Jun 14 2006

HOW TO HARVEST SEEDS!

Published by at 6:11 am under daily,gardening,likes & irks,photos

ust in case you’re not keeping track, I have something of a fetish with seeds. I’m very good at collecting. Even germinating! After that though, I’m only good about going about my business and forgetting to water until they are ALL DEAD except for 2 tomato plants, and 1 impatiens plant, which is displayed HERE:lone_seedling.jpg

Sad isn’t it. Couple normal impatiens plants next to it so you can see how pathetic it is. I’m curious to see what color the flowers will be though. So, all in all, me and seeds = kind of a love hate thing. I love them, I forget them, they hate me.

So I don’t know why I got all giddy with excitement when I realized that my columbine bushes have gone to SEED! Just for reference, here is a picture of one of the bushes (I have 2) from May:

These pretty bushes have actually bloomed a few times and I thought that the little bulbs were actually buds waiting to spring forth into beautiful color, but as I was out puttering around, noticed that some of them were drying out, and showing the seeds within. SEEDPODS! Not flower buds! A-DUH! I felt silly. But only for a minute. I just love collecting seeds.
seedpods1.jpg

So of course, I snipped all of the seedpods off the two bushes and carried them in to extract the precious seed booty!

seedpods2.jpg

Yes. I snipped them all. Why? No reason, I knew I wasn’t going to harvest all of them, but I figured why not. Honestly, I should have waited longer for most of these pods to try out completely, and it would have made getting the seeds a bit easier. But the seeds were done, and I didn’t actually want to get ALL the seeds, just some of them, so I didn’t mind the fact that most of them were still pretty green. Just makes my fingers stickier.

seedpod.dry1.jpg

Basically, I could see the seeds inside each little “straw” that makes up the seedpod.

seedpod.dry2.jpg

All I had to do with the pods that were sufficiently dry, was hold it over my outstretched palm and shake the seeds out.

seeds.palm.dry.jpg
Some of the greener “straws” I just sliced open with my thumbnail and then dumped the seeds out.

seeds.straw.jpg

seeds.straw2.jpg

After about 8 seedpods, I had a little over a teaspoon of seeds.

seeds.tupperware.jpg

I’ve now read a bit about columbine seeds, and they require a moist/cold period to bring them out of dormancy called “stratification.” Not sure what exactly I’ll do with my new seeds for next year, but … now I have some :)

Next project – fancy seed envelopes :)

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