All Things Seed
It’s that time of year again, plants are slowly going to sleep for the winter, frosts are finishing off the tender plants and the weather is quite frankly getting yucky.
I’ve been trying to catch a few hours work faffing here and there in the garden recently but, with the clocks changing it now means its getting dark before I get home from work now, the opportunity for any ‘quality gardening time’ is now confined to the weekends, (when it’s not raining that is).
Last year I joined the Hardy Plant Society originally for access to the members seed list, (I’m a seed addict I admit), but I have also found the Journals to be an excellent source of planty info, but as yet I’ve not been able to make to it my local groups evening talks, as they all appear to be held mid-week.
Recently I managed to collect some seeds to send to the members seed list for the HPS from some of my plants before they have gone over due to the impending winter months, I collected a small selection, which consists of Aquilegia’s, Cosmos polidor, Bupleurum rotundifolium, Dahlia merckii, Eccremocarpus scaber, Papaver ‘Cherry Glow’, Salvia Patens, Scabiosa Blue Jeans, Scabiosa columbaria, Scabiosa graminifolia, Scabiosa perfecta blue and a few several others.
Seed cleaning is a fiddly activity at the best of times, but my Cat was very insistent at trying to help me this time. With puss cat safely shoved outside for the duration, I cleaned about 22 paper bags of seed and packaged them up in little packets which were clearly and correctly labeled as required by the HPS.
Lots of little packets all ready to be packaged up to be sent into the HPS members seed list.
I’m now looking forward to the next Journal due out in late November with the complete seed list available for members, I shall enjoy making my selections.
I’ve also had a go at saving my own tomato seeds this year, it’s a little more complicated than the run of the mill seed collecting as tomato seeds are covered in a bit of jelly which acts as a germination suppressant if not cleaned off.
I discovered with a little bit investigation that the best way to clean and prepare the tomato seeds were as follows…
Save some of your tomato fruits for seed saving, and scrape the goo with seeds into an old jam jar with a little added water, and seal the lid. Leave for a few days to go mouldy/ferment.
Tomato seeds fermenting.
The red jar on the left is a variety call Blaby, and the jar on the right is a variety called orange banana. (hence looking a bit orange).
After about a week, and with a healthy crop of mould on the surface of the liquid, its time to pour to smelly soup through a sieve and give it a thorough rinse with clean water.
Give the seeds a good rub in the sieve to remove all the goo, then turn the seeds out onto some absorbent paper to thoroughly dry, now a word of advice, don’t use kitchen towel as when you come to remove the dry seeds, you will also include quite a bit of paper stuck to the seeds, I used a paper towel which did not break up when removing the dry seeds for packaging up.
Make sure you have labeled your drying seeds with the variety, and only package up the seeds when they are thoroughly dry.
Now you have clean seeds ready for sowing next year.