Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seed Saving Season

Parsley seedheads doubly as bouquet.

During the harvest frenzy, don't forget to collect one of the most important products of your garden: seeds. Instead of writing a giant, indigestable tome on seed saving (for excellent references, get Seed to Seed by Ashcroft or Deppe's How to Breed your own Veggies), I'm going to write a series of quick, light seed saving tips.

Tip 1: Most seed needs to be dry*

Putting away moist seed, means that it will more likely rot or grow fuzzy mould in storage making it unusable. I like to place most of my collected seeds on plates in an airy (but not breezy) place for a week or so to dry after I harvest them.

You can also make a bouquet of seedheads and place them in a dry vase to act as a late summer centrepiece. As long as you cat stays clear... you will get beauty during the final drying process. Some pretty seedheads are orach, amaranth, carrots, even corn or other grasses.

Here's a challenge: I dare you to make a display and post it on your blog. It won't be hard to do better than my pure parsley heads.

* Some seeds need to be moist packed to remain viable or so it will more readily germinate and to prevent deep dormancy. These are usually from plants whose environments are moist (or wet).


Sheryl at Providence North said...

It is seed saving time for us too! I have a room full of various seeds, drying in paper bags. I have screens for drying seed but the cats have recently taken to laying on them :-(

I am starting an on line seed store this fall on my blog, so seed saving is a big deal for us right now.

thyme2garden said...

Your parsley seedheads look beautiful as a bouquet. I harvested tons of parsley seeds during the last few weeks, but did not think about making a bouquet of them. The seeds themselves had a slight hint of parsley aroma, so I'm guessing that the bouquet would, too?

I grew both curly and flatleaf parsley plants next to each other last year, and I think both of them bolted this spring, although I can't be sure. The flower stalks were all entangled, so by the time I collected the seeds, I couldn't tell which ones came from where. I'm wondering if I'll end up with separate curly and flatleaf parsley from these seeds, or if they have cross-pollinated and will give me some sort of a hybrid. I guess I'll find out when these seeds germinate and start growing!

Stefaneener said...

That's right! I'm not forgetting the seeds -- I'm decorating with them
: )

Ottawa Gardener said...

Sheryl: Congrats on your new buisness. You'll have to send me a link when you're up and running.

Thyme: I think they are both P. crispum though there seems to be some name crossing on the internet. Anyhow, seems possible that they will cross. I'll be curious to see what they produce.

Stefeener: But are you going to post a picture?