reducing systemic inflammation.

In the last image, you can see that not much has sprung up in our vegetable tray. If you look really closely, you might be able to see a couple of really tiny seedlings, but they seem to be really slow going. I’ll profile them more as they start to sprout more.

3 Replies to “Seed Update”

  1. I bet you’ll love the dianthus and the cockscomb. I’ve grown lots of each, in fact I used to grow 1,000 cockscomb plants a year on my herb and flower farm, but never knew they were edible! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Really? That’s awesome! This is my first time trying to start a garden for real production, so I’m very excited and a little nervous. Thanks for cheering me on!

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