One of the greatest thrills we get in our edible garden, apart from the obvious produce, is using seeds from last seasons crop (or the seasons before) to grow more produce.
Seed saving is a great way to keep growing the fruit and vegetables that you have enjoyed most, preserve heirloom lineage and save on constantly buying new seed.
Saving seed is easy and without a whole lot of effort, you can end up with lots of free seeds for planting in seasons to come. Or to trade or give away to friends and family.
In this Seed Saving series you will get instructions on how to save all sorts of seeds to stock up your seed supply.
Saving Seeds From Onions and Chives
We have a couple of lovely Chive plants in our garden, and every year they do us proud with lots of green, fresh and tasty leaves.
Because we enjoy Chives on all sorts of different kinds of foods, we want to keep our supply going and so, when our Chives go to seed, we let them drop the seeds so that we get new plants.
This is an easy approach for getting more plants but you can also do it properly and save the seeds to use whenever and wherever you like, or to share with others.
Collecting The Seeds
If you leave your Chives or Onions, past Summer and into Autumn, they will eventually flower and then go to seed.
Allow the flowers to bloom, then start to dry out. When they have dried enough so that you can clearly see the seeds on the dried flowers, it’s time to cut the flower heads off.
Snip each stem approximately 8-10cm down from the flower, towards the base of the plant. You’ll want these longer stems for the next step.
Next, take a paper bag, bunch all of your flowers together at the stem and then put them head down into the bag.
At this point you can either shake the bag to try and dislodge the seeds or, if you are happy to be patient (which I recommend), simply tie the bags up at the neck with a rubber band or twine, with the stems of the flowers pointing out, and put them somewhere that is well aired, dry and safe so the seeds can dry. .
Over time, once the flowers are completely dry, the seeds will naturally drop away from the flower heads and fall into the bottom of the paper bag.
Storing Your Seeds
Once you have collected all the seeds you want, scoop them up out of the paper bag and store them in paper envelopes or small zip lock bags. Just make sure that if you are using plastic zip lock bags that the seeds to ABSOLUTELY dry as being enclosed in plastic with ANY moisture at all will cause them to rot.
Label your packets and store your seeds in a dry, cool place until they are ready to be used.
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