Annual Flower Seeds -- Need Helpgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Last year I planted three flower beds full of annuals so that my wife would have flowers to look at out her kitchen window and also have freshly cut flowers available throughout the growing season to put in the house. My approach to growing annuals is fairly straight forward; prepare the flower bed, open the packet, plant the seeds, water, fertilize and weed (sometimes). Well the flowers grew nicely. She had lots of flowers for the house and the bees and butterflies seemed happy too. As last Fall approached, we decided not to bother saving any dried flowers because we just had too much else going on.
However, being the frugal, thrifty (as in cheeeeeeep)person I am, I just hated to see all those nice flower seed pods and heads go to waste. So, I picked off bunches of the pods and seed heads one autumn day when everthing was nicely dried and crispy. Ended up with two big brown lunch bags full of various seeds, including mums, dahlias, cosmos, zinnias, marigolds, etc. The seeds have been kept dry all winter.
So, now it's time to once again think about planting cut flowers. The question is whether or not the flower seeds I harvested will germinate and grow more flowers? As I understand the job of an annual flower, it is suppose to sprout, grow, make flowers and seeds, and then die. I don't know if any or all were hybrids. I don't fuss much with flower seeds. I'm just the one who prepares the bed, plants the seeds and keeps the weeds down.
If I plant the harvested seeds in the flower beds, I'm worried they won't grow and then my wife won't have any fresh flowers until her cheeeeeep husband goes and buys more seeds at the store. I also plan to plant some of the harvested seeds in other areas around the farm for spashes of color here and there, but am mostly concerned about the beds around the house.
Should I just go for it and plant them or perhaps mix them with some store-bought seeds? Any thoughts and suggestions appreciated.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 20, 2002
The wife harvested seeds from her flowers last year and the year befor and they did ok just not a good germanation record...maby 40% but with all the seeds 40% isnt bad. Plant them and You will be pleased no doubt.
-- Charles Steen (Xbeeman412@aol.com), March 20, 2002.
Why not try. I have had excellent germination from some hybrid zinnias and some lousy results. You just never know. Marigolds usually do really well. Good luck and have lots of fun! Nita
-- Nita Holstine (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2002.
They should grow ok although if they are from hybrid plants, you can never be sure what the results will look like. I'd probably just plant them and see what you get. If you're worried that the seeds won't grow, take a few of them and fold them in a damp paper towel. Put the paper towel in a plastic baggie and wait several days. Then check them to see how many of them germinated. If most of them germinated, I'd say go for it. Good luck.
-- Murray in ME (email@example.com), March 20, 2002.
I did that with zinnias one year with good results. The seeds that were bought had more color variation, but I got a good looking flower bed for nothing. It would have cost a small fortune for that many seeds!
-- Terri (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2002.
Hi Ed I think the key here is the birds and butterflies. Just like with chickens, you need a rooster if you want to hatch eggs. You had the birds and butterflies, so your seeds should 'hatch'. As someone else said above, with hybrid seeds you will usually get a throw-back to one 'parent' or the other, but sometimes interesting. I'm jealous. We still have snow, and I have a rotten lousy cold to boot. I can hardly wait till spring! Enjoy.
-- Bernie from Northern Ontario (email@example.com), March 20, 2002.
I have done this with marigolds for years. Each year I save seeds form the tallest, nicest plants, and now I have marigolds that are dark orange and red and stand about 3 feet tall. I love to save seeds this way. I think they will do fine.
-- Melissa in SE Ohio (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2002.