Gardentalk – How to collect your own flower and vegetable seeds

By August 24, 2018 Gardentalk, Juneau

Kale, columbine and mustard seed pods selected from the KTOO Agricultural Test Station and Garden of Science! by Ed Buyarski. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Many vegetables and flowers are now releasing their seeds as part of their usual propagation cycle.

In this week’s edition of Gardentalk that airs every Thursday morning on KTOO, Master Gardener Ed Buyarski describes how to create your own seed bank or collecting seeds for your own use.

“Collection time essentially is now,” Buyarski said, noting that some varieties can be collected as late as early fall. “I can collect some as late as October (and) November, like wild iris because the pods hold the seeds very well and they don’t shed out that quickly.”

Using columbine as an example, Buyarski explained that the stems to the seed pod may turn brown before the pod top opens, revealing the seeds inside.

Gardeners also can collect primrose and lupin seeds in a similar fashion.

For gardeners who want more control of the seed release timing, Buyarski recommends bringing the stem indoors and placing it in a vase with water.

As for vegetables, Buyarski said many are biannual and will only flower and go to seed in the second year if they survive the winter.

Buyarski usually plants kale in the late summer so they will drop the seed during the following summer. He also leaves a few spinach plants to ripen and turn brown before he collects the seeds.

Listen to the Aug. 24 edition of Gardentalk about seed collecting:

The Food Festival is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the JACC in downtown Juneau.  There will be fresh produce, garlic, and jams and jellies for sale. Workshops also will be held on a variety of gardening and preservation topics.

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