Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sorting Seeds

Right before Labor Day, I took a couple days of vacation to build a compost bin and install the stone steps in the west hill. I didn’t accomplish either of those projects. The weather didn’t cooperate fully. And, truthfully, although my heart was in it, my body just wasn’t up to it. So, I puttered. I planted here; I weeded there. I moved things around and mulched.

And, a funny thing happened when I was puttering here and there--I noticed the seed pods and seed heads. When I was mulching the lupine hill, I noticed the coreopsis had set seeds. When I was weeding the rose corner, I notice the stellas had seed pods. And, when I was watering the herbs, I noticed that the cilantro had turned to coriander.

So, I got out my seed sorting equipment and spent the afternoon sifting and sorting seeds. I like my plastic Tupperware colander for the first round of coriander and lupine seeds. The chaff and stems stick to the plastic rim and I can clear it off with my finger. After most of the chaff and stems are gone, I can pour them into the smaller strainer. Then, they can go into the baggies. The coreopsis was harder to sift and sort. And, if you’ve ever seen a coreopsis seed, you don’t have to wonder why one of the common names is tick-seed.

Stellas don’t really need any sifting, you just pour them out of the seed pods into your hand (or the baggie)—unless, an earwig comes out of the seed pod with the seeds, in which case, the seeds get scattered from here to kingdom come while you’re doing the ookie bug dance on the sidewalk. Thankfully, they’re big, shiny diamond shaped seeds that are pretty easy to see. So, I was able to recover some of them.

Seeds made an appearance at our neighborhood plant swap today, too. More on that tomorrow. Carol brought Baptisia seeds. Mary Kaye brought 4 o’clock seeds, and Theresa brought perennial hibiscus seeds. The hibiscus pods are so interesting, I asked her to hold them in her hand for a snapshot before giving them away!

I guess the point of my meandering, puttering tale is that if I had stuck to the plan and built the compost bin and installed the stone steps, I most likely would have missed the opportunity to collect and save the seeds from some of my favorite plants!

1 comment:

Alison said...

I've done the ookie bug dance many times myself!

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