seed harvesting or fresh seed?

nana8(5)October 1, 2012

Do most of you folks that sell at the markets buy fresh seed every year for reliability or do you harvest your seed from annuals for the following year? This year as an experiment I bought some zinnia plants, and after about three weeks planted a row from seed (new seed). The seed planted much surpassed the plants, longer straighter stems, more flushes. Note to self, plant seeds next year.......

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You have three different questions. Some seed you can save for more than one season. Meaning you can buy thousands and it will germinate fine three or four years from now. Celosias, statice, sunflowers are just a few that have kept for me. Asters do not. Some plants you can collect your seed for next year from. celosias, non hybrid sunflowers, amaranthus, etc. Zinnias and some other flowers can be either transplanted or direct seeded. If transplanted, they should be spaced a foot or more apart and pinched as they are growing to produce more and longer stems

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Buying fresh seed each year seems to be the way to go for me. I do not harvest any of my annual seed. I do keep leftover "new" seed each year (for one year) in the frig. and have had no problems with germination -- example, zinnia, statice, sunflower, etc. seed. Depending on the size of your operation, seed prices are pretty reasonable if you "shop around." I use several different companies, depending on price. Volume always helps on the price, of course. Pitt in Central Indiana

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:48AM
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Thank you for your prompt replies. I am just toying with the idea of farmers market for next year. Iam semi-retired and owned a greenhouse previously for 20 years. My yard is filled with flowers anyway, and those rows of zinnias are making me think maybe I could make a few bucks from them and other flowers. What kind of Celosia are long stemed for bouquets?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 1:30PM
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I grow cristata (Chief) and use the side shoots in bouquets. Sell large center heads as singles. I also use Pampas Plume which I direct seed. The pampas self-seeds each year and, of course, those plants are quite hardy. I have grown the Spring Green celosia the last 2 years, and it goes with everything in bouquets. Seed is much higher price than Chief and Pampas, but Spring Green is a great crop.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:09AM
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Thanks, Pitt for the sugesstions. The pictures of the Spring Green Celosia loook great. Do you start the seeds inside under lights, or direct seed in the garden? I like that unusual color, and it is always a nice contribution to a bouquet. I have grown Benary's giant zinnia in the lime green and use it often.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:30PM
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I start the Spring Green inside under growlights. It has been a quick crop so I don't start it too early -- late March is plenty early for my area. I have sold to local florists and sell at one Saturday farmers' market. Both like this one!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:41PM
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magz88(5a - Central Ontario)

I am saving seed this year from quite a few of mine this year. I've got - salvia, gomphrena, emilia, and wheat celosia saved.

I also have fox gloves and canterbury bells in the yard that are from this year's plants harvested seed.

My zinnia and amaranth that I saved from last year did really well this year.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:08PM
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bfff_tx(z8b TX)

Saving seed from some plants is good for the pocket book for some, but be aware that any Hybrid F1 seed varieties will come back with some sort of variation to the plant, flower production or colour compared to the original seed!!!
Cheers Kim
Billabong Fresh Flower Farm

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:09PM
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