Nature employs several methods for seed distribution during the Autumn months. It’s not unusual to hear the popping or cracking of crisp dry seed pods as they attempt to propel their seeds far and wide.
Some plants even provide their seeds armed with hooks and burrs that snag the passer-by! Be it Gardeners tending to borders that distribute seeds on their clothes and shoes or animals and birds that gather fruits and dry seeds for leaner times. Learning about seed dispersal can aid the seed collecting gardener.
Once you understand a plant mechanism for distributing its seed you will have an idea on how to harvest and even clean seeds for yourself.
Dried seedheads can also extend the season of interest by providing a varied range if dried florets, pods and capsules that add rustic interest as the garden plants prepare for winter dormancy.
Did you know that the squirrel busy storing his harvest for winter months has no recollection of where he buried his nuts and fruits, instead he randomly hunts for buried treasure, hoping to get lucky?
Seedheads can provide months of character and definition to Autumn herbaceous borders, and often left to set seed and provide food for birds and doormice.
These seed dispersing methods can vary from fluffy seed heads that are carried away by the wind, to propellers that gently spiral windward from the parent plant to find soft earth for a period of dormancy prior to germination.
Understanding seed development will not only make collecting and cleaning your hand gathered seeds easier but it will also help provide optimum conditions for germinating your own seeds.
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Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant
“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“
iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.