Collecting and Storing Seeds


Hello! This past summer-fall I have been reading about collecting seeds from plants as it extends the magic of plants as well as my involvement with them which is incredibly appealing to me. I have dabbled in collecting seeds a bit before. Last year I collected a few Sweet Pea, Snapdragons, and Lavender seeds. These were spontaneous collecting and I know that sounds odd, but I just sort of picked them up as I noticed that they were there in the garden. Or in the case of the lavender as I was taking the flowers off of the dried stalks I noticed small black seeds accumulating at the bottom of the dish So this year I tried collecting more seeds all in the name of amazement and magic!


Most of the seeds I collected have come from annuals, as I have taken cuttings from perennials. But these are not all specifically annuals as a few perennials snuck through and had their seeds collected.


So I have tomato seeds, both Cherry and Roma. I collected carry tomato seeds last year and did not do the fomenting water soak and my tomatoes turned out fine. But I was curious to see if the water fermentation would make a difference so I have some plain dried seeds and some fermented seeds ready to go for next year.


I again collected some lavender seeds. I started my lavender seeds last year in two batches, and both pollinated and were doing very well but one batch got mistaken for weeds by another gardener (it is my own fault for not labeling them), and the other died on me when I transplanted them into another pot. So I am ready with my seeds now to start and hopefully flourish with a bit of extra care.


I have some zinnia seeds, which are rather hard to separate from the chaff. I do not have many of these seeds and nor do I know which variety of zinnia they are (I grew two types of peachy pink zinnias last year) since I forgot to label them properly. But if I get any zinnias that I collected from seed this year next year for my garden I will be quite happy, and then I will make sure to label them.


I also collected some sunflower seeds. I found that the big bulging seeds in the heads were the mature seeds so I just picked those out to save for next year. And then I kept the broken, immature seed ridden heads in a paper bag since they were too beautiful and architectural to compost. I should really put them out for the birds shouldn’t I?


Then I have some seeds from some petunias and tobacco (or nicotiana) plants. These were very similar to collect as they are very small microscopic seeds I shook out from the seed heads that formed where flowers once were. I did not really want to collect tobacco seeds as I was not a fan of the pink ones I got last year (I had hoped for red flowers when I bought and sowed red flower seeds). But I collected them anyway because at the time it seemed like a waste not to in my head. So these might turn into a gift or I might try to sell them (would people buy seeds from me?).


The snapdragon seeds that I collected were from fuchsia snap dragons as those are the most beautiful ones in my opinion and the most useful to my natural dyeing. I just let the skeleton looking seed heads open then pour them into a glass or envelope. I did something that was quite similar with the wild bergamot heads that I collected. These were dried and shaken into a glass as well. And hopefully next year baby bergamot plants will proliferate in my garden.


Lastly I believe we come to the sweet peas. These are pretty simple as i just took off the dried building fat pods off of the sweet pea plants, waited for them to dry inside, split them and put the seeds into a small ex-tea tin. I did not get a ton of seeds this way but I got enough for a small patch next year which is all I really want.


So next year when seed collecting comes around I just need to be sure to label everything well, so a new system needs to be thought up and arranged. Do you have any seed collecting methods? Or plants you always make sure to collect seeds from?

Until next time,




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