The Q&A Archives: Collecting Seeds

Question: I have a few types of plants that seed themselves,(flax, California poppies, columbine etc.)In the past I have let them do their thing and they have seeded very well. This year I want to collect as many seeds as posible for another area. I want to know if I can start clipping the seed pods as soon as the flower is finished, or do I have to wait until they go brown?

Answer: You'll need to wait for the seeds to ripen before removing the seed pods from the plants. Watch the pods as they change from green to a tannish brown. As soon as all traces of green are gone you can harvest the seed pods. Be sure to allow the seeds to thoroughly dry before storing them for sowing next spring. If you intend to sow them in prepared beds this year, you'll still need to wait until the pods turn brown, but you can then just harvest the pods and immediately sprinkle the seeds in the new garden bed.

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