Seed Harvesting

Lately I’ve been reflecting on my plant buying addiction and I can’t help but think I’ve been doing it wrong. All around there are great plants and they are quite easy to propagate. Hell, if you stick a random cutting in some dirt or water (depending on the plant) chances are it’ll sprout some roots and be ready to go (amazing, really!). It’s like a plant super power, cut off an arm and I’ll grow a whole other me! In addition, flowers spew seeds from which you can grow hundreds of new flowers. Given the ease of starting my own plants, why have I been spending so much? Why don’t we all just share seeds and plant pieces?

I get it, there are some new and exciting plants or plant varieties that you might not be able to access. For times like these, I think it makes good sense to buy away. But why did I buy poppies, larkspur, and zinnias again? The answer is I was usually kind of too lazy to harvest the seeds.

Well my frugality has beat my laziness and so I am all in on propagation this year! First up, my larkspur.

Larkspur

My larkspur was exceptionally beautiful this year. I want it to come back again next year. Now, some of it definitely would come back without any intervention on my behalf, but I am greedy and want lotsa larkspur in 2020. Here’s a video of me harvesting the larkspur seeds.

Larkspur are pretty much the easiest of plants to harvest seeds from. The seeds are very evident in the little pods (note I use no official or proper plant vocabulary) and you just squeeze them out into a container.

Larkspur seed pods (the seeds are the black things inside)

So here you can see each plant has dozens of these little seed pod things and in each of them are dozens of seeds. This means you can be rich in larkspur!

The larkspur seeds getting shaken into the seed container
A day’s harvest (I stopped when I got bored)

Poppies

One of my poppies from 2019

Poppies are more mysterious than larkspur. They have these cool little rattle looking things that are left after they bloom and it’s not immediately obvious where the seeds reside.

Poppy rattle thing

Well, the mystery is gone as I show in the video below (sorry for the vertical video).

Turns out, if you peel off the top edge of the rattle you can clearly see the holes in which the seeds reside. It’s like a tiny crucible for seeds!

Like the larkspur, poppies contain lots of seeds. Unlike larkspur, poppies are a bit harder to start from seed (I know this from experience). I am going to read more about starting them and then document the process when the time comes. Hopefully it will yield some pretty red blooms in the future!

As I continue my foray into plant sorcery science I’ll continue to post and video. What are some of the plants that you never buy because they are easy to harvest?

Garden Club Activity

Get your clubbies together and get to harvesting. Share your secrets and then share your seeds! Make sure to label your collections as many seeds look alike. Here’s what mine look like.

I recommend you enjoy the seed harvesting and sharing process but try not to get too wasted because seeds are little and can easily be dropped or lost. Hence, I recommend an easy session IPA such as Founders’ All Day IPA.

Spread the love, share the seeds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s