Seed saving help urgently needed
We need all members to urgently to start saving seed for our seed bank please. Stocks are currently very low and without our members contributing, this wonderful service will come to an end. Any amount, and well labelled will be gladly received. Members please check out the January e newsletter in the members only section to find out further details on how do collect and save seeds, and where to send them.
Here is a quick summary from the Seed bank page in the Members only section:
- Choose plants that are strong in growth, vigorous and free from disease. Flowering and fruiting times vary each year so check your plants regularly for seed development. As seeds ripen they change colour from green/white to brown/black.
- As a general rule, seeds can be collected when they darken in colour and before they have dropped from the plant. Most seeds can be harvested before they are completely ripe. If they have a small portion of stem attached they will ripen even though detached from the plant.
- Put in a paper bag and hang them in a warm, dry place. You may need to make several gatherings as all of the seed will not all be ready for collection at the same time. Catch the seed before it falls from the plant.
- Use paper bags for collecting seed. Do not use plastic bags, except for collecting fleshy fruits from which you intend to extract the seeds.
- As the seed head approaches ripeness it can be covered, while still on the plant, with a fine muslin bag. This will protect the seed head, particularly from wind and rain. It also allows air movement about the head, which will therefore dry more quickly after rain.
- Collect seed on a dry day. Date and name it correctly. The importance of correct naming cannot be over–emphasised. Seek help if needed.
- Ripe seeds can be separated from their capsules by rubbing and winnowing. Soft fruits need to be cleaned of their fleshy parts by squashing and washing in a sieve. Spread the separated seed on newspaper to dry.