|Drying seed heads ready for cleaning.|
|Columbine Seed Heads|
|The translucent beauty of a dried columbine seed head. |
HARVESTING: Seed heads will tell you when they are ready to be harvested, by their arid appearance and papery feel. The flower heads will desicate into either pods or seed heads that are brittle and may 'rattle' when gently shaken. Collect the seed when the casing pops open to the touch...if you wait too long, most of the seed will self-sow naturally in place by falling to the ground. If you want to scatter in other locations or share with friends, make sure to harvest before this happens.
|See the dark seeds nestled inside the chaff?|
DRYING: In our hot OKC summers, the 'drying' is not generally a problem, and the seed heads can go straight from stem to a snack zip lock or seed packet. But prevent problems by not cutting when seed heads are wet. (Also, don't harvest prematurely -- the seeds inside will be green) . Snip off the pods and scatter in a single layer on a tray with enough room for air circulation if they need further drying. (Out of sunlight, in around 70-95 degrees).
Foxglove seeds are extremely fine and abundant...
|as are poppy seeds.|
CLEANING: I like to clean my seed over large metal trays using kitchen strainers of various size mesh. I simply crush the pods or heads over the sieve, then 'macerate' and slough off the paper skins against the mesh. A little shaking and the dry seed falls in to the square metal trays, the corners of which enable easy pouring into my containers of choice before packaging.
|Poppy seed heads come with their own built in seed shaker.|
STORING AND SHARING: Almost any receptacle that will stay dry and store easily will suffice. Large quantities put small glass jars to good use (I also save small silica packets to ensure that seeds stay dry for this purpose). Plastic zip lock snack bags, empty film canisters (OKAY, I am dating myself...), you know. But my packaging preference leans toward actual seed packets from Amazon (here) that can be purchased inexpensively, blank and in bulk for you own customization.
Rubber stamps, stickers, cards, dried petals, original artwork....Limited only by your imaginations! A fun summer project for kiddies ( I pinned this on my board 'When I Have Grandkids!' FOLLOW ME ON INTEREST HERE.
A wonderful way to celebrate the season and the cycles of life...sure to fascinate child and adult gardeners alike.
Labels: Amazon, columbine seed, foxglove seed, kid friendly gardening; my favorite self seeders;, poppy seed, Saving and sharing seed; Saving and sharing seed on 4 YOUR GARDEN, seed packets, stamps, stickers