Anyone else harvesting seed today?

northforkerSeptember 20, 2008

We had one of those perfect fall days - bright, sunny but with a nice breeze. I figured I'd head out to see what was "ripe" forseed collecting. Well a LOT was ready, spent all day out there, but my favorite tmes were harvesting seed from plants that were new to me that I received in last years swaps. Melampodium wins 5 stars in my book for being an incredible non- stop bloomer AND for placing it's seed flat on the pod so collecting them was as easy as lifting a cup off a saucer!

Anyone else love the seed to plant to flowers to seed cycle? Yup, little paper plates of drying see ALL over the house....


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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I'm going to harvest some amsonia and more gaillardia.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 5:33PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

I got garlic chives, white marigolds, black-eyed susan and a few zinnias today.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Yesterday and today I harvested from Dianthus 'Siberian Blue', Gazania, Dimorphotheca, Blue Flax, Cynoglossum, Tomatoes and Salvia officinalis.

For the life of me I can't figure out where to find the seeds in another favorite Dianthus of mine... They must be like dust or something and not at all like Sweet William or 'Siberian Blue' because I can't believe I'd miss the seed 3 yrs. running! Here's a few pics from May and June...I have no idea of the name of this Dianthus, but it's evergreen and grows to about 12" tall in flower:

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:49PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Vera, do they make long brown tube type pods maybe? like dianthus firewitch?

I'm still collecting seeds from cosmos, several kinds of zinnia, dwarf balloon and a taller balloon flower, marigolds, dwarf dahlias, garlic chives, diil, several kinds of basil, 3 different colors of balsam impatients, sunflower, daylilies and morning glories and 4 o'clocks.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:09PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

I got some more petunia 'shockwave purple' today, and two more seeds - a WHOLE TWO! - from my dianthus.

Vera - I'm in the same boat with my dianthus; they are evergreen as well, this is the second year for them, and I have no idea of the name either. Last year I got NO seed, and this year I'm getting just a few; most of my pods are full of dust-like stuff too. I think I might have maybe 15-20 seeds from the pot FULL of flowers! Here's mine ....

Last year:

This year:



    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:51PM
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philmont_709n2(z6 Ohio)

seed collecting is my favorite part of winter sowing. even more so than seeing the flowers themselves. i dont know why. its just love looking at all the mechanisms for dispersing seeds, then developing ways to separate them from chaff. i love it

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:00PM
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I was collecting seeds, but the mosquitoes were horrible, and I couldn't take it any more, so I came inside & bagged up 199 packs from seed collected earlier. All that rain last week is making my swamp mosquito heaven! Hope none of them had West Nile!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:50PM
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I just finished dicing up some hot peppers and am saving the seeds. So far drying I have: Bulgarian carrot, Pulla, Purira, Ordono, Naga Jolokia, Kalocsai-V2, Choricero, and Lemon Drop. Also drying are petunia seeds, coneflowers, Candy Cane Zinnias, Zinnia mix, Mairgold mix, Sensations cosmos, orange cosmos and amaranth. From my Mom's House I have variagated nicandra, white datura, calendula and hollyhocks

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Just got back from the library where I was able to harvest some dry seed pods from two pretty plants! Of course I don't know what they low strappy leaved plant with a blue flower (Centaura Montanta like but the flower petals are flat) and a really tall (almost 6') coneflower of some kind. I think I remember it was a rust/orange color. Always an adventure with the "snatched seeds". Any guesses?

This morning I packaged up amaranth LLB, China Asters, Rose Campion,Balsam Impatiens, petunia cascade,Gazania,and orange poppy. FUN. I love seeds.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Yes, nan. Melampodium is incredibly easy to harvest and I have lots of fun doing it too.
These days the pods on my Torenia are finally turning dry enough to let go of some of there seeds.
Lots of collecting from Morning Glories: Mt. Fuji, Ivy Leafed, Split Personality and Milky Way... still waiting for Chocolates to mature.
Also collecting corydalis, dicentra, zinnia, petunia, nigella, and even a few coleus.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 12:08AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

PV & Vera, your dianthus look like my Dianthus 'Ideal' mix. I am not getting many seeds from these dianthus as most of the pods are empty.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:38AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Accidently hit submit post when I wanted to preview. Here is a close up of the reds, has purple edging.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:42AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

LOTS of Cleome Cherry, Asclepias Incarnata 'Ice Ballet' and Tuberosa, Echinacea 'Kim's Knee High' (don't come true from seed but I'll take whatever comes), Echiniacea 'Twilight' and Heliotrope 'Marine'.

I was just about to cut off some spent flower heads from hundreds of Echinacea purpurea all over my condo complex when landscapers came by and just lopped them all off. Darn...they just went into the trash...what a waste.

I only used ONE seed from packet of Heavenly Blue Morning Glory for resulting huge vine but everyone who sees it wants seeds from THAT plant just in case other seeds in pack don't do as well...LOL. After deadheading spent blossoms every morning like an idiot for over a month I finally realized the actual seeds are in the nub left after I yank off the curled up flower. Still going to reseed all over but at least even I will have seed from same plant which I'll use in addition to leftover new seed "just in case" genetics didn't make it to all seed in packet.

You can't believe the wonder and drive-bys one Morning Glory engulfing a mail box can engender in a neighborhood where there are NO flowers because of deer, rabbits, groundhogs, moles and voles! The one plant I didn't give blood, sweat and tears to so they'd grow and try to survive critters is the one everyone loves and wants seed from.

I know I should ask on seed saving forum but you guys know more than most about all this stuff. I've got 2 Lobelia cardinalis x 'Ruby Slippers' that are sentimental favorites (if voles stop tunneling into their roots) from which I want to gather seed. Seems the flower comes off and there's a capsule left behind on stem. I'm assuming seed is in that capsule.

QUESTION: Should I wait until capsules are dried on stem before trying to collect seed? Assuming I should but just wanted to check with some intrepid WS'ers.

Have same concern about Heliotrope 'Marine'...took off one flower cluster that dried on plant and picked out little "T" shaped seeds but I think I need to let flower cluster dry intact before trying to get seeds out.

Since this is first year collecting seeds I'm not totally convinced they'll germinate for whatever reason...most of all way I'm collecting them. Cleome is the only one that seems foolproof even for me but how many giant spider flower plants can one with limited gardening space fit...LOL.

So tempted to buy some new seed of ones I really love in case I screw up either seed collecting or winter sowing.

Dining room table is MINE covered with paper plates of seed until all this seed collecting is done.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:17AM
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o sure collecting seeds- am not doing much this year, just for litlle trading and myself. Swamped in seeds as it is. So am getting different nicotianas, impatiens, geranium wlassovianum, campanulas, symphyandra, trycirtis. Have heard that trycirtis raspberry mousse is infected one so am feeling so bad that I have to get rid of it... such a beautiful colors

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:48AM
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agirlsgirl(6 SW-PA)

I have been a harvesting fool! :) I love harvesting seeds even though the sight of hundreds of pods everyday may occasionally bring a sigh out of me!;) So far I have a ton collected,I know I am over doing it and will be sorry I collected so many,but once I start I cant stop!
Off the top of my head I harvested from so far :
-Mexican Sunflower
-A couple of types of Sunflowers
-Yellow Toadflax ( a pain to some,but I love these guys,they take ugly areas nothing else wants to grow in and make it beautiful! :)
-Painted Tongue
-Four O'Clocks
-Snow on the Mountain
-Butter Daisy
-Tahoka Daisy
-Globe Amaranth
-Annual Phlox
-Virginia Stock (LOVE this stuff!)
- Larkspur
- Cleome
-Arctotis venusta
-Tassel Flower
-Sweet Peas
-Bachelor Buttons
-Silene 'dwarf Pink Star'
-For Get Me Nots
-Spanish Flag
-Ageratum 'Blue Mink'
-Crimcon Clover
-Yellow Hibiscus
-Baby Snaps (Toadflax)
-African Daisy
-Cerinthe major 'Blue Kiwi'
-Johnny Jump Ups
-Fish Pepper
-Bunnytail Grass
-Unknown "Footed" Grass
-Black Eyed Susan Vine
-Shoo Fly,both variegated and plain
-A little Shasta Daisy
-Jewels of Opar
-Opal Cups
-Cypress Vine

I think thats it,I sort of went through my yard in my mind. Still lots that aren't ripe yet or waiting to be collected.
I have been collecting them right into homemade envelopes,certain ones I use the bag over them and then empty them into their envies,others could be collected into yogurt cups, butter dishes,ect.. They seem to be getting plenty of air for drying ,(In the envies), and it is alot easier to manage them for me.My peppers and tomatoes are on paper plates drying inside. I have the envies filed in boxes in alphabetical order,it makes it much easier for me to just find the right envy and drop the seed in. I keep extra envies and a marker in the box also,most of the time I am prepared for something new to harvest.
I will go around and see whats ready today,I am waiting on a few I hope to get seed from before the frosts hit. It seems the ones I was most bent on getting seeds from are taking the
Happy Harvesting! :D

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 12:37PM
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I got a few things, mostly the balsam impatiens, some rose campion. I kept forgetting to get the seeds till after I started watering, so finally got some!
I left my daylily seeds out (earwigs) too long and they got soaked in the last storm, so I potted them up and got a few sprouts so far.
Just remembered to bring them in off the deck! :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I stumbled across this post and was amazed. I guess I'm a newbie when it comes to gardening because I had no idea you could harvest seeds from many of these plants. I'm trying to figure out where the seed is on my nemesia plant. I know it's the aromatica rose pink nemesia. Anyone have any suggestions for me? Thanks....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 10:27AM
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I just plated the last of the Goji Faranji seeds. I love my tomatoes but at the end of the season I wish they would all walk to the compost heap and dive in on their own ;-O

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 3:08PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Today, Amsonia, gaillardia, perennial scabiosa, and rudbeckia laciniata.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 6:00PM
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While supper was cooking...only petunia, nothing fancy. Last years petunias reseeded themselves (not true to seed), but I prefer the blooms. Want to make sure I see it as a repeat next year. I'm pretty much stocked up for next year, and am mostly busy cleaning milk jugs.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:35PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I did some harvesting yesterday. The weather has been perfect for it the last few days, sunny or partly sunny, warmish for October, and dry. I really like how the gardens look in fall, full of muted autumn colors and seed heads drying up everywhere, with some bright annuals still blooming (no frost yet) and late-blooming perennials.

I harvested -

- Yvonne's Salvia (most of these seem to have fallen out of the spent blooms already!)
- Salvia 'Coral Nymph'
- Scarlet runner bean 'Painted Lady'
- Snapdragon 'Black Prince' (not cross-pollinated with other snaps so I'm hoping they seed true)
- Melampodium
- Monarda citriodora
- Monarda punctata
- Tithonia 'Aztec Sun'
- Cosmos 'Bright Lights' - a nice tall, early bloomer

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:56PM
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keep saying I have enough and then finding more seed heads and harvesting them anyway! Like mexican sun flower (figure it will be a fun one for Newbie seed packs when I send it to bakemom), Agastashe "Golden Jubilee" (I really like this plant, so as long as it's putting out seed...) and sadly, Zinnia's (as they are finally gasping their last breath).

Then there are the "new finds" - ooooh, I wasn't expecting to get seed from the crazy hybridized cigar plant I bought and the dianthus pods that are new to me because I have never grown these before, somehow missed their flowers (tall stuff covered them, I have too much tall stuff) so the seed pods feel like prizes. Just wish I knew what color they were!!!

Did some fun ones (balloon flower that just pours out of the pod) and some stinky ones (those red husker penstemons do smell like feet like you said Bakemom) and made note of plants I am going to check tomorrow (asters, black eyed susan vine,verbena in pots). It is suppose to another beautiful day here and I am really going to try to soak it in by spending the whole day outside. Winter will be here in a BLINK!

I also FINALLY figured out (by tons of web cruising) that the "rudbeckia" seed I'd snatched from the library that didn't look anything like my rudbeckia seed wasn't - it is a ratibida - red variety. Except really tall. What is defined as a "coneflower" is very confusing! Lots of flowers have "cones" in the middle.

But I am learning, learning, learning all the time. I love it!!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:29PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Still collecting seeds from:

cosmos 15 different varieties
4 o'clocks 3 different varieties
marigolds 2 different varieties
zinnias 8 different named varieties and a couple of crosses
dahlia 5 different dwarf varieties
dwarf balloon
tall balloon
morning glory 25 different varieties
monkey flower on it's 4th bloom
dianthus firewitch, second full bloom
nicandra splash of cream
disco belle
hardy hibiscus 2 different colors
hosta seeds
hybrid daylily seeds
coreopsis lanceleaf
easter egg
balsam impatiens 5 different colors
6 kinds of basil
garlic chives
torenia 2 different varieties


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 11:50PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

newbie in nj: For lobelia cardinalis, I let the lobelia cardinalis pods dry on the stem until they start to open. Clip of the stems and dry in a paper bag in the house. After a few days close the bag and shake to release the seeds. There are many tiny seeds in a pod.

Maggie: To repel those mosquitoes try Expedition by Avon. It works better than anything I've ever tried. I use it all the time; I forgot one day thing this week and those mosquitoes chewed me up.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 7:26AM
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I don't generally 'clean' the gardens at this time of year, but the gardens are getting larger and there are more so I've decided that this year there will be some deadheading/cutting back to get ahead for the spring. So I'm collecting lots of seeds right now. I'm leaving most of the coneflower seeds for the winter birds though.

You are right about the Balloon flowers and the seeds just pouring out of those pods. :O)

Yesterday I went for seeds of -
Artemesia Atellariana (Beach Wormwood - looks like Dusty Miller but this is perennial)
Heliopsis Lorraine Sunshine and Summer Sun
Baptisia Australis
Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
Monarda Jacob Cline
Lynchnis Chalcedonica Salmon
Asclepias Incarnata
and a few more...

Still waiting on a lot of seeds! Sometimes things don't mature here before the snow flies.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Need some advice on collecting seed from Yvonne's salvia. I seem to be missing the boat. When I pull off the brown pods, they are empty. I still have flowers going but won't be long before winter sets in, so what am I doing wrong? I really want to get some seed for next year and to be able to trade with others. I got this seed from Emily and want to pass on the gift of seeds to others.
---- newbie at seed colleting

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 8:23AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yes, that same thing happened to me. I got a few seeds but most of them seemed to have fallen out of the spent blooms. If we get some heavy wind or heavy rain, the seeds are probably jostled out of the seedhead.

I've managed to collect a few, and still have some seed leftover from a trade with Mskee. I wouldn't want to be without this beautiful flower, it is still a stunner in the fall garden.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:01AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I find that one has to check often to get those Y salvia seeds before they fall to the ground. A surprise for me this spring was finding some self sown Y salvia seedlings in the garden.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Found some roadside sunflower heads that still had about half the seeds left in them. I only took 2 seedheads worth of seed so the birds could have plenty. I also picked a couple of seedheads of river oats. They were totally brown, so I assume they are mature.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 3:07PM
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I collected a few more nasturtium seeds over the weekend. I have also learned the joy of popping balsam impatien pods! Also drying are Kentucky Wonder beans, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Purple Queen beans, Kinghorn Wax beans, Mammoth Table Acorn squash, and Waltham Butternut squash

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 4:11PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Today I harvested some Aster laevis, Smooth blue aster, this is a very pretty WS perennial that bloomed a bit in the first year.

Also harvested some Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea sloteri) seeds, this grew vigorously all summer and thenbloomed like crazy in late summer until a couple weeks ago - a favorite of the hummingbirds along with the Yvonne's Salvia!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 8:13PM
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I am still gathering seeds from my hollyhocks, petunias, portulacus, phloxs, black eye susans, and hostas.

Is anyone interested in exchanging seeds with me?


I have seed envelopes and they just slip into a #10 envelope for easy shipping.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I forgot to include my link for the photos of my backyard flowers and perennials.

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard Flowers

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Today I collected Yellow Ironweed & River Oats

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 12:43AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Cold, raw, raining and very, very windy today.

But yesterday I collected more of

morning glory
petunia and they are still blooming after several hard freezes
chinese forget me nots


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 3:33PM
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greenbug(zone 6_CT)

I am a newbie and have a question for all of you.
When you harvest seeds from your flower plants, do you harvest from only the ones that were heirlooms or from hybrids as well?
I see seeds on so many of my hybrids and keep wondering if I should collect or not. I read conflicting views and don't know if its worth it. I dont care if the color/size of the flower is different from the parent, but I do want them to flower.
Would love to hear and leanr from your experiences!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I tend to collect from all my flowering plants and they are a mishmosh collection, some bought before I started WSing, some grown myself from bought or trade seed. I've found that some seeds from hybrid plants (i.e.purple millet) grow just fine from collected seeds, while others are not true to the parent but sometimes nice anyway! I figure I'm not losing much (just some pro-mix, which I'll recycle for a pot or something anyway)by trying and I really enjoy collecting seed. My biggest frustration is that I will occastionally purchase a plant and get excited about the possibility of it flowering and setting seed (and growing more next year!) and it won't flower (some fancy plectranthus I bought this year) or it flowers but I can't find and harvest seed (Veronica "goodness grows"). The best thing about winter sowing is the very low "risk" - if even 20% of my jugs are duds, I haven't lost much. When I used indoor lights and had to baby everything inside it felt much more risky to try things I wasn't sure would work out.

My advise...Get out there and collect some seed! I imagine that there is not a lot of time left in zone 6 as I am almost done in zone 7!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:45PM
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