Greenhouse Information

Dinter Nursery Greenhouse - ready for spring
Getting ready for spring!

Seed Collecting and Saving

When a plant has finished flowering, look for swollen seed heads, or ripening fruit. Determining ripeness of seed is a matter of judgement and you get used to the visual clues. If you have doubts, seeds will continue to ripen if left in the seed pods. Once collected, clean seed immediately, leaving chaff in with the seeds may encourage fungal diseases. Dry seed pods and cones, and hang upside down in a paper bag in a dry airy place. Seed will fall.

The easiest way to remove seed from soft fruits is to crush the fruit and steep in water to remove the pulp. Tip or lift off floating material and reasonably clean seed should be left. The fruit may need to be left in water for several days.

Warmth and moisture are enemies of fresh seeds. Store in paper bags in fridge over the winter. Paper bags will allow the moisture to escape from the seed, and the cool temperature of the refrigerator slows down the natural deterioration. Very fleshy seeds that become desiccated under such conditions are best kept in plastic bags. You may wish to dust the seed with a fungicide.

Most annuals will germinate easily in spring. Other plants may have specific requirements that need to be met in order to break dormancy. These requirements are many and varied, and include stratification (chilling), scarification (abrading or scarring), soaking, or a combination of these. Here, research is your best tool.

For specific seed saving information, please refer to the Seed and Plant Sanctuary for Canada website here.

Waterfall outside Dinter Nursery