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How to collect and save seeds

Overview

Saving seed from your garden plants is easy to do and will provide you with plenty to sow next season. Leave a few seedheads on your plants after they've finished flowering, removing the rest to conserve the plant's energy. Alternatively the seedheads may be highly ornamental and can be left on the plants for their display, but checking them regularly to collect some of the seed once it's dry.

How to do it

Removing flower spike from plant

1Wait for seeds to ripen fully on the plant before cutting off the flower spike. Remove in several pieces if it's as large as this.


Bagging flower spike

2Have a paper bag to hand for transporting the flower spike as seeds will quickly fall and be lost if you carry them far.


Knocking seeds from seedheads

3Gently tip the bag out onto a sheet of paper, making sure you remove all the seeds. Pick out any bugs or pieces of debris.


Saving seed in envelope

4Funnel the seeds into paper envelopes, not plastic bags. Write full details of the plant on the envelope, including the date.


Adam's tip

Put envelopes of seed into a sealed sandwich box along with a few sachets of dried silica gel, then pop it in the bottom of the fridge to keep cool until you're ready to sow them.


Discuss this project

Talkback: How to collect and save seeds
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J.E.S 24/11/2011 at 15:28

can I grow an acer from the seeds ?

leonie 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I'm growing an acer from seed - it had started growing by itself near the parent plant, so I potted it up. It's about 3 years old now, and I carefully repotted it this year - lots of new growth since then. I'm really proud of it!

georgie 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I have found that this works very well with hollyhocks, the seeds are large and easy to handle

watsure1 24/11/2011 at 15:29

can i take the seeds out of a pepper and grow them

mariarossi 02/02/2012 at 20:50

I have been given some hollyhock seeds could you advise me when to plant them?
Maria
Galway
Ireland

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