Collecting Seeds for Next Year's Garden

When I'm in the garden at this time of year, my jacket pocket is crammed with 
small zipper bags and a sharpie marker or two.
Find these clear plastic bags in the beading section of any craft store, Walmart, or Amazon.

Hardworking garden plants may have left the days of summer beauty behind, 
but now they're preparing another gift—their legacy—SEEDS. 
(cleome seeds)

You can save spring gardening dollars by gathering
 next year's seeds from your own flowers instead of buying them.
(sunflower seeds)

If you haven't cut down old plant stalks and canes yet, 
the flower heads should be bursting with seed by now. 

As you wander along through your spent flower beds, select only the 
healthiest-looking seeds for your packets. Don't keep anything discolored or 
misshapen—those won't bring the best plants next year.
(clematis seeds)

Take an extra second and label the packet with your permanent marker. 
You might think you'll remember what plant they're from, 
but we all know how life uses its eraser on our short-term memories.

Let the Thomas Jefferson in you climb out and collect a few experimental seeds. 
These hardy begonia seeds will probably not bear anything, but it's a possibility.

Let the plastic bags remain open for a couple days until the seeds have time to 
dry completely before you zip them closed. If you zip the packets closed too soon, 
you'll end up with a packet of mold for your springtime surprise.
Store the packets in a cool, dry place, away from the sunshine. 

Happy collecting! 
The garden dollars you used to spend on pricey seed packets can 
now be used to buy that Annabelle Hydrangea you've always wanted ... 

More advice and methods for collecting seeds here and here.

1 comment:

Cynthia Howerter said...

I have a gardening buddy! I love this article - it's beautifully written and the photos are a treasure.