Ready to begin harvesting seeds from your annual garden flowers? Don’t let them just die away after a single frost. How about learning the secrets to successful germination? I will show you some quick seed collecting and sprouting tips to get you seeding the world.
Here are my seed collecting tips:
- First make sure that the flowers you are harvesting your seeds from have dried out on their stems.
- Next, take the flowers off the plant; either using your hands or some garden clippers.
Look at the base of each flower petal. there will be a seed. (Depending on what type of plant it is might make a variation on where the seeds are hidden. Typically they are at the base of a flower’s petals.)
- Once you have taken off the seeds, store them in a paper envelope. Make sure your storage area is free of any moisture.
*** sow your seeds within a year; they might not germinate if you store them to long.
And that’s how it’s done! Spread those seeds!
Now for germinating those seeds.
Here are my tips for that.
- Some seeds need pre-chilling time. You can either do this naturally by sowing your seeds early when it is still cold outside. OR how about popping those seeds in the fridge? Does the same thing. If you decide to do this method, first roll up your seeds in a wet paper towel. Put that in a plastic bag and then leave in the fridge for about two weeks.** Your seed packet will tell you when to plant the seeds. If they are from your own plants, however; you may need to research a bit to find out if your seeds need chilling.
- Other seeds need soaking. For this, just follow the steps in chilling seeds above; leaving out putting them in the fridge. However, I suggest not putting them in a plastic bag for just soaking. Since in the chilling method it would be difficult to keep the seeds moisturized, that is why the plastic bag comes in handy. For regular soaking all you need to do is spritz those seeds with water whenever the towel feels dry.
- Do you feel more loosey goosey after a back scratch? Seeds do too! Some seeds won’t sprout without one because their seed “coats” are harder( Bluebonnet and sweet pea seeds are like this). Simply take your seeds and scratch them against your driveway. Or, If you have a fingernail clipper, simply nick the seed’s shell with that.
- One more thing. If you have a limited source of good natural light in your house, you might consider purchasing a grow light. Grow lights have special UV rays that act a lot like sunlight. Some grow lights even screw into a desk lamp. Those are the kind I like to get; they are usually around $7.00. That’s pretty cheap for a grow light.
- make sure your seeds have good soil. Peat moss is exceptional for starting seeds.
- Lastly, your seedlings ( if grown indoors) will need to be hardened off. This means exposing them to outdoor weather conditions about an hour a day, gradually increasing how long you keep them outside; until your young plants can stay outdoors for a whole 24hrs.
Here are some pictures of my own seeds in the germination process. I began planting seeds for spring as early as January 24th. This gives time for the plants to mature before the transplant. Since my house is nice and toasty, they will germinate just fine.
*There will be updated pictures coming soon as the seeds germinate and transplanting time arrives!
I hope this information has been helpful to you,