08 October 2008

Stop Deadheading to Save Seeds

Many gardeners have developed the great habit of walking through the garden, deadheading flowers - removing spent flowers before they go to seed.

Now that October is here, it's time to allow a few flowers to make seeds. If every flower is allowed to make seed, flowering will stop. If just a few are left on the plant, it will continue to flower.


Will you be trying to save any seeds this year? Flowers, herbs, vegetables?


Here's what I do - Collect the flower seeds when the seed head is crispy dry. In our zone 7 several flowers are ready to make seed. I've been collecting them and putting each kind in its own tea can, with the name of the flower written on a sticky note attached to the top. Tea cans are not air tight so the seeds will dry in there. They can be moved to an airtight container when they are thoroughly dried.


I'm casual about the gathering, in that all the zinnia varieties go in one can, all the marigold varieties go in one can but you may want to be more careful.


Dry milk powder folded into a paper towel, added to each can or jar of seeds will keep them dry until spring.


Want more detail? Read what Master Gardener Joyce Moore at Virtual Seeds has to say.

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