|SAVING YOUR OWN SEEDS
Read information on collecting, drying,
and storing seeds from your own flowers.
Starting seeds indoors
Read information on how to sow seeds indoors.
Makes a great hobby. Get a head start this Spring!
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|This picture is from one summer's harvest
of Marigold seeds. The original seed was
given to me by my Father 5 years ago.
This pile of Marigold seeds measures
about 5 inches high!
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|SAVING YOUR OWN SEEDS
If you'd like to collect seeds from your flower gardens here is a basic method I use to save my seeds.
Step 1 Getting started:
Throughout the growing season I allow flowers to go to seed; producing seed heads or seed pods.
Than I let the seed heads dry out as much as possible while still on the plant. Weather permitting of
Step 2 Collecting seeds:
Before the pods break open, are eaten by birds, or risk of frost and winter weather starts I will collect the
dried seed pods from the plants on a dry sunny day. I carefully cut or break off the seed heads from the
plants with a container in the other hand to catch any seeds or seed pods that may fall. If collecting
seeds from many different plants at once; it is a good idea to collect them in separate envelopes or
containers with a quick label for each to remind yourself what seed is from what plant!
Step 3 Drying seeds:
After collecting the seeds I usually place them in a ventilated box or container to dry out completely. I
keep the box outside in a warm and dry spot. So if drying outside try to keep them protected from wind,
wet weather, and rodents. Some seeds will dry out faster than others. I always make sure that any
seeds that I'm ready to store are completely dry. This prevents rotting and minimizes the possibility of
|Step 4 Preparing seeds for storage:
When seeds are good and dry I shake the seeds and pods through a mini
screen, or sieve. I give them a gentle "crush" onto the screen and gently
shake this over a white piece of paper. The screen usually holds most of
the seed pods, and chaffs allowing the seed to fall through onto the paper.
|Step 5 Storing seeds:
I simply use paper envelopes to store my seeds. Labeling is important.
|Label envelopes with the date and year collected as well as the name of the plant. It is a good idea to
store envelopes in a cool dry area. I store my seed collection in the laundry room. I also store some
seeds outside in the garden shed over winter. If storing seeds outside remember to place envelopes
in a rodent proof container such as a metal can with lid. An old washed out paint can with lid works
|The seed's success depends on how old it is, and it's storing conditions. That is not to say that my
seeds have not been stored for more than one year. I have done so. I do try to plant seeds I have
collected right from the previous year for best results in the garden. Although, I have had successful
plantings with older seeds. If I become overloaded with seeds, I just give them away to friends.
To keep my seed supply fresh and plentiful, I always collect, dry and store new seeds every year.
|Supplies for seed saving:
Small old window screen or sieve.
A variety of sizes of paper envelopes.
Ventilated cardboard box or container.
A selection of small containers for catching, collecting,
and drying seeds in.
Scrap pieces of white paper.
Old, washed out paint can with lid for rodent proof
Pens for labeling.
|Favorite flowers to collect seeds from:
|Keep it growing.
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