Can you collect seeds after a hard frost?

dkotchey(z5)October 30, 2005

Are seeds still viable after a hard frost? I some perennials I haven't had a chance to collect from yet. And I have a few annuals still blooming (dragon wing and bayou begonias and marigolds).

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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

You bet. And I've been known to collect on walks midwinter.
Never a problem.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 9:13AM
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Nurmey(5 Omaha, NE)

Many seeds need a freeze to finish ripening. You can collect as long as there are seeds to be found, sometimes knee deep in snow. lol

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 12:11PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)


I would just like to clarify. I had annuals still blooming when a freeze hit and the plants blackened and turned to mush. They hadn't set seed yet, so there won't be seed from them. Well..correction...they did set some seed which I collected but the rest of what was blooming won't set seed, they are done.
Ageratum Blue Horizon I am talking about.

What about cosmos? The flowers had just stopped flowering and not sure if there will be seed there or not?

My moonflower vine pods turned to mush with the freeze.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 5:27AM
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Don't the flowers need to be pollinated? So seeds are set, but they're not pollinated because the pollinators are not around. How does this work? It's like saving seed from a houseplant, isn't it?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2005 at 10:37AM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Hi, looking for reassurance that frozen-a-lot marigold seeds will be good. I sell seeds sometimes, and wouldn't want to sell duds. Now that spring appears to be somewhere around the corner, I have to finish getting my gardens in order. I found gazillions of marigolds still holding their seeds in. Last year we weird, went sort of straight from summer to winter. First really hard, killed everything frost was Nov. 10 here and I'm in zone 5! So never got all the fall cleanup done, as it went right from growing to snowing.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 12:38AM
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etznab(7 NC)

For flowers and other "exposed" seeds, yes if they were fully developed. For vegetables seeds - probably not. Seeds need to be somewhat if not fully dry before a hard freeze or they wont germinate. If you have a tomato in your freezer and you scoop out those seeeds they wont germinate.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 9:35AM
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Nurmey(5 Omaha, NE)

I have to politely disagree about the tomatoes. They self seed like maniacs in my garden after laying mushy all winter in frozen Nebraska.

If Mother Nature didn't design seeds to survive and grow in areas that freeze, much of the world would be barren of vegatation. True tropicals are another story since they are not genetically designed to grow after a freeze.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 12:28PM
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gardeningwithbaby(zone 4 NE)

I have to agree with Nurmey. We have tons of tomatoes come up each year. I guess that is what happens when I don't clean my garden out during the fall.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 10:11PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Yes, I get tomato volunteers every year from fallen fruit that has frozen and thawed throughout the winter. This year I was happily surprised to find that my corn that spent the winter on the stalk still germinated. I accidentally left all my lovely purple corn outside over the winter (some on the front porch and some still in the garden) and wanted to test it before I gave up on it or tried to plant it. Several seeds grew shoots really well and I am impressed.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 1:08AM
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