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How to Save Flower Seeds

It’s time to save seeds for next year’s flower garden. 

Datura or Devils Trumpet flower and seed pod from garden at Big Mill B and B. Learn more about saving seeds for next year on chloesblog.com | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/how-to-save-flower-seedsThese datura or Devil’s Trumpet seed pods will dry out and turn brown. That is the time to harvest them. Georgia O’Keefe liked Devil’s Trumpet or Jimson weed as it is often called.

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To everything there is a season. It’s late September and, like clockwork, the flowers in the Big Mill garden are going to seed and then they will die. I will save the seeds, plant them next spring and these same flowers will live again.

There is a real science to this seed-saving and though I actually understand it, I prefer taking the easy route — I save the same seeds my mother saved – seeds from heirloom or old varieties of annual flowers (flowers that must be planted every year).

Many flowers are self-sowing annuals so they will “sow themselves.” I save these seeds anyway so that I can start them earlier or share with friends. What I marvel at is how these seem to have a mind of their own — they want to re-seed where they want to grow, not always where I want them.

Seeds are ready to be harvested when they have dried on the plant. I gather them in the afternoon and spread them on a tray to further dry, keeping them separated. Then I store the seeds in paper envelopes with labels, put the envelopes into a glass jar or zip lock bag and keep this in a dry, cool and dark place till next spring.

Here’s my list of seeds to save:  cleome, zinnia, evening primrose, datura (Devil’s trumpet), helianthus (everlasting sunflower), bee balm, nasturtium, sweet pea and moon flower. And come next spring I will be glad I saved them – just a few seeds can cost $2.

This lovely zinnia flower and its seed pod will be saved for next year's planting in Big Mill B and B garden. Learn more about saving seeds for next year on chloesblog.com | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/how-to-save-flower-seedsThe zinnia flower head will get dry and turn brown. That’s the time to collect the seeds.

To everything, there is a season -- This Cleome flower and seed pod are living proof from Big Mill B&B garden in eastern NC Saving seeds from Cleome flowers at Big Mill Learn more about how to save seeds for next year on chloesblog.com | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/how-to-save-flower-seedsThese Cleome flower seeds are ready to be harvested.

It's fun to compare flowers in their before and after states. These Bee Balm flowers and their seed pods are ready for harvest. Read more about how to save seeds for next year's planting on chloesblog.com | To everything, there is a season -- This Cleome flower and seed pod are living proof from Big Mill B&B garden in eastern NC Saving seeds from Cleome flowers at Big Mill Learn more about how to save seeds for next year on chloesblog.com | www.chloesblog.bigmill.com/how-to-save-flower-seedsThese Bee Balm seeds are ready for harvest.

It just seems right to harvest these seeds. My folks saved many our vegetable seeds and even sprouts for next year’s Hayman sweet potatoes.  Many of these seeds couldn’t be bought.

So what seeds do you save from your garden from year to year? I’d love to know.

Big Mill Bed and Breakfast   252-792-8787

Author: Chloe Tuttle

I am a farm girl who sailed the world, returned home to the family farm and opened Big Mill Bed and Breakfast. Join us for a quiet getaway 252-792-8787.

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