Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gone to seed


In my garden, the larkspur has gone to seed.
larkspur seed pods

The foliage is browning and the spider mites are moving in. Time to pull 'em up!
larkspur seed pods

The pods are starting to open to scatter the seeds within. Before I pulled up the spent plants, I ran my gloved hand along the stems to collect the pods and seeds.
larkspur seed pods

The seeds are lined up in two neat rows inside each pod. Even the tiniest pod has at least a dozen seeds; the larger pods, three or four dozen.
larkspur seed pods

I then began the task of separating the seeds from the pods. (Those with climate-controlled space and patience can hang the pods in paper or net bags and let the pods open and release the seeds naturally.)
larkspur seed pods

A standard kitchen strainer is helpful in separating the large plant material from the seeds.
larkspur seeds

The end result is a nice collection of larkspur seeds to keep for planting next year, or passing along to friends (that's how I got my seeds!)
larkspur seeds

Words and photos © 2009-2012 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

13 comments:

  1. That's a decent amount of seed. Great step-by-step pictures.

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    1. I wish I'd taken a photo of pulling the pods off the stems!

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  2. Wow, that's an impressive haul of larkspur seeds. Good tip using the strainer. I like it!

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    1. Mesh strainers are too fine to let the seeds drop through -- the old-fashioned type with holes works great!

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  3. Hello,
    Would it be ok if I make mention of your blog on my garden club blog? I would like for the garden club members to see your notes on larkspur seed collection. Thanks, Bev Colquett

    monroevillegardenclub.blogspot.com

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  4. You got a lot of seeds there. That's a good idea for separating them from the pods.

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    1. They won't last long! I'll pass along most and scatter the rest.

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  5. I just wrapped up this chore too. For the last few weeks, I've been enjoying the rattling sound the dried seeds make when you brush by in the garden. Very festive, like a maraca!

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    1. Yes, indeed! I meant to mention this in my post and completely forgot -- thanks!

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  6. Thanks for the how-to. My larkspur just started blooming ( I know - strange), but I'll be using your method in a few weeks. Right now mine are too close to the chicken yard, and they are poisonous to chickens, so need to relocate.

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    1. I had no idea larkspur were poisonous. So many lovely flowers are, it seems. I planted some larkspur in March on the east side of the house and they surprised me by blooming early this month, so I'll have more seeds to collect soon!

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