Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Fall Seed Collecting (for winter sharing!)

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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Oct 17, 2016 9:04 AM CST
If you're new to seed collecting, check out my article that was just republished on DG for some non-technical tips: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1749/

What seeds are you collecting this year? My attempts have been pretty haphazard, but I've got a few things drying on paper plates... variegated yellow oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides), burgundy Gaillardia, tomato seeds from a huge oblong paste tomato from Theresa's garden (not sure of the name, but it's not a hybrid).

"Hot & Spicy" basil seeds aren't quite mature, despite being allowed to bloom right away this summer... I might have to cover them or bring them inside when frost is predicted.

I grabbed some Celosia (both wheatstraw and cockscomb, in an array of colors) when we visited catoctin orchard a week ago... umm, I think those seeds are still in a pocket, wonder where? LOL

Are you collecting a lot of things this year or just a few? From your own garden or snatched from somewhere else?

Thumb of 2016-10-17/critterologist/158fc2

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Oct 17, 2016 4:39 PM CST

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It's definitely a good time of year to think about seeds, Critter! Thumbs up
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Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
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krobra
Oct 17, 2016 5:17 PM CST
I am always collecting seeds. I can't risk losing any of my babies/plants, if I can help it. Hilarious!
I think first this year was narrow leaf blue eyed grass before summer really even started
indian pink seeds , spotted touch me nots and alpine catchfly in late july ,
salvia slendens , orange milkweed , standing cypress and couple zinnia zahara double fire in august ,
cardinal climber , cuphea llavea is the stingiest , latest producers and poorest germinaters but I love them as do the hummingbirds
and actually had several cuphea self seed this year Hurray! ,
3 different hollyhocks , lantana cuttings ... I am sure there are more but those are the ones I can remember collecting this year

I let some fall and even sprinkled a few around while cleaning up

not sure if I am up to winter sharing just yet though - just noticed that in the title
[Last edited by krobra - Oct 17, 2016 5:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
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critterologist
Oct 17, 2016 8:58 PM CST
Last Saturday in January falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year (already a busy day on Chef Lin's calendar), so I think we're looking at the first Saturday in February (Feb. 4) for our annual seed swap, assuming we want to gather as usual at Chef Lin Buffet in Frederick. :-)

It only takes a few extra seeds to share...
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Chantell
Middle of Virginia (Zone 7a)

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Chantell
Oct 17, 2016 9:48 PM CST
Bagged my white Datura...that's about as far as I've got Whistling
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Oct 18, 2016 5:35 AM CST
I could save some blue Lobelia. I've been bagging those stems because I want to move the plant and not have a bunch of babies take the place (need that spot for Chelone to grow). I took the bagged stems to the woods where we walk, trying to reintroduce what might be natural in the woods here.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
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gitagal
Oct 18, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Sally--
My Gret Blue Lobelia's stems re mostly dries up. I cut the ded stems off at about half-way down.
Now--you know i am a pretty good seed-collector---BUT---I have yet to find
WHERE on the GBL's stems there is any seed??? I have rubbed the dried up stems in my hands but there is NOTHING.
I assume the seeds must be as tiny as dust--so I have not noticed any.

BTW--Coleup--if you are reading this---now that the stems are cut back and there is no more new anything growing (except a healthy round circle
of new growth at the base)--I would love to dig up and give you one of the clumps. I can now see where what is . You wanted some--right?

Is there any time between now and the Seed swap that you could take one clump? I think waiting until the Swap would be too long to dig up a
root -clump.
If YOU (Judy) can arrange to be at Sally's any time in the near future--
or better yet--at my house) I will gladly dig it up.
OR---OR---I can still dig it up and pot it in a BIG pot for he winter.
This may be the best idea.
I will keep the other clump which is morein an area I can tolerate the
Weed be-me- look.
Please LMK. I will do the best I can to suit your schedule.
We could meet half-way from somewhere--TO somewhere....
I DO want it out of my bed. CIAO--Gita
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Oct 18, 2016 8:22 PM CST
Dig it while the ground is cooperative and pot it up... if it's not frozen tight to the ground on Feb. 4, you can hand if off at the seed swap... otherwise you can chop it into sections (or not) and bring to the spring swap!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Oct 19, 2016 5:09 PM CST
Gita, here are photos of Great Blue Lobelia stalks. The seeds are enclosed in tiny (3/8"?) balls on the stalks (see top left of photo # 1) and are dust-like in size (see the specks in photo #2).

Thumb of 2016-10-19/Muddy1/d0f4da
Thumb of 2016-10-19/Muddy1/c18617

Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Oct 19, 2016 7:13 PM CST
Thanks, Muddy---....Just like a Foxglove....??

I cut the tops off of mine. They were just too bushy and unkempt..

I could easily now dig up one clump. Is Judy still here? She wanted one..

G.
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Oct 19, 2016 9:37 PM CST
They do look a bit like Foxglove seed pods.
I'll have plenty of Blue Lobelia seeds for Judy and others in case you want to keep your plant...they bloom the same year the seeds are sowed, in my experience.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Oct 20, 2016 7:05 AM CST
I'm getting better at identifying some of the really little seeds, because they feel gritty rather than papery like most chaff, and they look uniform. But others -- like sedum -- I just can't figure out how to separate the seed, can't even be sure there IS seed, so I just dry it well and package chaff and all. Crumble & sprinkle, and you should get something... I hope!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Oct 20, 2016 8:14 PM CST
I'm surprised at how many tiny insects live in and around seed heads. I'm trying to make sure all of the little critters have a chance to flee before I take the seeds inside the house.

Sally, I've been taking excess native plant seeds to the woods, too....I tossed lots of New England Aster seed heads by the creek today. I know they won't produce anything but deer browse, but it feels better than putting them in the compost pile.
Name: Donner
Damascus, MD (Zone 7a)
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Donnerville
Oct 20, 2016 8:58 PM CST

I am collecting Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' seeds. This plant is great for butterfly gardens. New plants from seeds bloom in the first year.

I am also saving seeds from the cute little eggplant 'Easter Egg'.

Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Oct 21, 2016 7:22 AM CST
Besides the usual stuff--I have been collecting seeds from my neighbor, Olga's
beautiful, orange flower she has in her big pot. I forget the name...Fire...something...
The seeds are just like a sheath of grain would produce--like oats, maybe.
The tips of the seed capsules can pierce your skin.. VERY sharp...

I have NO idea if this plant will sprout from seed indoors???
Help me with the name???

Thumb of 2016-10-21/gitagal/5098bf
Thumb of 2016-10-21/gitagal/55d47f

Name: Donner
Damascus, MD (Zone 7a)
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Donnerville
Oct 21, 2016 10:48 AM CST

Very cheerful flowers, Gita. I did a quick search and found CROSSANDRA infundibuliformis 'Orange Marmalade'. Your plant might be the same or of a different variety.

Name: Donner
Damascus, MD (Zone 7a)
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Donnerville
Oct 21, 2016 11:01 AM CST

Does anyone know if the basil seeds will still have time to mature? Temperatures will drop after today (no frost yet), but the seed heads still look pretty green at the moment. Wish I had thought of collecting seeds before pinching the basil back repeatedly through the summer. Sad

Thumb of 2016-10-21/Donnerville/e3fcd8

Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Oct 21, 2016 6:13 PM CST
Donner-
Did your Basil bloom? If you allowed it to bloom--it will make seed.

I just grew Thai Basil this year. Thy have such pretty purple blooms...
Right now--because of the warm weather--there is a lot of foliage growing on the basil. I will pick most of the leaves off--and let them dry.
I almost never, use basil in cooking....I just like the way it smells...
The Thai basil also has pretty blooms.
This is the basil I have the most seeds from. Don't ask me why I even grow it!!! I don't even make Pesto. Aina does--so I will grow more of it for her.
Gita
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Oct 21, 2016 7:05 PM CST
As long as it doesn't freeze, the seeds will continue to mature, but more slowly once it cools down. I let most of my "Hot & Spicy" basil bloom as soon as it wanted to this summer -- and the seeds are STILL green on it! If necessary, I'll pull up plants and stuff them into a pot... they can hang out by a window until they mature.

I've even cut basil stems with nearly-mature seeds (a few pods with black seeds on the bottom of the stem, so I knew the others were close) and put them in a vase with water... I did get mature seeds that way, but probably 25% weren't good. I just marked the packets "sow thickly," and the seeds germinated well enough to product some plants, anyway.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Donner
Damascus, MD (Zone 7a)
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Donnerville
Oct 21, 2016 7:50 PM CST

Gita, I kept pinching the leaves and didn't allow the basil to bloom till early September. A bit late.

Jill, thanks. I will watch the weather closely. The basil pot has been moved to the south side of the house, right against the wall near the range exhaust vent. That's the warmest spot I could find for the plants. Blinking

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