Friday, October 19, 2007

Saving annual seeds

Note to fellow gardeners (and self):

It's that time of year to share your seeds. Think of those annuals that could easily be mistaken for perennials because of their consistent tendencey to reseed themselves. You always have a supply of cosmos, more or less in the same spot, without even trying.

Instead of just enjoying the bounty, why not share? You know that come next year, you'll be spending some of your weeding time removing the crowded volunteers of calendula and alyssum anyhow so collect some of those extras as seeds to give to your fellow gardeners.

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Black lace elderberry intertwined with morning glory.

Note to self (and fellow gardeners):

Think of how much money seed companies are making on some of those seeds that your neighbour is ruthlessly weeding out and tossing on the compost pile. If it's touted as heritage, heirloom, open-pollinated, easy to grow, and re-seeding, heck someone you know may well grow it.

Here are some easy to collect favourites:

1. Cosmos
2. Morning Glory
3. Calendula - herb
4. False Sunflower - native
5. Poppies
6. Bachelor's Button
7. Nigella
8. German Chamomile - herb
9. Fennel - herb
10. Parsley - herb
11. Nicotinia
12. Cleome
13. Amaranth - herb
14. Orach - herb
15. Alyssum

There are lots more and your growing conditions may allow for more or less annuals to self seed. Let me know what works for you!


Seeds of Diversity - a network of seed savers, and information.


Curtis said...

That sounds like something I may try to do next year. I might see If I can try and save some of my Four o clock seeds this year.

Mary said...

Yes, time to collect seeds. I especially want to gather some morning glory seeds. I planted a lovely blue variety this year and it did well. Up to that point, I'd had no luck with morning glories. However, this year I planted them in a different location and they did well.

Thanks for the tips.

Christa said...

Great reminder. I've been saving more of my vegetable seeds this year. Each year, I try to save more. It will be nice to be able to participate in seed exchanges.

Chris said...

Good Stuff! See also:

Bare Bones Gardener said...

I know that I am always weeding lettuce out of the gardens and lawn

kate said...

I have been far more diligent about collecting seeds this year and have sent many to various places ... especially columbine and delphinium seeds.

My neighbours regularly hand over little pill bottles with seeds or ziplocs containing their favourite seeds. It's fun to spend time checking out the seed offerings. Sometimes I end up with unusual things in my garden which I love.

The Elderberry looks magnificent with the Morning Glory winding its way through the branches.

gardenmomma (Chris) said...

It's funny I should find you speaking about this. I was just out collecting four o'clocks this weekend. I have more seeds that I will ever use. I have a couple of gardening friends and we are always swapping (I am so blessed!). But, probably I should do a swap online. The only thing is, though I am good at collecting, I can only grow the simplest of things from seed. It almost has to be foolproof!

sydney said...

I'm a teacher in west end/central Ottawa. Any suggestions about places I could go nearby to collect seeds with my grade three students?

Ottawa Gardener said...

Hi, a place to collect seeds is tricky because unless you do it on a piece of waste land (and then even so) you have to be careful not to take too many seeds. However, I am taking a homeschool group this Friday to the wildlife fletcher garden and arboretum to look at seed dispersal. We take felt critters through the butterfly meadow to see what seeds stick to them (mostly queen anne's lace and burdock). They also have jewelweed whose seeds explode when you touch them, milkweed pods, lupin with hard pea like seeds, and a rowan tree with tiny 'apples' filled with seeds.

Anyhow, we don't so much collect seeds as examine them.

Don't know if that was helpful?