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Where do I start?

Spooner, WI

I'm interested in starting to save seeds, but don't really know where to start. Generally, I let things self-seed, but would like to be able to trade and sow more intentionally. I have cut off a couple of spent heads of echinacea summer sky, hung them upside down with the heads wrapped in a homemade "paper bag". This was given to me as a good technique, but I'm not sure...

I have quite a bit of columbine in my garden and would like to collect seed at some point, also daylilies, hosta, iris, heuchera, phlox, bluebells, yarrow, hardy geranium, hollyhocks, and others. Where do I start?

Also, there is a plethora of wild flowers in the area, Goldenrod, Joe Pie Weed, Touch-me-nots, and more. What is the best way to harvest without damaging the remaining plants?

And I just realized that I have quite a few impatience throughout the yard. How easy are these to harvest from and/or grow from seed? I love impatience among my hostas, but usually buy them in town. If I can sow my own, that would save a bundle!

This message was edited Aug 18, 2009 11:44 PM

This message was edited Aug 19, 2009 12:09 AM

Calgary, Canada

You are on the right track. They need to be dried for a while before you can package them. Walk around your garden and examine the former flowers. The seeds will be there for you.
Each plant is different . Some you can just lift off the seeds. Others you may be better to cut off the seed pod or capsule and dry that.

The paper bag drying is good for large seeds or large quantities of seeds.
Spreading small seeds or small quantities on a paper towel in a shallow dish also works.

Good luck.
Caroline

Büllingen, Belgium(Zone 6b)

Have a look here, you can learn a lot about seeds and seedpods.
http://www.theseedsite.co.uk/seedpods.html
Jonna

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