So a few months back when a fellow tomato fancier asked if I’d be interested in trading seeds with her, my curiosity was peaked.
(You see, for several years now I’ve been growing heirloom tomatoes using seeds purchased from a catalog. They’re cheap — less than $3.00 a packet — so paying for new ones every season seemed a minimal, yet high-yield investment.)
Eager to learn, I quickly acquiesced. Of course, I had no idea how to get the seeds from the tomatoes to swap. She assured me it was easy peasy.
That was in the spring and I hadn’t thought about it since then. But again, leave it to other bloggers… During the last month chatter about seed collecting has seen an uptick. And after reading a MrBrownThumb post detailing the process of gathering marigold seeds that seemed simplicity itself, my thoughts went back to the idea of collecting seeds.
Then I remembered the furry pods that grew in at the base of my wildflower Texas bluebonnet — just below its vibrant blooms (second photo). Though the flowers are no more, the pods still stood on the stems. So when I ventured out onto the balcony Saturday — a day where Chicago temps soared to nearly 70 degrees — to clean away debris for the installment of my autumn plant purchases, I was driven instead to distraction.
I found myself on a seed hunt. I grabbed as many of the bluebonnet pods as I could and opened them to collect the pea-like seeds (top photo) cloistered within. Some were brown and dried while others were green and soft. I spread them across a paper plate and consigned them to a windowsill for further drying. I’m not sure if that’s proper protocol, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
I suppose only time will tell. (Or in the alternative, a few of you knowledgeable gardeners through your generous comments, smile.)
Then, I scavenged the marigolds, looking for the dead, fallen blossoms where their seeds were said to reside. Eureka! In no time I was able to collect gobs of them (third photo) and am looking forward to planting the seeds next year.
Alas, as for the tomatoes, I did a little research and found that retrieving and readying their seeds is a somewhat more arduous task.
I decided to leave it for another day and just enjoy the sunshine and revel in the small victory — in fact, one might say it was the size of a pea.