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Monday, February 4, 2013

Saving Seeds 'Aint Pretty

It's fortunate I am not a tidy person. 'Cos saving seeds, I am discovering, creates a rather untidy backyard. Apart from sunflowers, I haven't managed to save seeds before. (As well as being messy I am also a bit lazy).
waiting for sunflower seeds to dry
Anyway, I figured that it's about time I pulled my finger out and got organised and started collecting. So I let my silverbeet grow and develop seeds and waited for them to dry. And waited. And waited. And waited. It takes bloody ages for seeds to dry! Or is that just in my backyard?
Silverbeet going to seed
So that little patch sat looking messy and ugly and seedy all through December and January and it still looks like that. I have pulled a few of those seeds off and stored them away but probably loads of them have dropped all over the ground ready to sprout up in spots where I don't want them in a few months. But nevertheless, I do feel a wee bit smug.

Do you save your seeds? Any tips for a beginner?

16 comments:

  1. ME TOO! I have the most ginormous spinach 'thing' growing in my garden that hits me in the head each time I pass it, and covers me in dry bits and pieces...I have tried not watering it, but it WILL NOT DIE...it is still there covered in masses of what I am hoping is seed...??????? I keep folding it back and pushing it over but its just got a mind of its own....I figure on how big it is, I can provide seeds for about half of SA when it if finally done and decides to throw them out on the ground...??????? But when..??????

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  2. I tried saving the seed from my fennel this year. I was going to use some for cooking and some to re sow. And just like you I waited and waited and after a few months I decided I would spend $1.80 for some for the kitchen and about $3 for some for planting. Perhaps we need a garden that is just for the ones to go to seed.

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  3. I do save seed sometimes but more often than not it self seeds into the ground and I end up with a vege patch without even trying. Your garden looks very much like mine at the moment!It is actually hard for us to explain to farm stay visitors that the vege patch looks like that , not because we aren't good gardeners,but we are saving the seeds.

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  4. I recently let rocket, fennel, lettuce and coriander go to seed, and like you say it is UGLY! The coriander is not too bad but the other three just got so big and sprawling. And the amount of seed from one plant is incredible! I wish we had a reliable seed swapping website here in SA. Nobody would ever have to pay for seed again.

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  5. Yep! Beetroot! It grows BIG before it produces heaps of seed. Spring onions. They don't look too bad. Beans. They're messy looking but easy to save from. Same with peas.

    But it's such an amazing miracle that I don't care less about the mess!

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  6. I do save seeds,I don't have any tips really. I just do what you do. I let them dry on the bush then store them in brown paper bags in the shed. They always take next year.

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  7. I just pulled out the silver beet plants that I was attempting to save seed from - it was too sprawly, too messy and just too green for too long so i gave up. I do save seed from some things though: lettuce, parsley, celery, chillies, tomatoes, coriander, occasionally carrots and I'm hoping cucumber. I'm watching a cucumber get very big at the moment, hopefully it will go yellow soon and then I will harvest the seed.

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  8. I save seed, but I do find beetroot and silverbeet take absolutely ages, at least 3 months from when they start to form before going dry. But they are so prolific I forgive them. I also save corn and beans, but that's mostly because they go past good eating so I just leave them on the plant. Oh, and onions, leeks, broccoli, carrot and peas. I've wrapped forming seed heads in plastic bags and stockings to catch the seed before but now I don't bother. If seed falls before I can store it I just let it be. I like when plants just come up of their own accord.

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  9. Carrots actually look quite lovely when they go to seed. Lettuce too actually and the bees like the flowers :)

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  10. The received wisdom is that if you are saving seeds you should only use seeds from the best plants. This might be easier said than done in the case of your Silverbeet! My own particular brand of laziness is to buy seeds that someone else has saved...let them do the hard work, I say.

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  11. I have such a small garden that every time I try to save seeds I realize I cant afford to have that space taken up for so long, and either fling it all into the compost or dig them in.

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  12. Gee VG, you've made me feel guilty. I just like the flowers when broccolli and dill goes to seed. The seeds are so tiny it would be a job to save them. Never thought about silverbeet either. Good luck. cheers Wendy

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  13. Seed saving is fun and you end up with lots of seeds for yourself and to share with friends.

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  14. I allowed one purple carrot to go to seed and it practically engulfed my tomatoes AND the seeds have taken forever to mature. I won't bother saving carrot seed, again.

    However, things like parsley, coriander etc are easy to save so I'll continue to do that. And of course, you can just save tomatoes, chilli, pumpkins, spaghetti squash and the like when you harvest them so no waiting.

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  15. Hi Veggiegobbler
    I like your site. Haven't saved sun flower seeds for a long time. Checked mine yesterday, and were hallow inside. Wondering why, how long do you leave yours on the plants for before harvesting them?

    Cheers Sandi

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