Holiday Gifts from the Garden – Heirloom Seeds
Start your holiday gift shopping early with a trip to the garden. Collect seeds from your favorite heirloom annual flowers and vegetables to share with friends and family.
Some flowers like cosmos, zinnias and marigolds form seedheads. When these turn brown and are easily shattered the seeds are mature and ready to harvest.
Sweet peas, nicotiana, and cleome form seedpods. When these turn from green to brown and begin to split open the seeds are ripe and ready for collecting.
Collect seeds on a dry day. Spread on a screen in a well-ventilated location to finish the drying process. For smaller and lightweight seeds, place the pods and seedheads in a paper bag to catch the small seeds as they fall out.
Place dried seeds in a small envelope and label with the name of the plant, flower color and size as well as the date the seeds were collected.
A bit more information: Save seeds from open pollinated plants that will produce offspring that look like the parents. Do not save seeds from patented plants. Companies spend lots of money to develop new varieties for our gardens. Distributing seeds and cuttings from these is illegal, but also impacts future plant introductions.