Saturday, December 19, 2015

Free seeds

Well this whole gardening thing has become quite a big part of my life.    Not that I spend hours in the veggie patch every day though.  I am spending more time there now as I am on leave at the moment taking care of my mum.  When I do work I usually water a couple of afternoons a week in summer and spend maybe an hour in the patch every sunday morning.   But now I am house bound 24/7 so I am spending a little more time tending to the veg.

The carrots planted back in May are coming to an end and whilst still edible I have let a few of them go to seed to see what happens next.    The seed pods are very lovely with an amazing structure.  I have never collected seeds before.  Seeds are cheap to buy and thats how I plant a lot of my crops.  Seed or seedling, depending on the crop.  As I have abundant hours spare I thought I could collect the seeds this time and see how they go as my next crop.

The methodology is to leave the flower heads on the plant until they are jam packed and looking almost dead. It is then that you harvest them.  Carrot seeds are very small and solid black in colour.  In the flower they have a furry like case around them.    The seeds won't shake out on their own, they need a little human intervention.  Important to tease them out onto white paper or into a while bowl because there are ants and lady bugs hiding in there.  They are easily visible on white.

One carrot left to seed can produce hundreds of seeds.  Seriously hundreds!!!  One carrot might produce 3 or 4 flower heads in which case you can collect thousands of seeds.

So here are some images of the my first foray into seed collection showing the various stages of the seed heads.

Now I am no scientist, but from what I can work out this is how to harvest carrot seeds!!!  I will plant then into a new veggie bed and await the results!

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