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Anyone else harvesting seed today?

15 years ago

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....


Comments (37)

  • bakemom_gw
    15 years ago

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

  • lgslgs
    15 years ago

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


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    You two are making me start to panic!!I can't believe it is nearly the end of February and I haven't started sowing yet. We were away for most of January, then I came home to a sick child and spent the first half of the month nursing him back to good health. On Friday I went to Walmart - no seed starter. I remembered seeing some Pro-Mix at Canadian Tire and went there - no seed-starter except some small bags by Miracle-Grow which I never buy, but at least there is no fertilizer in it. Today I brought in my containers from the garage so I should be able to do some sowing tomorrow. Of course I am still doing trades. Wish me luck!!
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    Ooooh I got mine today as well. It was a good day, and there was such an incredible assortment of seeds. Thank you so much to everyone who particpated, I got so many different packets of seeds from so many different people. Some of them were in such beautiful packaging too . . . I am definitely going to have to do better next year :) And thank you so much to Tracy as well, it must have been such a difficult job and you pulled it off wonderfully. I am absolutely going to be participating in this again next year, it was so much fun! Thanks, cziga
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    Oh geesh... I have a whole bunch harvested from last fall. I already have a HUGE pot ghetto, with no bed ready to plant. BUT... I don't think I can help myself! I have to start some of my seeds!! **For sure planting: Toothy Grin x Red Friday (bought) Unvanquished x Lucid Moment Ballerina Beautiful x Blue Hippo Velvet Eyes x Blue Hippo G.W. Painted Pony x Bluegrass Music G.W. Painted Pony x Heaven's Declaring (Seedling)Popping Pink Pizzaz x Blue Hippo Unvanquished x Bluegrass Music South Seas seedling x Magnificent Magpie (gift) Inquire Within Seedling x English Lavender (bought) Caribbean Twilight Time x G.W. Painted Pony Vino Brillante x Lucid Moment Pink Flirt x Emma Tomlinson McHugh Popcorn Pete x Awesome Artist Garden Greeting x Heaven's Declaring Hi Ho Silver x Bluegrass Music Crystal Sea x Topgun Kathy Arthur **I guess I have to plant these, they are sprouting in the bag: West Coast Blues x Clown's Cabaret Velvet Eyes x Mildred Mitchell How Sweet It Is x Create Your Dream Neusa Gergmann x Barn Owl Palladian Pink x Blue Hippo (these are super long rooted already!) Seedling 002 x Heavens Declaring (has leaves sprouting in the bag!) Spacecoast Surprise Purple x Clowns Cabaret Create Your Dream x Heaven's Declaring West Coast Blues x Blue Hippo OH MAN! I am in trouble... where to put all of these??? And that is only perhaps 10% of what I have. Hmm... maybe time to sell seeds! :o)
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    Finishing the harvesting from the Winter/Early Spring garden, what a banner year. Been in the 90's the last few days. Spring garden is well on its ways, as well as the Summer garden. Just learned to try the Rain Gutter Growing system. Got 36 5 gal buckets growing using the (4 88 ft rain gutters hold 9 5 gal buckets. Eric on the Hot Pepper forum was very generous with having a free seeds give away for us Hot Pepper fans. We are about to start harvesting our Garlic, the scapes have been great to enjoy. Always looking for others to like to share seeds ect. Any other Ca foothills growers here? Cheers to all Donald
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  • vera_eastern_wa
    15 years ago

    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:

  • littleonefb
    15 years ago

    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.


  • PVick
    15 years ago

    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:




  • philmont_709n2
    15 years ago

    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

  • etravia
    15 years ago

    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!

  • booberry85
    15 years ago

    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

  • northforker
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    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.

  • gee_oh_nyc
    15 years ago

    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.

  • mnwsgal
    15 years ago

    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.


  • mnwsgal
    15 years ago

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


  • MissMyGardens
    15 years ago

    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.

  • sheltieche
    15 years ago

    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

  • agirlsgirl
    15 years ago

    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

  • purplegirl66
    15 years ago

    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! :)

  • bon_j
    15 years ago

    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....

  • trudi_d
    15 years ago

    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

  • bakemom_gw
    15 years ago

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

  • lisa_neenah
    15 years ago

    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.

  • terrene
    15 years ago

    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

  • northforker
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    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!!


  • littleonefb
    15 years ago

    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


  • kqcrna
    15 years ago

    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.


  • tiffy_z5_6_can
    15 years ago


    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.

  • bluesky_girl
    15 years ago

    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

  • terrene
    15 years ago

    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.

  • mnwsgal
    15 years ago

    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.

  • midwesternerr
    15 years ago

    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.

  • booberry85
    15 years ago

    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

  • terrene
    15 years ago

    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!

  • capitalcitygirl47
    15 years ago

    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.

  • capitalcitygirl47
    15 years ago

    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

  • midwesternerr
    15 years ago

    Today I collected Yellow Ironweed & River Oats

  • littleonefb
    15 years ago

    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


  • greenbug
    15 years ago

    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!

  • northforker
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    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!


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