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ImageAndi
Aug 24, 2015 2:00 PM CST
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Facebook, NGA
and the beloved Winston the pug
Seeds from My Garden
Collect and save in open containers - labeled Italian ice cups this year. I have two shallow boxes filled with open Italian ice cups for collecting seeds. The boxes fit on top of my bookshelf or china cabinet, so I have much less clutter this year. Summer is humid here. I wait until Thanksgiving to start packing seeds into closed containers. large or freshly collected seed may wait until as late as January to be packaged. I keep the seeds from my garden in pill/vitamin bottles or small jars. I package them for trades as requested.

I tried rubbermaid shoe containers instead of cardboard, but didn't like them. The plastic containers have rounded corners, but my labels and dividers work better with square corners.

I separate the seeds into wintersown, sewn indoors and sown outside after first frost. I realize these categories overlap. I sow anything that can be wintersown using that method since I have had the most success with that method. I subdivided these categories into veggies (sorted by common name), herbs, annuals/tender perennials, perennials (organized alphabetically by latin name). I also separate seeds needing soaking, scarification or special treatment and special.fussy seeds.


Seeds from Swaps and Purchased Seeds
I store these alphabetically by category in cardboard shoe boxes. I put the boxes and the boxes from above in a rubbermaid tote with desiccant. I could fit my seeds in one box with room to spare, but I find it convenient to have separate boxes. Perhaps, I should get smaller than shoe boxes. I check the humidity and change the desiccant. The tote is in a closet. I have two shoe boxes - one for seeds that can be wintersown, one for other seeds. I give away and trade seeds that I am not going to use. My goal is a garden full of plants, not boxes of seeds.

I was afraid to sow certain "special seeds". I realized that was silly and self defeating. Now I sow the special seeds first (keeping some in reserve if the sowing method doesn't work). the saying "use it or lose it" applies for sees. Germination decreases with time, so I sow seeds as quickly as possible.

It isn't a good idea to keep seeds or bulbs your kitchen refrigerator unless they are sealed in glass jars. Aging veggies and fruits give off chemicals that can impair germination. A separate little fridge just for bulbs would be handy if you have the space - especially if you like winter forcing bulbs. Refrigerators can become humid, so you would want to check the humidity of the refrigerator.

I have only had trouble with bugs or mold in seeds while they dried. I had aphids in lettuce seed a few years ago. I didn't want to lose the seed, so I put it in the freezer in a jar for a couple of weeks, sifted the seeds and put them back in the freezer until I sowed them. I am allergic to mold. If seeds mold, I throw them outside. Eliminating the chaff as soon as feasible and letting the seeds dry thoroughly limit these problems. I haven't gotten any bugs or mold in swap seeds.

Open pollinated seeds that may have crossed

I don't mind open pollinated seeds from desirable plants. I label my seeds open pollinated. I also label if they are commercial, garden, swap or second generation seeds.. I try to research if they are hybrid or heirloom seeds. Part of the fun sowing swapped seeds is the surprises!

Winston and I came inside for a break. I have to take a dose of my new thyroid medicine at 3 pm on an empty stomach. It is taking a while to get used to the- a new routine. Winston thinks he should have a snack or that I should start dinner early - like now!! He still has dry food in his bowl, but he wants his special cooked food. Besides, he doesn't like the Rachel Ray grain free food. He prefers Nature's Balance Buffalo or Salmon grain free food from Walmart! (Both of these foods are similar quality to the grain free foods in the pet store, but less expensive per pound. I don't buy $20+ a pound dog food when chicken thighs are $0.69 a pound on sale! Winston doesn't mind. I can buy prime rib for around $8-10 a pound and give him the bone. We would both be happy with that.)

Winston has his paws on the edge of my desk "talking" to me. Maybe I should move his dinner time to 3pm from 5pm so that he can remind me when it is time to take my thyroid medicine. Otherwise, he will continue fussing until after 5pm when I feed him. He isn't starving, he just looks forward to dinner time. Le petit gourmand.

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