Adventures in seed saving
Wednesday, 24 Feb 10 -6°C / 21°F
We had to get our roof replaced in the fall. Hours before the roofers got here (and utterly destroyed any remnants of my front yard garden) Michael and I hurriedly gathered up all the nasturtium seeds we could find, harvested the rest of the catnip, and cut all the dried up flower heads off my White Swan Coneflowers.
I put all the flower heads into a brown paper bag, shoved the bag into my kitchen cabinet, and promptly forgot all about it. Until today!
The last time I saved flower seeds (not counting nasturtiums) was with my mom. I was probably around 6 years old at the time. I remember sitting around the dining room table, sorting through piles and piles of dried marigold flower heads. Such tedious work! But my mom always had the nicest marigolds… :)
I had to look up what echinacea seeds looked like. Luckily, I found this description: “The seeds look like off white space shuttles.” Space shuttles? Really!? Michael laughed when I told him. He asked, “So how did people describe them 40 years ago??” :)
But it’s an apt description, ‘cause the little buggers really do look like beige space shuttles. Separating them from the flower heads was a different thing entirely. Those things are sharp — ouch! I managed to separate seeds and chaff from about 20 or 30 blooms without any serious injury. I’ve read that you can soak them to make the process easier, but I didn’t bother.
So I ended up with a baggie full of seeds and chaff. I’m estimating about 70% of this is chaff — I just don’t have the patience to separate everything. If I do any swaps, I’ll separate as many seeds as I need…