Monday, 30 September 2013

Plants for free - Autumn seed collecting

For annual flowers the weather recently has really lent itself to not only good seed production, but also seed collecting. This is a great way of building up your stock of plants for colour for next Summer, at almost no cost, saving your money for those more expensive plants - Lol!

Think back to last year, and the miserable Summer (we didn't have) and to collect seed in damp conditions - not ideal by a long shot!

This year though is very different.

The weather in late August and September really has lent itself to seed being collected in the dry weather conditions that are needed.

And, if you haven't done this yet, it's not too late.

Mostly the plants I collect seed from are ones that are fairly easy to grow, and some seed even benefit from being sown straight away, and if you've a sheltered corner or covered area to protect the seedlings from the worst of the cold, you'll have fine plants by the time next Spring comes around.

Take my sweet-pea for instance; I'll collect seed from the plants tomorrow (I've been keeping a close eye on them and they're ready for harvesting) and they'll be sown by the weekend. The young plants will germinate within a couple if weeks and I'll overwinter them in the greenhouse - and they'll be ready for an early Spring planting. And, just in case this doesn't work out, i.e. frost, snow, tornados, earthquakes, etc. I'll have some seed stored in a labelled envelope for a Spring sowing.

In fact, when my poached egg plants (Limananthes douglasii) had seed in August, I sowed them straight away, and their are some nice sized plants now ready to pot on into bigger pots. These will be put into their final position in early Spring for a lovely show of flower from May onwards.

Experienced gardeners have a very keen eye and know what to do. If you're not so experienced, try flowers that have larger seeds - you'll be more like to have success - and if you can get advice or see someone do a demonstration on this, even better!

Btw, I'll have plenty of sweet pea seed (white), so if you want a couple let me know.

Happy seed hunting