How to Collect Seeds from Flowers

I packed a bunch of envelopes and a pen and was able to collect a lot of seed. It is a great time of year to collect seeds.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

Autumn is in full gear, and the colours are outstanding. I love this time of year. Preparing for winter gives us all time to think about what we would like to do as the world slows down for a season. 

A Pollinator Garden Established by Our Horticultural Society

On Saturday, I maneuvered my walker over to Lee Boltwood Park on Abbot Street in Stittsville, Ontario.  As you probably know, most horticultural societies have a project that they work on that involves growing and giving back to the community. The Park has been the project of the Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society for a few years now. Establishing a self-sufficient pollinator garden was our goal, and it is slowly starting to take shape. What I find the most amazing about this space is that there is no access to water. This garden lives with what nature gives it, and it is a real example of how native plants really work. I wasn’t much help with weeding on Saturday, but I did manage to collect a lot of native seeds. 

Joining a horticultural society means you get access to interesting speakers and activities. As with most societies, SGHS has both experienced and novice gardeners, which is a great mix. Volunteers are the backbone of a society and are very much appreciated.

Here is Arlene, one of the hard-working volunteers at the SGHS, along with a stunning New England aster.

Arlene continues to guide the garden. She has a great deal of knowledge about native plants along with a great understanding of compost. We are considering adding worm compost to our plantings this spring.

How to Collect Seeds

When I realized that I would not be able to help with weeding, I packed a bunch of envelopes and a pen and was able to collect a lot of seed. It is a great time of year to collect seeds, although most of the asters in the park were not ready to go to seed as of yet. 

I collected many of these Agastache seeds, and the rest were left scattered in the areas where we were hoping they would grow next year.

What do you need to collect seed?

  1. Some knowledge of the plant is required. Is this a plant that needs a period of cold before it is started? If that is the case, leave the envelope of seeds in the fridge for about 6 weeks before planting.
  2. Is this a hybrid? Often the annuals we buy are hybrids, and if we collect the seeds, the seed is either sterile or will revert back to one of the original parents.
  3. Is this a native plant? These seeds are generally very easy to collect. When I collected the Agastache and Rudbeckia, I held the envelope under the seeds and allowed them to fall in. 
  4. Use paper. Plastic tends to allow mold and mildew to creep in. I usually use old envelopes. 
  5. LABEL!! Do not be like me and figure, ‘Oh, I will remember what this is’ because after a few months you will forget. 
  6. And lastly, share your seeds. I collected lots of seeds, so I have some for myself, some to share with Arlene to replenish the park, and some to package up for our Seedy Saturday on the second Saturday of March.
Rudbeckia flower and seeds ready for collecting
 Rudbeckia. I held the envelope under the seed heads and flicked the seeds into the envelope.

Slow and steady continues to be my mantra, and of course, we must make sure to water the plants. You can continue to deadhead your dahlias and annuals to push for a bit more bloom. Enjoy your week. Judith 

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