Winter Gardening: Collecting the Seeds of the Year’s Labor


My “team” went out this afternoon to collect the seeds of astragalus, wood betony, marshmallow, echinacea, valerian, elecampane, and thyme. We distribute the seeds throughout the garden to encourage natural germination using the rhythms of the season, instead of hand-stratifying.

My herb gardens thrive on benign neglect, and one of the ways I support the plants’ life cycles is by casting seeds. There are seeds that I will grow in flats under lights—out-of-climate fussbudgets like ashwagandha, spilanthes, eucalyptus, ginger— but happily settled residents will often propagate themselves either by self-sowing or germinating from seeds scattered through the garden. This is a great kid activity, as it has plenty of space for creativity, and precision is not important.

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