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September 2021
Issue 151
Hello Great Gardeners,

My husband and I just got back from the Garden Center Group meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. We got to stay at the Hotel DuPont which was built in 1913. 

While on our trip we spent a day on a bus tour with other group  members visiting various garden centers in the area. We also got to see two growers Star Roses and North Creek Perennials, along with Longwood Gardens. Unfortunately, the day was a half soggy one due to the fact the hurricane went through. We had fun though and learned many things. Hopefully in the next year or two we can get back to Longwood and see it fully.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, hit reply. I would love to hear from you. Have a great-gardening day.

Seed Saving
Before you go out and start gathering seeds, it’s essential to understand that not all of them are created equal.

Some plants won’t produce viable seeds, which is a waste of your time. While others won’t grow true from seed, leaving you with mystery specimens.

The first thing you need to know is whether or not the plant you want to save seeds from is an open-pollinated, heirloom, or hybrid plant.

You only want to save seeds from open-pollinated plants (OP) because these plants will produce seeds that will reproduce true to their parent plant (meaning the seeds will regrow into the same type of plant as they came from).

Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated seeds that have been carefully selected from the healthiest, most productive plants and passed down through generations. These are a fantastic choice for seed saving! All heirloom plants are open-pollinated plants, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirloom plants.

So, unless you like to experiment, it’s best to only collect seeds from plants that are heirloom and/or open-pollinated.

If you try to save seeds from a hybrid plant (F1), the plant that grows from the seed won’t be the same as the plant from which you saved the seed. Instead, it will either revert to one of the parent plants or a strange combination of the two. Worst case scenario, they could be sterile.
Timing is everything for success with harvesting seeds. If you collect them too early, they may not be mature enough to germinate.

You will generally know the seeds are ready when the pod or flower head is brown and dried out. Sometimes the pod will break open, and you can see the seeds spilling out.

If you’re not sure whether they are ready to be harvested, it’s probably best to wait. Keep checking every day until you see the seeds.

As for the time of year in general, fall is a great time for collecting seeds. However, many plants form them earlier in the season, so you can usually get started sometime in early to mid-summer.
Some of the easiest to collect seeds include:
  • Hollyhock
  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Coneflower
  • Gaillarida
  • Lupine
  • Poppies
  • Columbine
  • Cleome
  • Larkspur
  • Marigold
  • Morning glory
  • Nasturtium
  • Poppy
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflower
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Calendula
  • Nicotinia
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Beans 
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
These include seeds from most flowers and some vegetables, such as beans, peas, onions, carrots, lettuce, etc.

The easiest way is to go out into the garden on a sunny, dry day with paper lunch bags. Cut off the flower head/beans/peas/etc. and place them in the paper bag. Place the bag in a well-ventilated dry place for a few weeks to ensure the seeds are fully dry.

After that, you may need to “Thresh” or “Winnow” the seeds to separate the seeds from the “chaff” (the excess plant material surrounding the seed).

”Threshing” involves rubbing, beating, or trampling on the seed “pods” to release the seeds from their casing.

”Winnowing” is the process of removing the chaff using wind. I do this by first threshing my seeds, then pouring the resulting mixture into a bowl. I wait for a windy day, then head outside with another bowl. Slowly pour the seeds and chaff back and forth between the two bowls. The wind will blow away the lighter debris, leaving the heavier seeds behind.
These include seeds from "fleshy" fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, etc.

Harvesting "wet seeds" is a little more work! You will need to allow the fruit/veggie to ripen fully before collecting (think baseball bat-sized zucchini!).

Open up the fruit/veggie and scoop out the mature seeds with a spoon. You will need to wash/sieve them several times to remove the pulp.

"Wet Seeds" tend to stick to surfaces, so place them on a non-stick surface, such as parchment paper and shuffle them around every day until they are fully dry.

Some "wet seeds," such as tomatoes and cucumbers, benefit from undergoing a "fermentation" process. Fermenting the seeds mimics what happens in nature and helps to reduce diseases.

Fermentation is simple. Place the seeds and pulp in a jar of water and leave it in a warm place (be sure to cover to prevent fruit flies!) After about three days, you will notice things are starting to get a little "funky." Allow things to get a little bubbly, and then you can rinse and clean the seeds in a sieve. Let fully dry before storing.
All seeds should be completely dry before storing. They should be kept in a paper envelope or paper bag to ensure they are well aerated.

For More Information:


Garden Mums
9 Inch Pot
5 or more $8.99 ea
(Regular $9.99 ea)
Does Not Include: Igloo Or Tricolor Mums
September 20th
Tree Planting Sale
We will deliver and plant any tree purchased from Wilson's for
$75 per tree
(Licking County)

$85 per tree
(Knox, Coshocton, Muskingum, Perry, Fairfield, Franklin and Delaware Counties)
Transplanting Perennials
Early spring and fall are the best times for transplanting or dividing perennials. You should give the plants about six weeks before the first hard freeze occurs in your garden so they can be settled into their new home and ready for winter. Wait until a cloudy day, ideally with several days of light rain in the forecast.

Move late summer and fall bloomers in the spring and spring and early summer flowering perennials in the fall.

When an otherwise good plant begins to underperform, there could be many causes, including depleted soil, competing plants, crowding, or large, mature roots ready for division. Some other signs that a perennial should be divided include dead centers with the growth on the outer edges, not blooming as well as it used to, and smaller flowers than expected.

When transplanting, make the planting hole two to three times wider than the current root ball but don’t make the hole any deeper than the plant was growing in its previous environment.

1. Dig up the parent plant using a spade or fork.
2. Gently lift the plant out of the ground and remove any loose dirt around the roots.
3. Separate the plant into smaller divisions by any of these methods:
  • Gently pull or tease the roots apart with your hands;
  • Cut them with a sharp knife or spade;
  • Or put two forks in the center of the clump, back to back, and pull the forks apart
4. Each division should have three to five vigorous shoots and a healthy supply of roots.
5.Keep these divisions shaded and moist until planted.

After Dividing & Transplanting:
Water the plants and keep them consistently moist until a hard freeze. Do not use fertilizer as it will only encourage top growth, which takes energy away from the roots. We do recommend using Bonide Root and Grow to help prevent transplant shock. This liquid hormone helps stimulate new root growth. Follow the directions on the bottle.

Apply a layer of mulch up to the crowns of the plants but do not bury them.

Expect newly transplanted and divided plants not to bloom the following year. Once the plant establishes itself in its new spot, it will resume its normal growth cycle.
Wilson's Garden Center
10923 Lambs Ln.
Newark, Ohio. 43055

740-763-2874 (Fax)

September Hours:
Sunday - Thursday:
8 am - 5 pm
Friday & Saturday:
8 am - 6 pm
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