Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Early Morning Excercise

Well, we can certainly say good bye to the warm autumn days. Hello Winter! My town measures the highest snow level in the region, 20 cm. It is wet and heavy and I had lots of work to do in the morning: I had to clear the way out of the house, clean the balconies and the terrace and shake the snow off some shrubs.
I must say, It was not toil and trouble at all. Exercising in the fresh air was a pure fun!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sorting Out the Seeds

Collecting the seeds is fun. I always have lots of flower seeds that I mostly give away to my friends. As usual, I collect lots of Echinacea, Salvia and Helianthus seeds. I also collect the seeds in nature or 'steal' some  from the other gardens e.g. when the plants peek out through the fence! So I collected the seeds of white flowering Cleome or the Spider Plant from one garden down the street. I am sure, my neighbor won't mind me taking some seed pods without having asked him before. 
I sorted out all the seed I got yesterday and made the sowing plan.

As I usually know what kind of seed I am going to collect in my garden and I make paper cones or sachets with plant names on them to store the seed. The seed that is already dry on the plants go directly into the sachets. Labelling is very important because no matter how well you recognize the various seeds, there is no way you know them all! Trust me. Otherwise you will have (as I do!) sachets with big question mark on them! 
Some seeds are released by snapping the pod or silique or simply drop off when ripe. If you are afraid to loose them before you collect them just wrap the fruits up in a sachet. When ripe, it is easy to shake off the seeds directly into the sachet.

my gourd collection 2013.

By taking the seed from fleshy fruits e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers and gourds, the most important thing is to pick them up when fairly ripe. I extract the seeds by washing them with water and dry them well before packing up into a paper bags. This year I have a nice collection of gourds. As always, there were lots of cross-pollinated ones which came in all shapes and sizes. To avoid it, one variety should be planted far away from the other. But, I don't mind it. It is fun to see what comes up.