Complete Idiot's Guide to Seed Saving and Starting
by Sheri Ann
major benefit of saving seed and starting plants from saved seed rather
than seeds or plants that have been shipped from another location is it
allows you to grow plants that are better adapted to local
This growers' guide starts off with a primer on pollination, gathers
together tips on harvesting and storing seeds, collects advice on
germination, stores details on vegetables and flowering plants, and
sows the inspiration to save and to cultivate.
it really all comes down to is the pleasure of working with seeds -
harvesting them, storing them, sowing them, and nurturing the
tiny seedlings that grow from them," says garden writer Sheri Ann
Richerson, who also authored The Complete
Idiot's Guide to
Organic Gardening Tips.
What's What in the Garden
data is the key...
Plants of the same genus look similar enough
to one another
that you may be able to make a good guess, but seeds vary considerably.
that are not even remotely connected look alike.
labeling plant tags,
always use a pencil or a botanical pen or marker.
Permanent markers tend to
fade over time. Check your tags regularly as you walk through
The seeds of some plants do not germinate readily. Hard seed coats on
flowering sweet peas, lupine and candle bush need scarification in
order to sprout and grow. This means the seed must be nicked, sanded or
scratched to allow the embryo to break through and emerge.
Other seeds won't give up their dormancy until they smell smoke. Plants
like salvia, protea, senna, tea trees and kangaroo paw that have been
removed from their natural environments need a smoke signal to begin
seed primer disks
are an easy way to smoke seeds. These disks dissolve in water. Then you
simply soak the seeds in the smoky water for 24 hours.
"The smoke seed primer disks are made up of an absorbent paper that has
been impregnated with fynbos-smoke-saturated water."
You can also make smoky water with hickory seasoning or liquid smoke
found with spices at most grocers. Mix with water (9 parts water to one
part smoke), soak the seeed
overnight or until they begin to swell, then plant.
|There's no best time to
Each plant is different, so you must abide by the plant's natural
cycles and harvest the seeds only when the plant is ready. The seeds
must reach maturity on the plant - or in the plant, as the case may be
- for them to be viable. Most of the time, this means allowing them to
form and dry on the plant.
Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening
Eating, Power, and the Past
Organic Gardening Tips