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Posts Tagged ‘saving seed’

Happy Fall ya’ll … the summer was wonderful, hot and rainy and then cool and dry – never predictable, but always Summer!  Now Fall is upon us and what will it bring?  Beautiful colors I am sure and fun material to craft with ..

 

Although I wasn’t very successful with gourds this year, I will be dedicating a whole field down south to them next year.  I also have a few new gourd books on order and plan to do some fun crafting with them.  I did pick up some miniature gourds to practice on –

  I am organizing my seed saving and will be making some gifts of seeds along with a dried version of the flower for the holidays!

 Anise Hyssop

 Marigold seed

 Zinnia seed

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Yesterday I decided it was time to pull the corn stalks out of the garden. I was hoping for another harvest of corn from the second set of ears but I can see that is not going to happen – I did save a few mini corns and will let them dry and I may incorporate them into a fall craft. I am still waiting to see what the blue corn I planted is going to do. There are 4-5 small ears on a stalk … thing is – they ain’t Blue, so not sure if they need time to change color?

 Mini corns – blue on top

At the beginning of the season I let one of the first ears of corn dry – I left the kernels on the cob and after about 2 weeks they came right off. I will be saving these as seed for growing next year.

As I was pulling the corn stalks I noticed growing up along one of them was a strand of beans! I had planted 2 rows of beans alongside the corn according to the theory of growing corn, beans and squash together as companion plants. I thought the beans never germinated but I guess there was one strong survivor! So I left him growing on the corn stalk thinking I may keep those bean seeds to plant next year.

 

I am Very Happy to report that the spinach seed I saved earlier in the season has sprouted! I planted a few rows just recently for a fall crop and they are growing!! I will plant a few more where I had the corn and should be all set with spinach!

 Spinach growing from saved seed!!

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Today I pulled the last of the spinach stalks that I had left in the ground with the seeds drying.  I am saving spinach seeds for the first time and thought I would elaborate on what I learned about saving the seed.  I did notice an interest in the picture of the Drying Seeds on my Veggie Blog and since that’s a photo blog there is no explanation.  I know that when I first decided to save the seed I searched the internet and didn’t find too much detailed information.  What had me confused was the first stalks to go to seed were small, very small and I remembered when I planted the spinach the seeds were much larger and dark.  So I searched and watched and waited.  I know one explanation I had read mentioned a female seed stalk and a male seed – so even though this made no sense I thought I would see what happened and sure enough … I did notice two totally different seeds developing on separate stalks. 

Here is the explanation I offer from my observations (I could be way off but at least this makes sense to me!)  The first stalks to go to seed were male and contained the pollen and this I did notice … ALOT of yellow dust when the stalks were moved.  The male seed was doing it’s job of spreading the pollen and when it reached the female stalk, seeds developed which were much larger and this is the seed I knew to be the one to plant in the future.  The drying of the seed I concluded has to take place while the stalks are still in the ground so they can complete their process.  I did pull a stalk and let it air dry in the house and it never turned dark like the others that remained in the ground.  I pulled many stalks today that had not finished the final drying but the cucumber vines needed the space and I have PLENTY of spinach seeds to plant.  Here are some pictures to help clarify what the seeds look like and I regret not having one of the male seed stalks which were present earlier in the season (hm, where did they go?)  I will have to watch them closer next year now that I think I know how the process works!!  If anyone has further knowledge on this subject of saving spinach seed, please comment.  It would be much appreciated!  Now to see if the saved seeds actually Grow … stay tuned

Next is the spinach seed I air dryed in the house and it remained green

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The first thing I had to do after our return from the long weekend trip down south was visit the gardens!  We had a good rain and it definitely made a difference – tomatoes are budding from the flowers, cucumbers are developing, the squashes are doing wonderfully and much more!  I could go on but I will show some pictures I just took.  Tomorrow I will organize the pictures from down south and post about the amazing sights down there!

 Last  harvest of peas and more beets!

 Pearl cucumber looking cool

 

Corn tassles and corn silk ….. first one of the year!

  The spinach seed dried on the stalk – I left all the stalks in the ground after the final harvest of spinach so I could save the seed. 

Before I left I spent 2 days drying with the Excalibur dehydrator – the chives were from the garden and the blueberries and mushrooms were on sale so I bought an overload and dried them for future use.  The beef jerky I dried to take along on the trip for snacks…

  Excalibur loaded with fruit

  Dried chives, beef jerky, blueberries and mushrooms

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I have had several harvests of Spinach and it will be finished producing soon – some has gone to seed.  I have to say I had much more spinach last year .. it must be the weather.  I am going to save some spinach seed for the first time and see how that goes.  Also several marigold flowers have dried up so I cut them off and will save these seeds also.  I have had success saving marigold seeds in the past.  Everything seems to be doing well even with all this pounding rain we have had – except the pole beans never germinated.

  Spinach

 Spinach gone to seed

Here are the marigold seeds I will save for next year or maybe even plant again this year since it is still early in the season

 

Finally, the peas are producing!  I have two different sections planted and this was the first one planted.  The second area will be several more weeks before we see any peas.

I am working with Companion Gardening and have planted Corn along with buckwheat which is suppose to ward off the corn earworm.

 

The zucchini and yellow scallop summer squash took off this past week.  I have them mulched with grass cuttings.  I have also used pine needles in some areas.

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