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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Seed saving for the home garden.


 I love to save seed from garden plants. Often plants self seed, where and when they will, sometimes I transplant the little seedlings but usually I leave them where they are happy. These are pictures of a few flowers that are so easy to save seed from and easy to photograph! A lot of seeds are very tiny and some like special treatment so I'll leave that post for another day!

Last November I collected the seed pods from the sweet pea plants and dried them in the kitchen, (I tie a ribbon around the best flowers to keep for seed saving).

The podded seed doesn't need to be perfect, when it is time to plant just pick out the fattest seeds.

I like to soak the seed overnight before sowing but it is not necessary.

By April there are strong little plants ready to go out into the garden.
I find sweet pea are fairly hardy and I have planted them out in February or March in previous years.

Sweet peas in the garden in July.
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When the Limnanthes douglasii, Poached egg plant, finished flowering I cut off the plants at ground level and lay them on an old sheet to dry out in the sun.
When the plants dry out the seeds fall down on the sheet. The dry stems on top still contain many seeds and are ideal for using as a mulch in a place where I would like some poached eggplant to grow. I collected a small bucket full of seed. There will be poached egg plant everywhere next May!


Poached egg plant (grown as overwintering ground cover) flowering in one of the vegetable beds in May 2013.

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Aquilegia (Granny's bonnets) seed, 

 The flowers come in all colours from deep purple to white, they have lovely leaves, pretty and variable flowers, attractive seed pods, bees like the flowers, birds like the seeds and they will self seed in delightful places, another easy plant. 
 

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