The weather has changed here quite suddenly, with noticeably shorter days and colder nights, it feels as if summer really is over.
This new season means new opportunities in the garden and one of them is collecting seeds from plants to grow more plants for next year.
The advantages are that:
- you can grow large numbers of plants for free.
- you won’t spend time driving round buying lots of plants, though I urge you to buy some plants from nurseries to keep your garden interesting,
- seed produced by a plant that has done well in your garden will be happy to grow in those same conditions.
- Make sure the plants that you collect from are in robust health, with no sign of pests or disease. That way the seeds and plants that grow will be healthy too and get off to a good start.
- Collect on dry days when the seed cases are no longer green. Pop the whole seed-head into a paper bag or large paper envelope on whichyou’ve noted the name of the plant.
- Take the seeds inside, spread them out and remove all the casings and odds and ends, then tip them back into their envelopes.
- Store them somewhere cool and dry until you’re ready to sow them.
Most seeds germinate best if sown as soon as they are ripe.
Only seeds from ‘species’ plants will look the same as their parents, hybrids (i.e. cross-breeds) will look different, for instance the flowers may be a different colour.
Don’t worry too much about this, it makes the whole business more interesting and you may end up with an unusual plant.
More tomorrow about how to sow the collected seeds and the easiest types to grow.
image: Jill Anderson