At one time or another you are going to consider that you may want to save your own seeds to plant & pot with next season. The feeling of growing beautiful & healthy plants from seeds that you have collected from your own collection of plants. And, watching a seed germinate, become a seedling, and then mature give you such joy & satisfication. It's literally witnessing in the miracle of life!
After a few seasons you will find that many of the potted plants you have with self-seed, even when you would prefer they not. The two types of seed are open pollinated and hybrids. Hybrid seed is created by cross pollinating two varieties. The advantages include uniformity of size and longer life. The pollinated seeds have better germination rates and resistance to pests.
By saving your own seeds you will save a ton of money. Especially if you are growing fruits & vegetables. Whatever you decide make sure you leave the harvesting of seeds until they are absolutely mature. The best time to harvest is mid morning before the sun becomes hot. Collect the seeds and make sure they are completely dry. You can hang larger seeds in panty hose and let them air dry. The best way to store them is using paper bags. Be sure to label the variety and when you collected them. Store in cool dark place.
When you are ready to propagate the seeds for planting in your garden planters try these steps. Things to consider are moisture, warmth, air and light. Smaller seeds can be sowed in small containers. Shallow trays, mini clay pots, empty egg shells, and good potting mix. Cover and water lightly or mist spray. Keep moist till germinate. Water till plants become stronger and can be transplanted. Don't give up some seeds take longer than others. Larger seeds can be planted directly into your selected garden containers.
All in all, growing your own food in containers by saving the seed yourself is very rewarding. It's inexpensive and healthy. Follow the directions above and enjoy the process. Isn't that what this is all about anyway?
Many of us garden because we want to grow our own fruits & veggies. An attractive landscape or curb appeal may be the goal of others. Gardening in pottery, can also be therapeutic. People that garden relax the mind, body and spirit. Actually it's not the gardening that's relaxing, but the way we approach it.
Focusing on your gardening task is the key to relieving stress. It's not the finish line you are racing towards but the process of getting there that's important. Selecting the right planter, taking into account the size, color & shape. Then making sure you have the correct potting soil. This is not the time or place to use dirt from the ground. Take an afternoon and stroll thru the garden center looking for just the right plant materials.
Are you into lush deep emerald green plants & bushes. Or, are you drawn to the colorful fall plants like mums & heuchera. Verbena has always been one of my favorites because it fills a large plant in no time with color flowers and deep green leaves. Oxalis and decorative cabbage & kale are perfect this time of year.
After gathering all your materials together, it's time to quiet your mind and tune out the noise. Take a deep breathe and feel the cool air rush around you. Take your pottery of choice and fill the bottom with river rock or pot filler. Hand shovel fulls of deep dark & rich potting mix. Smell the clean soil! Remove your plants from the nursery containers and notice their root systems.
Do they need a gentle separating? Loosen them up so they have room to grow and place them in a decorative fashion inside the pottery. Top of the plants with more soil and a plant topper. Use pot shards, glass beads, pine cones, silver balls. Anything that calls out to you.
Finally, clean up, step back and admire what you have just created. Take the time to really look peacefully and carefully. From this day forward you get to enjoy looking at and smelling your potted containers. Invite friends onto your porch or grand kids into the garden. Relax, and enjoy. You deserve it!