There’s no question that Altoids got so popular because they come in such cool little tins. I buy that brand of mint just so I get to keep the tin for my seed stash. They’re particularly good for larger seeds such as sweet pea and Indian corn that doesn’t fit into envelopes.
As August rolls around, a lot of our plants will begin going to seed both in the garden and the wild. Most of these are viable, so you can collect them to plant next year. What I like to do is collect the seed to give away to my gardening friends in decorated Altoid boxes or cute jars as holiday gifts.
To save your own seed it’s important to allow the pod or seed head to fully mature. Each plant will distribute its seed in a different way, sometimes pods pop open, other times the heads just sit waiting for Autumn winds to blow them away. In all cases the seed will be fully dry when it leaves the plant. If you find seed is green and soft, it’s probably not ready to be harvested.
Maple tree seeds are great for crafts or planting.
The most important thing to remember is to label the seed in its box or envelope. Many tiny seed types like poppies are virtually impossible to distinguish from one another by eye, making labeling even more important. Ditto if you have more than one variety of the same plant. Date the label for the future to tell you how old the seed stock is. Lettuce seed, for example, isn’t viable for more than about a year.
Store your seed in a cool dry place. I’ve lost more seed to mice and moisture than anything else. Hungry rodents chew right through envelopes and sacks. Even a small amount of moisture can saturate paper and ruin the seed. That’s why the Altoid tins have become a staple of my seed saving – to ensure they’re bug, water and rodent proof!
Get started with The Seed Savers Kit at www.MoPlants.com Store.