The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Saving zinnia seeds

Zinnias and origami

The fancy zinnia seeds we bought this year turned into colorful flowers so stunning that I thought for sure they were hybrids. But the website I got them from listed them as "open pollinated," so I decided to try saving some seeds.

Zinnia seeds

It's pretty easy to tell when zinnia seeds are ready. Just pry apart one of the dead, brown heads and look at the color of the seeds. Are they green like the top one in this picture? If so, they need a little more time. Brown like the bottom one in this picture? That seed is ready to save!

Muffin tin seed saving

My gut says that all of the flowers I have in my garden will have cross-pollinated, but it's possible that's not the case. So I decided to save each color separately --- time to pull out the muffin tins!

Tomato seeds

The tomatoes in the previous image were being divided up by variety also, but just for the trip into the house. There, I set each variety up to ferment as outlined in Weekend Homesteader: August. A few days later, both types of seeds will be ready to pack away for next year's garden.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How is Mark doing?
Comment by wewally Mon Sep 3 16:09:36 2018
we have never bothered to save zennia seeds, my son planted them one year in the playground and we have been over run with them ever since. Note to self, do not plant tall things where they will interfere with swings.
Comment by rebecca Tue Sep 4 10:59:02 2018

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