Those Amazing Little Seeds

Tiny seeds can grow into beautiful things.

It is just barely spring time, by the calendar, and that means it’s time to start thinking about sowing seeds (inside for some, but outside for others). Most seeds can be started inside about 6 weeks before your last frost date. Frost dates vary from area to area so you need to check to see when yours is.

Seeds are the promise of growing something delicious or something beautiful.

seed identification at craftygardener.ca

It always amazes me at the plants that grow from tiny seeds.  I love photographing the various stages of seeds, seedlings, plants, blooms and fruit.  If you are looking for information about a specific seed you just might find what you are looking for on my seed pages.

Soil is important for seed starting and you can buy commercially prepared seed starting mix or you can mix your own. What you use is entirely up to you.

Some seeds require soaking before planting, especially those with a hard outer cover. Soaking in warm water will help them to germinate faster. I read a hint somewhere that if the seeds floats to the top it won’t germinate for you and you should just toss it out. Well, I wouldn’t toss it out, I would put it on the bird feeding table. Anyone know if that hint is a true one?

canna seed identification at craftygardener.ca

Scarification is the scraping or piercing of a seed that has a very hard shell. I know when I tried to grow canna from seed I had to drill a small hole in the seed shell as it was so-o-o hard.  The above photo shows some canna seed that has gone through some scarification, soaked in warm water and sprouting out ready to plant.

Stratification is the storage of some seeds in a very cool place, like the fridge. This mimics the cold season that a seed would go through if left outside.  I very often use Nature’s way of winter sowing and spring seeds around the main plant in the fall and just let them do their own thing.  I very often end up with lots of volunteer plants.

If you are like me you are always collecting seeds. In fact I think I’m obsessed with collecting seeds. It must have to do with the fact that I hate to waste anything. And I can’t stand the thought of deadheading flowers and tossing them on the compost pile. First because I don’t want all those seeds sprouting up in the compost and second because every seed head has lots of potential for new plants.

But if you don’t want any more plants and you aren’t giving the seeds away you can always put the seeds on your bird feeder and see what feathered friends stop by for a snack.

flat feeder at craftygardener.ca

When I first deadhead the plants, I toss the seeds and sometimes seedheads into plastic containers (yogurt, margerine, ice cream etc.). They can stay there till they dry out. Each container is labelled because my memory isn’t what it used to be and after awhile a dried out seed head tends to look like another.  I also use egg cartons to separate seeds into types and colours.

seed sorting and storage at craftygardener.ca

Once dried out I remove as much chaff as possible, and transfer them to my filing system. This comprises a 4 quart basket and recycled envelopes. I open my mail on the edge of the envelope and then it can be re-used again. I told you I was a recycler. Print the plant name on each envelope and file alphabetically. This makes it easier to find certain types of seeds when it gets to be planting time.

seed storage at craftygardener.ca

This might not be the prettiest way to store seeds, but it sure works for me. Over the winter this container is stored under the lower stairs in the wall cupboard, where it is cooler but not freezing.

At this time of the year I get out the seed basket and sort through it, seeing what I want to keep, what is to give away and what might go on the flat bird feeder.  I make a list of the new seeds I want to purchase or swap with other gardeners.

seedswap1a

I sort out the extras and package them up in small zip lock bags, label them and take them along to a Seedy Saturday.  I have a collection of seed labels and seed packets that are all great for seed swaps.  These have photos from my garden and a brief description of the seed inside.

Seedy Saturday 2015

Seedy Saturdays are beginning to happen across the country. Have a look and see if you can find one in your area. These days are a chance to purchase seeds, exchange seeds, and get gardening advice.  And they are a great way to network with other gardeners who are growing plants in your own gardening zone.

From tiny seeds you can grow nourishment and beauty.

Do you save seeds for sharing, swapping and growing?

It’s time for Alphabe-Thursday and the letter this week is S.  S for Seeds … and also for Storage – Spring – Soil – Soak – Scarification – Seedlings

the gardener side at craftygardener.ca

More from The Gardener Side

plants … seed info … veggies & herbs … bulbs, corms, tubers

the gardens  … garden whimsy … garden printables

Linda aka Crafty Gardener

Like life, this site, is a collection of many things... gardening, crafts, reading, photography and more.
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22 Responses to Those Amazing Little Seeds
  1. I just noticed I still have seeds standing on my zinnias from last year, they went through the harsh winter can I still plant them?
    Dawn recently posted..Natural Poison Ivy RemedyMy Profile

    • I always figure there is nothing to lose Dawn, so I would try growing them. You can either bring them inside and start them in small pots or sprinkle them around the plant from last year and see if they grow.

  2. Linda you have prompted me to try and do some seed keeping this year. I love the egg carton idea. I have been enjoying seed starting this winter…and I am also amazed at what comes from a tiny seed.
    Donna@Gardens Eye View recently posted..Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-March 2015My Profile

    • I love collecting and seeing the different types of seeds Donna. They are each so different and interesting. Can’t wait for the nicer weather to get outside and enjoy the gardens.

  3. What an interesting post! I’ve given up on my veggie garden. I buy plants from our local suppliers. Can’t wait for spring, but I’m going to have to!
    Jenn Jilks recently posted..Book Review: One of EverythingMy Profile

    • I buy a lot of ready started plants too Jenn … tomatoes, herbs, and trailing plants for my tipsy pots. But things like beans and peas and cosmos I grow from seed. I can’t wait for the nice weather either. Rain later on today, which I hope will get rid of some more snow.

  4. Lovely post ! I have done both started plants from seed and went to my local garden center to get plants that have already grown a bit for the garden . I was going to do a veggie garden this year already have it built but I changed my mind and decided to make it a wild flower bird and butterfly garden with milk weed for the butterfly’s as there is a shortage of it for them . I cant wait to get into my gardens . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !
    Elaine recently posted..49 Years AgoMy Profile

    • I grow my veggies in large containers on my plant tables … so much easier for my old bones and joints. We have milkweed growing in a few spots and I’m always spreading the seeds in hopes more will grow to encourage the butterflies. Rain coming today which will hopefully wash away the rest of the snow.

  5. Powell River already had their Seedy Saturday. My traditional planting time is Easter week. This year it will be the week after Easter because we are in Arizona for baseball spring training. Trading some warm sunshine for planting in my garden seems fair. Last year I saved seeds from my volunteer tomato plants that produced so well. I dug a lot of the seeds in the ground from the dropped fruits as well. Hope they return because they tasted the best of any I’ve grown before. – Margy
    Margy recently posted..Ready, Set, GrowMy Profile

    • Great article! Yesterday, I found some seeds in one of my purse pockets. Can’t recall where I picked it up and what it is. I didn’t take it out of the pocket, but one of these days I’ll be outside with my purse and I’ll remember to take it out and put it in the yard. With luck, it’ll grow and maybe I’ll remember where I had found it and what it is.
      Su-sieee! Mac recently posted..The Dude, The Husband — So Sweet!My Profile

    • Easter weekend is too early for us Margy, more like middle to the end of May. I might start some seeds inside towards the end of April. I know you will both enjoy the baseball spring training and some warm weather 🙂 I very often leave a tomato on the ground by the plant and get volunteer plants the following year.

  6. I had some old gourd seeds that require soaking. They floated, which I thought was odd, and not one sprouted.
    Eden Hills recently posted..Cloudy SkiesMy Profile

  7. That is a lot of cool info here. I love planting things but I need to work in my yard and prepare the soil. Last year I tried to grow a small garden and things were not good. I think I need richer soil! It was nice for you to provide all this info. Thank you for taking the time to share. Have a great weekend.
    Anne recently posted..Good FencesMy Profile

    • Hi Anne, perhaps starting with small plants from the nursery would be the way for you to go. I do my tomato plants that way as I’m too impatient for them to grow from seed and I don’t have lots of space inside to start them early. Thanks for visiting.

  8. I save some seeds…not all / you are much more organized ! 🙂
    Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow recently posted..Family Tree : The Grandparent’s 1st Home built by GrandfatherMy Profile

  9. Great information! I have a small portable greenhouse and for years start my own seeds, and enjoy doing it so. Makes spring come earlier and it’s just fun and satisfying to do. I don’t’ collect need as many seeds as I could, but will concentrate on that this year. Visiting from TO40!
    cathy@my1929 Charmer recently posted..Milk Glass CollectionMy Profile

    • Starting seeds seems to start the growing season earlier and gives us a chance to play in the dirt for a bit. Good luck with your little greenhouse. Thanks for visiting today.

  10. I have not planted any seeds, because I really am unable to have a garden here. I have been propagating succulents though. xo Laura
    Laura recently posted..DECLUTTERING 101My Profile

  11. love this post! I agree that seeds are exciting!
    I do save some seeds. Last year I bought a bronze fennel plant and saved some seeds from it. Some were given away; some were eaten (yum!). I have a few left for planting.
    Outside, I’ve already planted peas, turnips, and carrots. It’s not warm enough yet to plant anything else.
    What pretty seed packets you’ve made! Thanks for sharing!
    Splendid Little Stars recently posted..seaMy Profile

    • That is great you have already got some veggies planted. Hope they all grow well for you. Thanks for stopping by.

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