Tis the season! Not to be jolly....not that kind of season. Yet. But it's coming. So it's got me in the preservation mode. Preserving not only the foods I grew (the past week has been SUCH an exhausting blur), but also the seeds I want to grow for next year. Preserving the herbs I want to have in my arsenal for the winter.
When I think of saving seeds, I think of sunflowers. Hence the cover photo. Which, by the way, I reallllly wish you could've been there to see the light on the barn with the sunflowers that day! Photos do not do it justice! But I am so very excited to harvest the seeds from the sunflowers this year!
So far I've saved some pumpkin, squash, marigolds, sunflowers, and I have some lettuce seeding out and drying, waiting for me. For me, it's a lot foraging, which I've come to love. Learning the native plants and their uses, which ones I can dry and save seeds from, which ones I can turn into tinctures, etc. Humans were made as gatherers. God has really shown me this in myself, and it has grown into a passion.
So let's get into how to save those seeds!
Above are white marigolds I am saving for next year. I plan on bordering my garden with them, to help deter pests.
The very biggest thing about saving seeds is patience. Something I learned the hard way. Ask me how I know...😩 I wasted a ton of time and about killed my fingers pulling sunflower seeds that weren't ready. And I even tried drying them. Let the seed heads dry on the plant!!! It is worth waiting. You save yourself a ton of time. And wasted effort. Once the heads are completely dried, it's time to pull the apart. Now all this is determined by your type of flower. Some are not worth saving seeds. I have snapdragons that are absolutely stunning but the seeds are so tiny that it's impossible to find them! Or maybe I just haven't tried hard enough.... I digress. The seeds of marigolds are very different than most seeds. They are long and skinny. They don't really look like seeds at all. But the flower heads are FULL of them! It really only took like 4 heads to give me a huge amount of flowers, and I'm meaning at least over one hundred seeds.
Next, I do like to dry them even further in my dehydrator. I just gave them an hour at the lowest temp. Just to really suck that moisture out. You don't want to be storing seeds with moisture, they will mold and ruin your effort. I like to grab a piece of printer paper and fold it into a seed packet. That's what I like to store them in so that it can breathe. Just make sure to label and store in a dry, dark place!
That's it! Trial and error is a good thing, don't be afraid to make mistakes with it. Let me know how it works for you!