Seed saving 101

As the first frost last month took my flowers in my cut garden away, and the flowers I had picked that were inside started to die off, my grandmother seen my dying flowers and told me that it was time to collect seeds.  Something I knew NOTHING about!  I have heard and read about people seed saving for years, but never actually knew anything about the process.

My grandmother had me go out to the garden with her and showed me what to cut (some seeds were in flower heads, some -like the moon flower- grew seeds on the vines) and we put them in a Halloween trick-or-treat basket we had laying around.  Now that’s what I call a treat!

 

       (It was very chilly out that day!)

A few days later I had trays of seeds of all my favorite flowers from this year and planned to plant again next year.  My grandmother had told me that they first needed to dry out in the back room (a perfect place for things to dry out because that’s where the dryer is).  So on a tray they went!

 

       (Little Zinnias, Big Zinnias.)

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(Moon flowers, Celosia flowers)

I left them on the tray and was told that when they were dry, I could save the seeds..  (At one point in the few weeks they were sitting in the back room, the trays fell and got mixed up and I may have gotten the Zinnia heads mixed up a bit.  I guess time will tell what seeds are what!)

Fast forward a few weeks, and I started seeing little black dots in with my Celosia flowers.  When I asked my grandmother about it, she told me that they were the seeds.  I got so excited because I didn’t know that the seeds just fell out like that!  (You know you’re a gardener when you geek out about seeds..)

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(All those little black dots are Celosia seeds!  When the flowers dry out, the ‘pods’ open up and 4-5 little black seeds come out of each little pod!)

The Celosia seeds weren’t the only flowers that were going to seed ether!  I regularly picked up the Zinnia heads to see what was going on with the flower heads throughout the weeks.  The dryer they became, the more the seeds came out when I ran my thumb over the top of them.  Eventually they were falling out pretty good on their own.

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(You can see the Zinnia seeds that have already fallen out with a bit of my prompting..)

After that, it was as simple as pulling the seeds out of the Zinnia  heads, shaking the seeds out of the Celosias, and bagging them up.  I spent a few hours watching YouTube videos while pulling the flower seeds out in the back room (it’s more fun then you think!), and before I knew it, I had bags of seeds!  I put mine in zip lock bags and labeled them with the year and flowers name.  I can’t believe that one little seed can make so many seeds!

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(Top left, big Zinnias.  Top right, little Zinnias.  Bottom left, Celosia.  Bottom right, Moon Flowers.)

I can’t wait until spring when I can plant my flowers and see what pops up!  And now with my greenhouse, that’ll be extra early next year!

 

See more everyday homesteading stuff like quotes, lifestyle, pictures, stories, etc, at my official Facebook page here.

 

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