Archive for September 14th, 2010

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Collecting Annual Seeds in Seven Easy Steps

September 14, 2010

As the season winds down and annuals fade away, it’s hard to imagine your garden beds empty of colorful flowers. Collecting seeds from favorite annuals is a sure-fire way to reproduce them for next year. It’s also an economical way to fill your beds with lots of flowers that you may not otherwise afford. Depending on the annual, one pod can hold hundreds of seeds.

Seed collection also allows you the proud experience of propagating annuals from your garden, preserving heirloom varieties, and creating unique holiday gifts.

Supply List:

  • Annual flowers
  • Garden shears or scissors
  • Newspaper or wax paper
  • Cardboard flats or trays for drying
  • Space for drying
  • Containers for storing seeds such as glass jars, small jewelry-size boxes, or envelopes

Collecting Steps:

  1. Collect pods when they have turned brown and died. Snip about an inch below the seed heads.
  2. Place pods in a box or a tray lined with newspaper or wax paper.
  3. Let pods dry completely in a cool, dry place for several days.
  4. Once the pods are completely dry, rub or shake the seeds onto the paper.
  5. Remove any dried foliage or husks.
  6. Carefully lift the paper, slightly roll it like a funnel, and slide the seeds into the container.
  7. Label and date the container and store in a cool dry place.

Tips:

  • Choose pods from healthy annuals.
  • If you need only a few seeds, paper plates or coffee filters work great as drying trays.
  • Avoid using plastic containers for seed storage as they can sweat. If you’re short on storage space, envelopes use the least about of room.

Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

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