Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guest Post: Seed Collecting

Thanks to Maureen for writing a guest blog for me this week. She was out in her garden yesterday, showing me all the seeds she has been collecting and I asked if she would share her knowledge to my readers! Thanks Maureen.

Hollyhock seeds are shown after cleaning
Harvesting and Collecting Seeds

It’s that all-important time of year to harvest what nature so graciously and abundantly left behind—a plethora of seeds for next year’s garden.
As each hollyhock blossom wilts and dies, in its place grows a delightful flat, green pod.  As the pod browns and begins to open, it’s time to harvest the seeds.  Inside the pod is a disc of 40-50 ripened seeds.  Pull the pod from the stalk and sort the chaff from the seeds.*

Cosmos seeds on left and nasturtiums on right
Cosmos’ spent flowers leave behind long, spindly seeds gathered into a cone.   As the cone dries and opens, pluck the seed bunch from the stalk and separate the seeds.
Nasturtium seeds grow 2 to 3 in a paired or triangular bundle.  When they are plump, green and ready to fall off, pluck them from the vine and allow them to dry and wrinkle up before storing.
Viola seed pods are tiny and easy to miss.  A small, brown cone forms from the spent viola flower.  As the cone opens in a triangular fashion, an abundance of tiny seeds are grouped within.  Pull the cone off and collect the seeds.
Store all seeds in a cool, dark place.
*Place seeds inside a folded piece of heavy paper and gently blow on them.  This often separates the lighter chaff from the heavier seeds.

Maureen Lyttle

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gardening Put to Bed at Calgary Herald

For those of you following the changes within my Herald Column this year I wanted to "conclude" with the final cartoon.

Last friday was the final gardening article for 2012 and this is the final cartoon that went with it.

Thanks so much to Feedlot Studios and especially Mariko McCrae for illustrating my columns this summer. The cartoons were a trial to see if they would grab a different audience and or stimulate any new ideas. We are not sure if we will do it again but it was a lot of fun. If you have any ideas for the gardening column at the Calgary Herald don't be afraid to share!

Check out the Calgary Herald archives for all my columns, past and present.