Saving Seed: Sweet Peas & Shirley Poppies

by Rainbow Bobbins

DSCN9150The cheapskate in me likes the idea of collecting and saving seeds to plant for next year. I’ve never tried it before so I am interested to see how successful it is. It is also a fun way to get to know your plants better by rooting out their reproductive parts. This week I collected thousands of tiny poppy seeds from the dried out pods. I also collected the seed from the sweet peas (above) to store over winter and plant next spring:

DSCN9170Dried poppy seed pods



At first I was removing the top crown (see picture on left of the crown removed) and just pouring the seeds out into a container. But, I had hundreds of these so I decided just to grab a handful by the stems and thrash them around in a jar. This worked too. The poppy seed distribution design is pretty smart. Left on their own they will distribute seeds out of little slots under the crown when shaken by the wind or whatnot. Kinda like a salt shaker.



Poppies look cool even dry. The seeds are so tiny that once collected they just look like a small pile of dirt.

DSCN9167The sweet peas are much more manageable size-wise. I let the seed pods dry out and shelled them like you would a standard English shelling pea.

DSCN9162One wee pea, dirty gardener fingers, and a boyfriend who has zero interest in saving seeds šŸ™‚

Saved so far: poppies, sweet peas, shelling peas and columbine seed. Will report back on performance in Spring 2014.