Sunday, February 19, 2012

Practical Prepping... Saving Seeds, Preparing for next Season.

“The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past.
To change your future, alter your decisions today.”
 ~ Anonymous


Some Practical Prepping
Given we are almost over Summer, the Garden needs some long-term prep for Winter and the new growing season at the end of it. Everywhere is getting some compost & horse manure, the shrubs and trees are getting a light trim, and Im ripping out things that are long gone and dead.

There are a few of my plants in the garden that have been seeding their little hearts out. Ive kept them aside instead of ripping them out by the roots, and theyre now setting seed. This year Ive collected quite a number of varieties, which helps hugely to keep the costs down for gardening next season.
Sunflowers are starting to die down, the seeds are still hard, but will come out in the next week or so. Three large heads are going to collect around 300 seed if all goes well :)

Sunflower seeding
Seeds of Mizuna, Mibuna, Rocket, Mustard greens etc, all from a Mesculun mix, are all set and collected easily once the heads are dry. They seed in their 1000s which is awesome if you like to resow your own mesculun. Yum! We collect the seeds and I store them in handmade paper envelopes with the name, date and amount if known, on the front. Cool and dry storage, in something like a shoe box works for us. Some people freeze seed, but at this stage, I have very limited freezer space.

Front Garden in Full Colour
Pyrethrum Flowers repel Flies

Happy Blue Borage flowers attract Bees

Anise Hyssop edge the drive with Balm of Gilead (pink)
 Tansy, Pyrethrum, Figwort, Balm of Gilead and Anise Hyssop are all giving of their seed at the moment. Pyrethrum is valuable for so many things, especially alleviating flies and other pests, a spray can be made from its leaves. Tansy is a great companion plant for Raspberry, and Anise Hyssop attracts bees.
Balm of Gilead is an unusual herb, very pleasant scent, and smells lovely when brushed against. These herbs once planted are a little like Borage, they are hardy and often spread easily (meaning root cuttings by divison are easy), they are often difficult to get rid of once theyre established, but theyre well worth it for their medicinal and herbal properties. Borage is such an attractive bee plant...
Then we have other attractants like Poppy or Hollyhock, Marigold and Calendula that seed like crazy. Have one poppy one year, the next year you have 1000s!

Hollyhock - Bumblebee haven, seeds easily

Tomato - If you have 1 tomato, you have seeds for many!

Not so easy to get seed from - Carrots

Easy Seeds - Giant Lemon Marigold

Fenugreek - Great for many medicinal uses
So thats what we are up to at the moment.
On the Emergency Kit prepping, we have just added some more bits and pieces - some solar powered garden lights, some rope, tarps, an emergency wind up radio, and torches. It doesnt have to be much at a time, just a little bit each time you see something you can afford. The rule with groceries here, is when you buy something, ie 4 rolls of toiletpaper, 1 goes into the kit. If I buy Shampoo or Cat Food, I decant a small amount off the top so I can keep it aside, JUST IN CASE :-) Collecting up small bottles and containers all the time... So there we go.

Off to check the Tomato bushes like a big over-bearing blackbird, in the chance that with this sun today, some of them have the will to colour up and need picking!

Will catch you up later,
Take care and Enjoy Life


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