Cleome flower with bee

Seed Saving

My yard is always full of my family and friends. As I walk outside I am greeted by Woody Platt’s Sundrops, Grandma’s Tiger Lilies, and Mom’s Cleome. I take care with these special plants. To ensure that they stay with me, I save the seeds to plant next year.

Cleome flower with bee

Cleome Flower and Friend

Cleome seeds in the pod

Cleome seeds in the pod

This is the time of year when the seedpods are brittle and dry. That’s when you want to collect them. The Cleome seeds above are ready to be harvested. I’ll hold a large, clean, dry Tupperware container underneath and brush the seeds into the container.

Columbine Flowers

Columbine Flowers

Columbine seed pods ready to be harvested

Columbine seeds work the same way. Collect them when the pods are dry and brittle and look like the picture above.Seed collecting envelopeweb 003

I store my seeds in a labeled #10 envelope.  Seed Collection Envelope  Here’s a pdf to download to print your own envelopes. It is set up for my printer, which feeds envelopes vertically on the right. I can format it for different printers; just let me know.

garden structures

I finished my main vegetable garden excavation and rebuild (pictures soon) using untreated scrap wood my husband has saved from our many house projects. That kind of got me loving the idea of using up the rest of the scrap wood by making structures for the garden.

Here’s my first little project – a trellis for my Heirloom Cardinal Climbers. homemade wooden trellisI’ve read two biographies of Frank Lloyd Wright lately and am feeling quite architectural. Who knows what else I will come up with?

I got the Cardinal Climber seeds from the great library seed bank we have in my area:  Library Seed Bank  Can’t wait until they get growing!

 

inside

Things are looking greener, even in my attic. I’ve had great success sprouting a dozen or more different kinds of seeds in my makeshift greenhouse setup.  Adequate light is definitely a problem, though. When the first sprouts appeared, I put them on a cookie tray near the window. I used two shoe boxes to prop a light over them, but they are still thin and leggy.Seed sprouts and a lighting setupI used some cork I had to segregate the different seeds from each other – folded up aluminum foil would also work. I’m hoping the sun comes out soon; I think that would do these guys a world of good.

Sprouts Segregated and LabeledHere at my house we have a little habit of sending each other messages through our spice jars. Here’s my wish for all of us. . .Spring message spelled out in spice jars

gardening resolutions

Even though I’ve been gardening for more than 15 years, I still feel like a doodling newbie. THIS year, fresh from an organic heirloom gardening class and armed with heirloom seeds, is the year I take it seriously.seeds, gloves and markers for plantingI’ve already planted a dozen different types of seeds. I have them in cheap-o plastic greenhouses in my attic. My office is in the attic, so I have a heater up there; the greenhouses are next to the heater.greenhouse near heaterThere isn’t much light, so I put a fluorescent light on top. I turn it (and the heater) off at night. light on greenhouse

I’ll let you know how it goes . . .