It is easy to save seeds from this year’s annuals. Remember though, that all of the plants that you grow next year from this year’s dead annuals may not be identical to them.
The heirloom plants that you grew will produce seeds that when sown will produce plants the same as their parents. However, any modern hybrids will provide you with seeds that will not produce exactly the same plants. However, surprises in gardens are fun!
Once your annuals, such as marigolds and zinnias, are dead, snip off the dry spent flower heads and lie them on newspaper in a safe spot to dry out completely. Make sure that they will not get wet or blow away. Give them plenty of time to get really dry, weeks not days, before you rub them between your hand, until the seeds fall out. Scoop up the seeds and put them in small jars or dry envelopes. Label them with the plant name and the year’s date.
Also walk around the garden and cut the pods of perennials like the large hibiscus and shrubs like baptisia. Take them to a safe place and crack the pods onto a paper plate. Both the aforementioned plants are good for seed gatherers, as are the seed heads of echinops, also known as Globe Thistle.
Experiment with seed collecting. It is always fun to see which seeds pop up the following year. It is usually best to plant the seeds in pots the next spring when all danger of frost is past. If you decide to scatter them in a bed, be sure there is no mulch, as many mulches contain seed deterrents to stop weeds growing.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on collecting seeds.