My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Saving Seeds & Tubers

on September 14, 2014
Four O'clock Seeds

Four O’clock Seeds

The 4 O’clock Flowers puts out seeds that are perhaps the easiest to harvest and the most abundant..  They turn black and just sit there in the fold of leaves waiting to drop or be plucked.  If the wind blows the plant, you can hear them drop.

Special Note:  Unless you are very careful, 4 O’clock plants will pop-up in the strangest places next year.  All parts of this plant–except the pollen– are poisonous, particularly to Japanese Beetles and, I think, to June Bugs. But JB’s love to eat them anyway.  They even prefer them over fruit. Ergo, it is recommended to place these plants near fruiting bushes and trees.

Garlic Chive Seeds

Garlic Chive Seeds


These chive seeds are still green and not quite ready to harvest.  When I save seeds, I dry them on a paper plate with the name of seed written on the plate.  Dry for several days to ensure that the seeds will not mold once they are stored in a container.


Baddest Banana Pepper Plant 2014

Baddest Banana Pepper Plant 2014

Toward the end of the season, I will allow some banana peppers to ripen all the way to a bright yellow.  Then I will select the biggest, baddest pepper from the strongest, best-est plant.  Then I will quickly bring this prized pepper inside and collect the seeds, dry them and save them.  Yeah, and have to do that.  My supply is low.  Saving pepper seeds is the only time that you have to be fast with peppers.  Once the pepper is cut, the seeds turn black quickly.  Every pepper seed that I’ve ever bought was snow white.  Maybe, it would be a good idea to stand in the garden and roll the seeds over your tongue to clean them.  Spit would clean them pretty quick, I think.  I’ve read that some people do that with tomato seeds.  Of course, I would not do that with HOT PEPPERS.  I’m not that dedicated.

In the photo the sweet potatoes are trying to come up out of the ground.  Tubers often do this.  This causes ‘green shoulder’ and makes the tuber bitter.  I have covered the sweet potatoes over with more soil.  I’m not going to pull the sweet potatoes until the last possible moment, because I don’t want to eat them.  I want to save them for re-planting next year 2015.

sweet potatoI recently read that it is a good idea to save sweet potatoes and regular potatoes for re-planting rather than start each new year with new starters.  Eventually, you cultivate a potato that is perfectly suited to your piece of dirt.  Makes sense to me, so that’s what I’m doing.  Once you accomplish this task, I guess, you can call yourself the Grand PooBha of Gardening.  I know growing potatoes will safe on my pocketbook.  Those organics are really expensive, but I will continue to buy organic potatoes until I can grow them.  White potatoes are loaded with pesticides, you know.

To save potatoes:  Pull.  Dry.  Brush away excess dirt, but do not wash.  Store in a cool place with newspaper layers.


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