Seed Sorting

Maybe a better title would be “Seed Hoarding.”


January is the time to sort seeds. We start sowing in February here in North Carolina.

I must say that sorting would be easier if Flower had done a better job of storing them. Note the envelopes with 2015 on them. (Sigh)

It seems as though any old bag will do.


Accurate labels are not important either.


Thankfully I took an Economic Botany class in college.

Our final was identifying hundreds of seeds by sight.

Moonflower : Ipomoea noctiflora

I do throw in a few pods with  the seeds.

Red Double poppy

If I did not, I am afraid that Columbine seeds could be mistaken for a bag of mouse poop.


I found these unidentified seeds in a tiny bucket. (Anybody recognize them?)


Seeds do have their own character.

Love-in-a-Puff: Cardiosperma halicacabum

Here are some Hibiscus seeds that were husked today.


Jack-o-Lantern has never grown here. I’ll try again.

Jack-o-lantern , Chinese Lantern: Physalis alkekengi

I seem to have sown a seed in my coffee.



My Many Mysteries

I have a bad habit of sticking seeds and plant pieces in the pots of other plants.


I tell myself I will remember this.  I will know what it is when it grows up.

I have done this too many times to keep track of what was stuck where.

So along with the designated plants in the pots, there are mystery plants.


I find a pieces of a plant broken off.   Which plant?  What color?


No matter.  Stick it here in this empty spot.

I have a habit of purloining seeds.

I spent a whole day with this piece of picked-off-the-tree citrus fruit in my bra.

I did not remember it until that night while changing into my pajamas.

I did manage to label those particular seeds.

Not that I wouldn’t recognize the mean little seedlings with their lethal thorns.

I have moved a “mystery tree” around the yard for years. I knew I must have had  a reason for planting it in the kids’ sandbox.

It finally bloomed this year.

It is a peach.  I now realize it was the pit of a long-ago snack eaten by one of my now-grown children.  Mystery solved.

While clearing out a box this morning, I found this.

Could it be a seed from a Tuscan pear?  We shall see.



Seeds in Sand

I am ashamed to admit that I usually don’t mix my small seeds with sand.

It can be seen on my hand how this mix would better space the seeds.

Poppy seeds are also tiny and tend to blow while sown.


This leads to over-crowding and the need to thin seedlings.


Sometimes I wait too late to thin, which disrupts the roots of the plants left.

Last week I mixed my poppy seeds with sand before sowing them.


I liked that I could see where I had sown the seeds.


Hopefully, this year’s poppies will be less crowded than last year’s crop.

If I have given you my red, double “Bill Troutman” poppy seeds; you need to sow them soon.   They are early risers.



Seeds for Tomorrow

No matter how you feel today, you must plan for tomorrow.

Winter is coming.

Your plants know this.  They are setting seed.

Hibiscus seed pod

What are you going to do?  Let them fall to the ground to rot or be eaten?

No. You are going out there and collect those seeds to save and share.

Four O’clock seeds

There is no use buying the same type seeds next spring.  They may not be the exact hybrid.

Flying Saucer seeds
Flying Saucer Flower

It takes only minutes. Take envelopes with a marker.

Butterfly Weeds pod
Butterfly weed seeds

Write the name of the plant on an envelope and put a number of seeds in it.

Bind weed
Bind weed seeds

I take requests, so I save many seeds from some plants to share.

I even save weed seeds that I like to plant along my driveway.

Think forward, now that winter is coming.  Prepare for tomorrow.

FLOWER’s seed bank. I will share.

Get ready gardeners.  Think spring!

FLOWER in the fall.