Beekissed

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I know there are ways to collect just about any seed one wants to save and sow later on, so I thought we needed a thread on it. It sometimes is not as simple as just saving what you think is a seed pod or a fruit and taking the seeds from it...some need to be fermented before planting, when left too long, some seed pods will have the seeds taken from them by finches, some have to be thoroughly dried and some can be planted right away, some have to endure freezing prior to planting, etc.

Today I'm collecting zinnia flowers for saving seed. I'd never done it before and figured it was as simple as waiting until the blossom was done and petals had fallen, then just removing the seed head. Nope....by then the seeds are long gone. That naked middle knob where black eyed Susan's seeds are stored in abundance after the petals are gone is what I'm used to, as is the calendula and its seeds left behind when the petals are all gone.

Zinnia seeds are attached to the base of each petal and the yellow finches here are deseeding my zinnias faster than I can say "seed collection"! So, there's a fine balance between collecting the flower heads while the seeds are as yet too immature to reproduce and when the finches, who seem to know exactly when those seeds are the fullest and most ripe for pickin', get to them first....seems to be mere hours between those two lines. :gig

So...today I'm looking for zinnia blossoms that look very tired and worn out but still retain much of their petals. I'm trying to collect the colors I love the best but will take them all if they are there. I also need to collect seed from the 10-12 ft. tall volunteer sunflower in the garden before the finches strip them all...that's one pretty sunflower and I'd like to plant some next year if possible. The bees are working it like crazy! Just gotta fetch a ladder and hope the bees don't attack me while I'm up there.... :eek:

If you have seed collection advice to share, please do so!

I've never collected lettuce seed but would love to learn, will soon collect garlic seeds and bulbs, and I've collected tomato and squash seeds with good germination afterwards, etc.

One of my favorite colors...coral~

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baymule

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I am saving tomato seeds this year. I read that they had to be fermented first to get the snot off them, so they would germinate better. So I put them in a cup with water for several days until they got a scum on top. Then I fished the seeds out and placed on a paper towel to dry. We'll see how it goes.

I save bean seeds-that's easy. I bought Thai #3 long green bean seeds on year from Baker Creek and have saved and planted them every year since. I also sent seeds to other people. I'm also saving cantaloupe seeds this year. I've saved zinnia seeds before, but I only had a couple of colors. I need to buy more seeds next year.

Right now I have corn spread out on a table on the porch to dry. I'll make cornmeal and save the best for seeds. It's Hastings Prolific white dent corn, the stalks get from 10' to 18' tall. Most of mine were 12' tall. They bear up to 3 ears per stalk. I didn't take the best of care of mine, but I got a good showing, despite my neglect. The best ears are 14" long. The shucks were wrapped tight and I had minimal worm damage. Next year I'll be able to plant more!

I saved zucchini seeds, but they probably crossed with the yellow squash.

I have a weakness for seeds. I always order too many......
 

Beekissed

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Me too! Got any pics of your corn? I'd love to see it growing and also see those long ears. They say it makes the best cornmeal!
 

Wannabefree

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I'm starting back small again since all my seeds were pretty much useless after sitting for 3 years outside controlled conditions. I will have seed for next year, I have saved some cantaloupe and tame blackberry seed okra and bell pepper. Also have sunflower seed, will have tomato and pumpkin and acorn squash later on, and planning on saving some turnip seed as well. I believe with leafy vegetables like turnips and lettuces..you wait for the plants to bolt and collect them then.
 

Wannabefree

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It's like chickens...the more you have the more you want...
 

Beekissed

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I have somewhere around 30 chickens and I would be happy with about 5. Just me? Lol ok ... I'm all about having more seeds though!!

I'm like that too....never did get the whole chicken math thing. If you've got 5 chickens or 30 chickens, you've still got you some chickens and that seems to be good enough for me. The only reason I hatch out more each year is so I can subtract a bunch of them into jars and still have layers for the rest of the year! :D
 

goatgurl

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i'm guilty of saving, ok hoarding seeds. @Beekissed I learned to stretch one of those knee high nylon stockings over seeds that I wanted to save from the birds. plant continues to grow and mature buy the birds can't get to the seeds. I also found out that elderberry seeds won't germinate until they go thru a birds digestive system so I gathered the berries, put one of my hens in a cage and fed her the elderberries and then gathered her poop, let it dry and then planted it in pots. worked.
 

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