Sowing the seed: collecting for a meadow

With all the hot, sunny weather we’ve been experiencing, now is the perfect time to go out seed collecting

Meditteranean flower meadow at RHS Garden WisleyHere at RHS Garden Wisley, the Seed Team, together with our team of volunteers, have been out collecting from the poppy meadow on Hilltop, the meadow mix at the top of the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, sponsored by Witan Investment Trust, and the recently opened meadow mix in the Mediterranean Walk, at the top of the Trials Field.

These areas have been flowering beautifully for several weeks now, and as the days go by, more seed heads are forming, and we can’t wait to get our hands on them! Don’t get me wrong, though – there are plenty more flowers coming too. Amongst the seed we’ve collected are the following: cornflowers, poppies, Californian poppies, Ammi majus (false bishop’s weed), larkspur and coreopsis.

CoreopsisSo how do we do it? Choose a dry day and pick seed just as they’re ripening and on the point of dispersal. The best way to store them is in paper bags or envelopes. Once you’ve collected your seed don’t forget to label the bag or envelope with the name of the plant.

Remove as much of the plant chaff (anything that isn’t seed) as you can because this can harbour diseases, before storing your seed in a cool, dry place (a refrigerator is great if you have the space).

You don’t need any special equipment to collect seed from your own garden – it’s very cheap and a great way of bulking up the plants in your garden and sharing them with friends and family.

You may get some interesting results when you sow them! And towards the end of this year RHS Members can take advantage of the work of the Seed Team and order seed for yourself. Cheerio for now...

Find out more details of the RHS members' seed scheme

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