Late summer is the perfect time to start “saving seeds.” There is no better way to grow plants free during tough economic times. Seed collecting can also be fun and educational! What makes seed collecting appealing to many is the fact that each little speck contains a spark of “life.” Each seed has the potential to sprout anything from a small wildflower to a large towering oak tree. Wondering how to get started with seed collecting? Keep reading to find out important clues and tips to get started.
Timing your seed-gathering is essential for the best results. The longer a seed sits in the open environment, the more it has a chance to die. Heat, cold, wet, birds, and foot traffic can all damage the future of a seed. Therefore, it’s vital to collect seeds as soon as they are released from plants.
Where to store your seeds
Mini breath mint tins make great containers for your new hobby of seed collecting! The tins are about the size of a pack of gum, and they are flat on the top and bottom which makes them perfect for stacking. Since they are tin, they don’t easily moisten or crush like cardboard. The tins also prevent your seeds from being damaged from moisture and dehydration, and they seal shut with an audible click, so you know your seeds are safe!
Where to get your seeds
The possibilities are seemingly endless for places where to gather your seeds! Start in your own yard. If you have coneflower, sunflowers or any other plant that drops seeds, gather them and keep them for next year. Seeds can also come from neighbors. Ask them if they mind you gathering some seeds from their plants. If you take a morning or an evening walk, carry a small plastic bag with you for gathering seeds you may find along your route. Check out many fine old plants that may be hanging over your head as you walk. Also streets, sidewalks and parkways are also good places to find seeds. Don’t worry about picking up some sediment with your seed. When you get home, just pour all of your findings onto a tray and have fun separating the seeds from the rocks, leaves, etc… Just about anywhere you go you will find seeds, but always stay aware of your surroundings and be careful not to get in the way of traffic! In other words, don’t let your seed collecting get you “carried away!”
Give seeds as gifts
If you need some cute little gifts as hostess favors to give to your dinner guests, or for your friend who loves plants and flowers, why not give seeds for a thoughtful Christmas gift? If you’re crafty, paint or decoupage your tins and make really cute homemade gift boxes in which to put the seeds. Include a decorative tag for your gift of seeds explaining what type they are and include instructions for planting.
Gathering seeds are not only economical, it’s an excellent education for kids! When bored by summer’s end, put your kids to work in the yard gathering seeds for your free Christmas gifts. In the sorting process, help the kids identify the seeds, and help decorate the tins for gifts.
I hope you will consider the fun hobby of seed collecting!