Showing posts with label You Tube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label You Tube. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Let's Review The Best Proven Seed Saving Practices

Summer is coming to an end and already we (gardeners) are looking forward to next year's gardens. Let's Review what happened in the garden this year and the best way to keep seeds for next years masterpiece.   Looking at what we have  growing now , gives us the opportunity to analyse what worked in the garden and what didn't.



Every gardener I know has some complaints about the plants or vegetables that have made their garden home for the last few months.  We are never completely satisfied with our results!  I think the gardener's motto must be something like:  Next Year The Garden will be Perfect!

Alas, that year has never happened for me and if I know most (humble) gardeners would say the same thing. Even the most perfect garden seems to fall short, somewhere.  Let's not dwell on that, let's look for ways that we can improve what we have.

Garden Journal

Hopefully you have been keeping a "Garden Journal".   What's a Gardening Journal?   Simply put, this is a book of your choice, where you note how your plants are growing, flowering, and going to seed.  You can also add information like what kind of pest problems they have encountered or how much watering they require.  Where they were planted, ie:  Full Sun, Partial Sun, Afternoon sun etc.  If you want to be really technical, you can also take note of other garden issues.  What plants go well together and which combinations were not as effective as you would have liked.  How well they flowered and so on.  The details of each plant and how it fared in your garden, are completely up to you. The garden journal I have shown you in the Amazon listing is great for filling in all kinds of details.  But, you can also do this with a simple plain lined notebook.

Finding the Seeds

If you go out in your garden you have to find the seeds.  If you are saving flower seeds, you will have to look where the flowers are and look at the base.  It helps if you have a little knowledge of plant biology.  You don't have to be a scientist, but it will make finding the seeds easier if you know where to look.


A Beginner's Guide to Flower Structure  


Every flower has the same "basic" structure in that there is the flower, inside is the pistil and stamens (these are the important parts when it comes to seed production) and underneath there is the sepals/calyx to hold the flower all together.  Let's see if a picture can make it easier to understand. The first picture is a jasmine blossom.  The petals of the flower are white.  Internally you can see the stamens and pistil.  If you look at the flower facing away from the camera, you will see the sepals/calyx.  Bees or other insects come and rub against the stamens to collect the pollen that they produce.  When the insect is leaving the flower, it may rub against the pistil and that will trigger seed production.  This is the basic way seeds are produced and if you'd like a little more in depth breakdown of the Parts of a Flower you can watch this short but precise You Tube Video: Parts of a Flower
Jasmine Flowers showing Basic Flower Parts


Poppy Flower Pods Center one is ripe and the two on either side are not quite ready yet.
In this picture you see the seed pods of a poppy flower.  The tallest one is ripe, you can see that there are little holes under the "cap". Tilting this stem will make the poppy seeds pour out.  The other two pods in this picture still need to mature a little longer.  Once they show signs of the little holes, they too will pour out their seeds easily. Poppy seeds are small round and black or dark brown.  Each seed pod has thousands of poppy seeds within.  It is one of the most prolific seed producers.


Storing the Seeds

So now that you know where to look for your seeds, we need to store them until spring.  This is an important part of the whole exercise.  If you don't store the seeds properly, they may turn moldy and rot.  Then when spring comes you will be left with buying seeds again.  So let's not do that.  Let's store our seeds so that when spring arrives, we will have plenty of seeds for our wonderful garden of 2018.

Seeds can be stored in a variety of ways.  I personally like envelopes that are opaque.  They let you see the seeds within the packets so that you know right away that they are not rotting.  If you place your seeds in plastic bags, any moisture will remain contained and could adversely affect the seeds within.  Some of my gardening friends keep their seeds in old pill bottles.  That works too, so long as the seeds are really dry when they are placed inside.  Always use clean containers that will be labelled with the name of the plant on the outside.  Again I like to use envelopes because I place them into my Garden Journal along with the notes about that particular plant. Make sure you label your envelopes with the flower's name, color, and any other information you might want to keep.

If you are using a different method of storage, whether old pill containers or small jars, again, make sure you label them.  Keep all your seed filled containers in a nice box for easy storage.   You think you will remember what seeds  you put into each jar or pill bottle, trust me, you will not remember. It's much easier to do it NOW! 


Cool and Dark and Dry

Now that you have all your seeds nicely categorized and labelled clear out a nice dark and cool space to keep your journal or container of seeds.  Make sure it's a nice dry spot too.  We don't want to disturb our seeds during the months that they will be sleeping.  We just want to ensure that when the right time comes (spring of 2018) they will be more than ready to do their magic.  


Seed Collecting is Fun

Seed collection is fun, but it is also a great way to educate your children and grandchildren.  With all the talk about Genetically modified seeds and plants, you know that you can have your own supply of seed that is not modified and will grow.  Heirloom seeds are making the news all the time.  You can start your own heirloom seeds if you follow the instructions you find here.  This Review is about flower seeds mostly, but the same principles can apply to vegetables too.  That is why I included some books for your reading pleasure. Vegetable seeds need a little more attention when it comes to collecting, preparing and storing them.  Please do yourself a favor and do some reading, I don't want you to be disappointed with your results.  

Beginners will want to start with seeds that are easy to find.  Here's a whole bunch that will start you off on the right foot!

  • poppies
  • Four O'Clocks
  • snapdragons
  • moss roses or portulaca
  • marigolds
  • cosmos
  • morning glories
  • bleeding hearts

Please let me know in your comments if you are planning to do some seed collecting and what types of seeds you will be adding to your "stash".  I'm always interested in knowing more about other people's gardens.  




**all pictures are from Pixabay.com 










Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Things that are Missing from Everyone's Computer Room




Now I'm sure you are already laughing at the title of this Little Review!  But I must say, that if you love your family, there are two things that you will immediately add to that room where everyone gathers to check out their emails, Facebook postings, Google + pages and anything and everything else that you could possibly do on the computer.

Have you come up with what those two things are, yet?  Don't worry if you haven't because I'm sure there are lots and lots of people who are scratching their heads right now and  that will never think of these two things.

Now let me assure you, that they are not the regular things you might think of like, monitors or printers, paper and other computer related items, as a matter of fact, these are not really computer related at all, at least not directly.




Let me give you a little information that might help you decipher what I am talking about:

Most Americans and Canadians, are found to live a lifestyle that is far too sedentary.  The minimum of 20 minutes of exercise daily, is not being met by the majority of people over 40.  And that is 20 minutes of accumulated exercise.  Every time you exercise for 5 minutes or more, you add it to the next 5 minutes of exercise until you come to the 20 minute level.


That doesn't sound too strenuous for anyone, yet we don't do that little bit.  Why?

Well it seems that  the biggest problem is people come home from work, and sit down at the computer to do just a few "things" and before they know it 3 hours have been whittled out of your life, and it's time for bed.

Now, if you had these two things in your computer room, you would never get that far behind in your minimum requirements of exercise per day.

The first item needed, is a Kitchen Timer, and in this case we are going to re-purpose that Kitchen Timer to be our Computer Time Timer.

Oggi Countdown Stainless Steel 60-Minute Kitchen Timer

 Once you are at the computer, set the Timer to 55 minutes (or 50 minutes for those who are more active already).  Don't cheat, just do it!

Now when that timer goes off, you need that second piece of equipment in your Computer Room. That equipment is a Stationary Bike.  So the Timer has gone off, it's time to get out of your chair and get on the Stationary Bike.  It won't help if you just look at it, you have to get on it!
Sunny Health&Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Now if you are really smart and I'm sure that you are, you can load up all those You Tube Videos that you have wanted to watch and let them roll!  You are on your bike, pedalling your way to a healthier lifestyle and still doing what you like to do on the computer.   This is the best WIN-WIN situation, ever!  If you are not into watching You Tube, you can put a movie into your CD ROM and catch up on a movie in the 5 or 10 minutes that you have set the timer for.



In 5 or 10 minutes you can get off the bike and resume your position in front of the computer again and continue your blogging or catching up with your friends on Face Book or just searching for whatever floats your boat!.

Two pieces of equipment for your computer room that will cost less than a yearly gym membership, and help you to become healthier, less sedentary and maybe even lose a pound or two in the process.
Can you think of a better way to do all of that?  

If you can, let me know and maybe I'll try it your way.  In the meantime, think about it and then do it!  Your body will thank you!








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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