Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seeds, seeds, seeds

October 23, 2008

Early this spring I found some zinnia flower seed packets in the garage that had to have been there at least 20 years. I decided to plant them and, lo and behold, the zinnias grew to be six feet tall and all colors of the rainbow. It was great fun to watch them grow.

They are still blooming now but at the same time there are lots of dried up seed pods that I have collected to plant next year. I have put them into a sealed up glass jar. They need to be kept in a cool, dark and dry place.

Seeds are truly amazing. They can be kept for years and still produce beautiful plants. This seems to be the time of year to think about digging up, dividing and sharing. We have many peony plants that really need to be divided so if you would like to get some started, let me know, or drop by with your shovel.

These peony plants go back many years. When I was about 10 years old, I originally got them from in front of the state houses on Kansas Avenue. There was a long row of them, and one of the inmates that tended the yards helped me get them started. He explained how to take care of them. They were pink, red and white and were quite a beautiful sight in the spring. They have been transplanted to many Lansing yards over the years.

It is important to cut flowers that have bloomed in order to allow the plant to continue to bloom. If you do not cut the blooms, chemicals are produced that tells the plant that it has been successful in its mission to propagate its species. Then it may tend to stop blooming. If the pods are allowed to ripen on the plant, they have a better chance of producing specimen plants. The flowers that are cut off to enjoy and dry do not produce as good a seed as those that dry on the plant.

Take a walk in the park and gather seeds from plants that you really like. Join or start your own “Seed Gathering Club.” The time is right.

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