Fall is in full swing here in Branson, Missouri. The frosts have come, the tomato plants have withered, carrots are ready to come up, and the most exciting part for me…everything is going to seed!! To me, it’s like everyone around is having lots and lots of babies! It’s absolutely incredible how many seeds are in one tomato, one pepper, one marigold bud. Total magic! If you have never saved seeds, I highly recommend trying it. Here you will learn bit about what goes into saving them – it’s a cinch, really! And it will save you money $$$.
Last year we had 4 marigold plants in our garden. I don’t even know where they came from. We let them go to seed and they all fell on the ground and just sat until the spring.. and then we had probably 300 plants come up! I spent lots of time thinning them, fertilizing with bone meal, manure, and lots of love and we probably ended up with about 50 full, wonderful plants.
A marigold flower sprouts out of the bud, stays open for a while, then it curls up, works on producing it’s seeds, turns grey/brown, and then starts to droop… pick em before they fall, pick em off the ground, or just let them lay on the ground til Spring and you’ll have tons of little plants in the Spring! I did a little math… cuz I’m a bit of a math nerd. Every flower bud that I counted had between 40 and 60 seeds inside. Most plants had about 100-200 flowers. From 200 plants I could get ONE MILLION seeds! Magic, I’m telling you.
So here’s my method-
- Get to know the plants and what the seeds look like.. by letting it go to seed.
- Pick off the buds, fruits, or whatever contains the seed and
- If it is dry, it’s ready and you can store it in a cool, dry place.
- If it is something wet (tomatoes) then squish it in a jar, let it sit a few days, then rinse the seeds, let them dry, and store in a cool dry place.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Some seeds are super easy and some are harder to germinate.. but the process is usually similar. There are many seed saving resources to look into and much to learn. I’m only a beginner and I have so much fun with it! Next year I’ll be planting homegrown pumpkin, zucchini, marigold, morning glory, gourd, and bean seeds!