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Monday, August 20, 2007

Dear Seed Saving Experts, HELP!

This is my Coreopsis - is that a seed pod in this picture? There are lots of these on the plant but I have no clue what I'm looking at here.
Here is the big Rudbeckia - I'm pretty darn sure that this is where the seeds are on this one so I'll be looking on the internet to try to find out how to harvest the seeds. If you know, please share!Here's the purple Coneflower. This looks odd to me, more like it's just dead. How do I know if there are seeds here?
Speaking of seeds, below is my attempt to protect my freshly planted lettuce seeds. Within 1 hour of planting them it started raining, and raining, and raining. At some point I looked out the back door and there was water standing in the planter boxes, so I drug this freebie umbrella out of the basement. I have no clue if flooding them will keep them from germinating but I'll be watching them closely over the next few days. Go Bulls!


  1. Sorry, Gina, can't help you locate seeds, I'm trying to figure out when the sunflower heads nod over and petals shrivel will seeds be far behind? But the umbrella cracked me up. I found lettuce to be pretty easy going when I grew it in the spring and we certainly got more than our fair share of rain in May.

  2. I've never planted lettuce before but I put some in my window boxes two days before you did yours and its already sprouted. Seems quite easy. The umbrella is cute! A good gardener improvises with what she has.... way to go.

  3. Yes, the spent flower of the coreopsis is a seed pod in disguise. You can pluck it off and rip it apart to see immature seeds. Once the heads are mostly dried up and feel brittle, the seeds are ready.

    (PS - Coreopsis are major reseeders, so if you don't deadhead regularly, it spreads quickly! Which is great if you want to fill an area. And you'll get a new flush of blooms if you do deadhead regularly.

    Wow your coneflowers are dry! The prickly things on top are the seeds. If you take your (gloved) thumb and run it across the top with some weight on the seeds, they will pop right out.

    Good luck!

  4. It's a little early for gathering seeds. There may be some ready but wait for everything to dry out because if you harvest when they are damp, they will rot. Katie gave you good advice and I'll add that when you are collecting them put them in a paper bag and run you fingers over them. That way none of the precious seeds will be lost. Make a trip to the library and get one or two books that will help you identify a ripe seed head. Once you start doing it, you'll find it's really easy.

    I don't think the rain will do too much harm to the lettuce seeds. Just make sure they get lots of sun once they start to sprout. Lettuce is a lot like grass seed - pretty much fool proof!

  5. Heather - thanks for stopping by. The lettuce is actually already sprouting so i think it'll be fine.

    wrenna - mine is sprouting too!

    katie - thanks for the info!

    alyssa - thanks for the info!

  6. Hey Gina,
    From my experience, I never harvest the seeds to the coneflowers because they seem to need no help from me. they germinate everywhere! The only person I knew who wanted the seeds was someone making a wildflower garden, so she scattered the seeds to come up randomly.

  7. If you want your coreopsis to continue to bloom for the rest of the summer, you should deadhead them to encourage new growth. The seeds will form inside that pod, but will only be ready when it is dry and turns a brownish colour. I have some info on my Sow Then Grow blog.