Collecting Seeds

We are getting into late fall so it’s time to collect seeds for next year before they blow away or are ruined by bad weather. This picture is of bolted lettuce that was left to bloom and as you can see it’s loaded with seeds. They are a lot like dandelions where if you blow them the seeds float away. You collect them by carefully pulling them off the stalk and removing the white propeller top that usually helps them float in the air. They are tiny seeds.

I collected spinach seed which also grow on a stem that bolts up from the plant. They don’t have propellers. The seeds dry in litter clusters on the side of the stem Once dry, they are easy to just peel off pop into an envelope.

Bean and pea seeds are easy. You have a bean or pea pod full of beans or peas, they dry, you pop the pod open and pull the dried beans or peas out. It’s as simple as that. 

Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and peppers have seeds inside the fruit. Collect the seeds, rinse them and dry them on a paper towel before storing.

Unfortunately my carrots and beets did not bolt which means I will need to purchase more seeds for next year. I’ll have to do a little more research on how to promote bolting on these root vegetables. I’ve only been successful with radishes. Here is crossing my fingers for next year,

If you want to view how to do a little seed collecting, you can watch a video on the farm’s Youtube channel:

Fall Planting

Spinach Seed StalksThe spring spinach went to seed awhile ago and now the stalks are full of dried seeds. It’s time to collect the seeds and plant a fall crop! It’s very simple. Just run your fingers down the stalk and filter out the dead leaves and branches. I store them in the original seed packet I bought the first set from. Many times I have too many to fit into a packet. You can use zippable plastic bags or old spice bottles. Just make sure they are perfectly dry.Spinach Seeds

Spinach Bed

 

 

 

 

I cleaned out the spinach bed and carefully placed the seeds around the soaker hose. Rather than digging small holes, I topped everything with compost and covered unseeded areas with straw to suppress weeds. That was a week ago and I already have spinach coming up for the fall!