Damson Cottage Garden

September week 1… Get seed collecting!

Hello September! It’s time to start collecting seeds from the garden to use in Spring. It will give you the great satisfaction of getting something for free, plus you can do seed swaps with fellow gardeners!

I have been collecting seed from my beans and peas. You need to leave the pea and bean pods on the plant until they turn pale and brown – this can mean leaving the pods on the plant for a few weeks after you would usually harvest the pods to eat. Make sure the seeds are dry by giving them a shake – they should rattle, then bring them inside the house, open up the pods and leave them somewhere dry for a week or two. Store the dry beans and peas in paper bags and store until Spring.

Dry peas for next year

I was appalled by the price and quantity of some tomato seeds I bought in Spring (about £3.50 for 6 tiny seeds). I therefore must collect seed from these expensive fruits to avoid having to shell out again next year!! Luckily peppers and tomatoes are really easy to collect seed from. Just scoop out the seeds, wash off any pulp, lay them on sheets of paper for a few days to dry, then put them in paper bags – properly labelled, of course! These are our banana peppers (bought as a small plant from Cambridge market in the Spring). I definitely want to grow some more next year – they are lovely, sweet, tasty peppers and the plant has produced loads of fruit for its size.

Take seed from banana peppers

We have been collecting heaps of poppy seeds – super easy. Just leave the seed heads on the plant to dry in the garden. When they rattle if you shake them, they are done. Tip the seeds from the seed heads into a bowl and store them in a paper bag, done. Great sprinkled on bread or added to cake batter. If there are any left in Spring scatter them around your boarders for a splash of colour and a further supply of seed.

Gathering poppy seeds

Choose the best plants – the ones that produced the tastiest veggies and had the healthiest foliage to take seed from. Some plants grown from seed may not ‘come true’ and be exactly like their parent plant, but that’s half the fun. Make sure you store the seed somewhere cool and dry. Those little silicone bags which come in electronic boxes are great to put in your seed box to help keep it dry through the winter.

I am experimenting by taking seed from our biggest courgettes/marrows. Have you had any success with this? Let me know! Jane

P.s. Look at our chicks… sooooooo cute, they are growing so fast and are really noisy. There is a constant cheeping noise coming from our bathroom!

Our baby chicks

3 Responses to September week 1… Get seed collecting!

  1. Greenfingers says:

    Beautiful seeds – you are right – its a miracle every time one germinates

  2. Sally says:

    You are right. It makes me look at seeds in a different way – tiny DNA filled miracles!

    • admin says:

      They are amazing, Jane

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