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30Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 Annuals are plants that grow for oneseason only, so, unless you collectseeds...
Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 31Tips for successFollow these hints for good seed collecting: •Let only the s...
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Collect Your Own Seeds ~ WaterWise New Zealand

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Collect Your Own Seeds ~ WaterWise New Zealand

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Collect Your Own Seeds ~ WaterWise New Zealand

  1. 1. 30Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 Annuals are plants that grow for oneseason only, so, unless you collectseeds from them, you will have to buymore next season. Rather collect yourown seeds from your annuals before youdig up the old plants. Store them carefullyand next year you will have a readysupply for re-sowing. Collecting seedsfrom a friend's garden is another way ofextending your plant stores. For a beginner, the easiest seeds tocollect are from plants such as aster, calendula, cleome, cornflower, cosmos, Euphorbiapalustris, marigold, Shirleypoppy, sweet peas and zinnia. Vegetables that are easy to grow fromseed include peas, beans and mielies. Seeds from tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers or pumpkins can only becollected after a simple fermentationprocess described below. You only needferment one or two of these vegetablesto provide you with enough seeds for thecoming season. Carry out the followingsteps: •Let one or two tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers or a pumpkin ripen on theplant until it is overripe and becomingsoft. •Pick the ripe vegetable, carefully cut itopen and scoop out the seeds with aspoon, placing them in a bowl oflukewarm water. Grow flowers to sellConserving Water, Conserving the EnrironmentRAND WATERCollect your own seedsSave money by collectingseeds to grow your ownflowers and vegetablesPic: Wright. Pic: Wright. Randwater 7/10/06 11:06 AM Page 30
  2. 2. Supplement to SA Gardening Directory 2006/7 31Tips for successFollow these hints for good seed collecting: •Let only the strongest plant with the mostbeautiful flowers go to seed. •Do not harvest the first beans and peas toappear. This is because the first pods are themost vigorous and best for future cultivation. Mark these pods with string and allow them to mature on the plant. Once they have grown to full size, pull up the plant and hang it in a well ventilated place away from the sun. •Protect the heads of sunflowers with a cottoncloth to prevent birds feasting on the seedsbefore you can harvest them. •Seed contained in pods are best preserved in their pods. Only store pods that are free of blemishes. •Collect delicate flower seeds by carefullyputting the seed head into a container, such as an empty ice cream tub. Gently shake orrub the seeds into the container. •With zinnias, marigolds and calendulas, cut off the flower stem, place on a newspaperor in a cardboard box and allow to dry in a protected area. •Always collect seeds on a dry day. Conserving Water, Conserving the EnrironmentRAND WATER•After a couple of days, this willbegin to ferment. •Carefully wash off thefermented pulp. •Put the seeds in a strainer, rinseagain with clear water andplace them on a cotton cloth to dry. Store seeds in an airtightcontainer, such as a plastic pillbox. Label the container with thename of the plant and year of collection. For best germination results, collect new seeds every year. Manzi says, “Wateryour garden early inthe morning or at sunsetto curb evaporation.” Randwater 7/10/06 11:07 AM Page 31

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