Thursday, September 6, 2012

Seed Saving Time


Well the temperatures are starting to lower and the leaves are falling. What leaves didn't fall during the drought and are left on the trees. The apples are ripening and the pumpkins are turning so it must indeed be the start of fall. Seed saving time here in Hickery Holler.

This is the time of year that I gather seeds. Some are used as seeds for next year and some are used as flavoring themselves such as this dill that I have sown every month to always have plenty for pickling and salads.  I dry some of the leaves for dill weed to use during the year while still green. The green heads are used in pickling and the seeds are as well.  Dill can be expensive to buy and can be grown easily. I can remember when my kids used to love to pick the caterpillars off that feed on dill and play with them. 

I am still getting a few fields peas here and there and continue to dry them for both winter eating and planting as cover crops and green manures next year. 

Some things I do not harvest but rather leave for the birds such as these asparagus seeds. With two prospering patches of asparagus the birds feast on these and seem to self sow asparagus everywhere. We usually dig the smaller volunteers and pass them on to neighbors to start asparagus beds themselves. We have to laugh when people visit the farm and delight over our asparagus beds proclaiming that they are unable to grow asparagus. We seem to be unable to get rid of it and are always digging that stray clump out of a flower bed or under a tree or shrub.  

The little yellow finches have also found the purple cone flower seeds. They are very similar to thistle seeds and the finches love them. I deliberately do not dead head the purple cone flowers so that the finches can enjoy them. They are native to the Midwest and grow well here. My only complaint is that they do make a mess when the birds scatter the seeds. These cone flowers I started from seed over a decade ago. They have spread everywhere but are easy to dig and I simply let them go where they will digging the small volunteers that sprout in the spring.  

I have zinnias at several different spots on the farm. I have marked several of these red ones for saving. I don't have much red on the farm and boy do I love this color. So along with the usual vegetable seeds and cover crop seeds that I save I think I will save a bunch of these red zinnia seeds. Wouldn't it be pretty to have a whole row of these in the garden and maybe some yellow cosmos or sunflowers : ) See I'm already planning next years garden!

What seed are you saving this year? 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Saving seed is rather new to me; I am working toward saving from every plant. This year, okra, bean, and marigold were saved.

  2. We have harvested all our tomato,eggplant, pepper, cucumber, and okra seeds. Yesterday we harvested yard long noodle beans. They are wonderful in stir fry w/ our boy choi.

  3. I have harvested seeds from sweet peppers, all the various tomatoes, eggplant. I even tried lettuce, so tiny, I'm not sure I got any though. Right now I am harvesting basil ... tedious.

  4. Great job, the only seeds I have saved has been mustard and okra. I have some dried peas this time and Will be excited to see if they come up next year.. love those red zinnias.:)

  5. The dill seeds looks like they did great this year!


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