Saving Seed and Handmade Packets

gaillardia

gaillardia

Seedheads are maturing in the garden, so it’s time to start collecting!

I like to look the stems of some plants to know when it’s time to collect the seeds. With the gaillardia at right, the three left seed heads aren’t ready to collect, but the two on the right are. (Click to enlarge and see entire photo.) The stems are brown, the seed heads are dry and crumbly, and the seeds are plump and mature. The seeds also separate easily from the head. I crumble from the seed seed head heads into a large bowl, remove any critters, leaves, or chaff that ends up in the bowl, and then I package for saving, trading, and giving away at our Master Gardener Seed Exchange at Blandy (last Saturday in January).

When I save large quantities, like I do for the exchange, I use cheap mailing envelopes. I can write seed information on them, cut them open when we have seed-packaging parties, and then have enough envelope to reseal them.

I like to give out seed when I give garden talks. I talk about the plants I for these seeds, so attendees are excited to receive the seed and know how to grow them. That also means I don’t need to put a lot of information on the envelope, so when I package for giveaways, to swap, or when I save small varieties, I like to make envelopes by reusing seed catalogs. These are made using a simple small envelope template I created (which I’ll upload soon). I can make them while watching a movie at home with hubby with just squares of paper, scissors, and a glue stick. I seal with a printed label.

small-seed-envelopes

small-seed-envelopes

My favorite envelopes to make are origami style. You get to show your creative flair by using and reusing colorful papers, which leads to a beautiful variety of envelopes. Here are a few links I’ve saved. (All were free when I found them.)

No Tools Needed – Self Sealing

You’ll find hundreds of seed envelope designs online. Design your own or use some of the below. (All were free when I found them.)

Tools Needed – Glue Stick, Tape, or Scissors.

People bring all sorts of envelopes to the Seed Exchange at Blandy, which NSVMGA co-sponsors with FoSA, and we use coin envelopes for the hundreds of seeds we prepackage.

burlap-envelopes

burlap-envelopes

mg-seed-envelopes

mg-seed-envelopes

 

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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