‘Ideal’ plants to save seeds from right now – best methods to use

Gardeners' World: Monty Don explains how to store tomato seeds

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Saving seeds from existing plants growing in your garden is not only cheaper than buying them but often means they are much fresher and stronger than those found in packets. Collecting seeds can be done all year round in the UK, though autumn is a particularly “good time” to do it, according to the gardening experts at Growing Family. As well as being much easier than you may think, taking the time to gather seeds now is also very beneficial if you’re looking to expand your outdoor plant collection on a budget.

The experts at Growing Family said: “Like dividing existing plants, saving seeds is a great way to get lots of new plants for free.”

Now is a great time to consider collecting seeds from flowering plants in you garden including cosmos, zinnia, sunflowers and astrantia.

According to Growing Family, other popular blooms including larkspur, marigolds and poppies are also in their prime for setting seeds, though you should adapt your method to suit each plant.

How to save plant seeds

Sunflower seeds are large and easy to spot in the centre of the flower, while other types are harder to find.

Some plants, including poppies, cosmos, zinnias and aquilegia form composite seed heads – each of which should be rubbed together to release the seeds.

The Growing Family experts said: “To harvest these, snip off the whole head and shake or rub the seeds out into the bag.”

Plants that make seed pods, such as sweet peas, need to be harvested when the pods are dried, but before they split.

The easiest way to do this is to cut off the whole pod, put it in the bag, and give it a shake to release the seeds.

Seeds which form inside berries should be removed either by peeling away the flesh, or for waxy berries, by sowing the entire berry to grow a new plant.

Astrantia seeds are slightly different and are harder to collect.

This is because the seeds will begin to fall onto the outer petals of each flower when ready, so it is important to catch them quickly.

Four ‘effective’ tips to deter spiders from your home ‘permanently’  [EXPERT]
Johnathan Ross’ quiet life at his quirky Hampstead home [INSIGHT]
Four effective tips to deter flies in homes – ‘best repellent of all’ [TIPS]

When is the best time to collect seeds?

The experts at Growing Family said: “You need to collect seeds when they are just about to disperse, as this means they are ripe and therefore more likely to germinate.”

“This is really a case of keeping an eye on the plants you’d like to take seeds from, and moving in when it looks like the seeds are about to scatter.”

While timing is crucial to successfully growing new plants from seeds, the weather can also play a part in their quality of them.

It is best to collect seeds when the weather is dry as seeds will struggle to grow if in contact with moisture before being sown.

For “flyaway” seeds such as Astrantia, avoid windy weather to reduce the risk of losing precious seeds.

Use the right tools

Saving seeds is one of the simplest gardening tasks and requires little in the way of tools.

However, there are some essential pieces of equipment needed to protect the seeds.

The gardening experts recommended using secateurs for snipping off seed heads, and of course, some envelopes to store them in.

Paper bags also work though plastic should be avoided as it can harbour moisture.

Growing Family explained that this is “the enemy” of seeds you’re trying to save for next year.

Always label your collections to avoid confusion when it comes to planting.

Source: Read Full Article