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It's seed gathering season! Top tips to harvest and sow seeds in autumn

by Norwoods Gardener | Sep 20, 2022

Seed gathering season is an important event in our gardening calendar; it’s the perfect start to autumn and a fun way to ensure you have a garden bursting with beautiful fruit, veg and herbs year after year.

And not only is it a fun & rewarding hobby, growing plants from seed is also a cost-effective way of growing an abundance of crops in your gardens, allotments, and plots. Seeds can be saved from an array of fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs and annuals and once you have the method down you will have opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free!


Here are our top tips to help with replanting and the benefits of gathering seeds for your projects.

How to collect seeds


It’s important you know how to collect seeds, as the process can range from being incredibly easy to a much more of a manual task. For the majority of plants, easy-to-pick seedheads form once flowering is over and done with, ready for you to collect and leave somewhere warm to dry out – the easiest way to collect your seeds! Exploding seedheads, such as peas and lupins, need a little more attention, including checking your plants regularly or leaving a bag over them to collect the seeds (just ensure its properly secured!). For fruits such as raspberries or other berries, mash the fruit into a fine sieve, rinse the seeds and dry.

How to store seeds


Once seeds are collected, you may need to store them until it’s the right time to sow them. Keep them in an envelope in an airtight tub, avoiding extreme heats and humidity. If the seeds are too warm, they can die from diseases or rot. Did you know most seeds can be kept in the fridge for years at a time and they will still usable?


Know when to sow


There’s nothing more rewarding than finally sowing the seeds you have gathered. To get the best results from your seeds, make sure you organise and plan your garden calendar, so seeds can be sown at optimum times. Some may only be suitable for outdoors, whereas some may need to start their lives inside. It’s vital to check which time of year you should sow your seeds, as some need to be planted in autumn, such as winter lettuce, rocket and radish.

Sowing in autumn


There are many hardy annuals which can be sown in September or October that require no protection, including potted marigolds, poppies, and bishops weed. Getting ahead in the season means you’ll see your pots, containers and borders full of life and colour as soon as summer begins, proving to be both rewarding and easy to maintain. Some plants which can be sown now require additional protection to help them make it through to Spring, such as sweet peas and toadflax, so help them out with a layer of insulation - horticultural fleece is a great barrier against frost, for example, to protect from frost.


For more gardening tips and ways to save time and water, take a look through our latest blogs here.

Don’t forget to head on over to our social channels to keep up to date with our latest growing journeys in the Irrigatia garden!