How I collect and save seeds for my garden

Hey everyone, hope you are doing well! I thought I will share some of my gardening experience since people have been spending more time on their gardens(which is exciting to hear!) and maybe now it is more topical people might find it interesting.

I have been gardening for quite a few years and what I have realised is that it’s a constant learning process. There will never be a day when I will know it all when it comes to this subject. I thought I will also mention here that we took a very exciting decision last week and decided to even get an allotment for next year (fingers crossed there is some space). Anyways… what I would like to talk to you about this time is about seed collecting and storing.

I started seed collecting last year and I wanted to share straight away about my experiences. However due to us having website problems at that time I ended up holding off this post till now. And what a good timing! Not only that there is more interest in the subject, but also this is a good time to start thinking about seed collection. Also I have now seen what worked, so I can share some feedback here as well. Seed collecting is what makes gardening a little bit cheaper, more sustainable, and more interesting. Have you ever seen a plant that you would like to grow but could not find a seed to buy?

The starting point of seed collection is planning. Why? Because you need to let some plants develop their seed which takes a little time and preparation. So make a list and schedule what month you will be collecting those seeds. I created my list with space where I can mark a cross for each item as I go along.

Of course sometimes seed collection can be spontaneous, especially when you see a beautiful plant or your friend gives you an interesting fruit. Last year I collected lots of flower plants that now I am watching grow. I am also growing lots of Russian black tomatoes that my friend gave me to taste last year. It made crazy loads of tomato plants just from one fruit!

Once you have assembled your list you will have a better idea of the preparation that needs to be done. Look up how to collect seeds from each plant. I ended up watching quite a lot of seed collecting videos last year! Plants like cucumbers and courgettes definitely need a long time till they are ready for seed harvesting. Some veg like lettuce or carrots are harvested before they have a chance to develop any seeds so this maybe another reason why you need to prep and wait. The majority of other fruit and veg seeds are pretty obvious. They just need to be picked and dried. Make sure you dry seeds away from the sun!

After seeds are completely dry you can store them however you like. It’s important that seeds are kept in a dry, cool, and dark place. I used envelopes, but jars or little containers work fine as well.

If you want here we have few printable envelopes just for fun. Hope you like using them!

Using my own seeds has been very satisfying this year. I hardly spent any money so far. I only picked a few things from the shop, such as strawberry seeds for my kids as well as getting seeds to use where some I harvested did not work out. But those were only a few. Cucumber and courgette was was some of them! Probably because I did not allow enough of time before seed harvesting. The seeds that worked out really well are here as follows: tomatoes (all types), beans, pumpkin (got too many now), chamomile, marigolds, poppy, sunflower, nasturtium and still waiting for others. Totally worth trying out!

Enjoy gardening!

Rasa xoxo

Kitchen organisation ideas: jars

Kitchen organisation ideas: jarsOur kitchen completion is so so close that I can almost taste it! It’s those small little details that takes forever to finish, I don’t know why is it often like that. In order for us to move into our new kitchen (we are lucky to have an old kitchen in other part of the house), we still need to fill some gaps, touch paint, silicone and fit the shelves.
I am so excited about the shelves though! I love the open display plan. I already started preparing storage solutions that looks good and is a decoration itself. You guessed it right, jars are going to be my focus!
Jar storage solution is not a new invention, it’s just got really trendy in recent years. You can buy mason jars easily anywhere, however I don’t believe you need them to achieve the look. Although I do own few mason type of jars, majority of my jars comes from recycling. That’s right! I use a lot of jars that had were storing pickles in their past life. I think reusing these type of jars is so much better than recycling itself. It’s better for your pocket too!Kitchen organisation ideas: jarsTo begin with I started sorting out our grains, sugar, flour, seeds etc etc. I looked through lots of loose bags and I was little surprised to find some stuff that I did not even know I had (like quinoa). I stored these into right size jars according to the amounts, the use and the size I tend to buy them in the shop. For example, I hardly ever eat quinoa (don’t really like the taste of it) so it ended up in the tiniest jar the whole lot could fit. It’s different with the brown sugar and although I had a tiny amount of it left I stored it in a lager jar.Kitchen organisation ideas: jarsAs for labels I decided to go paperless. I got inspired by these and since my handwriting improved I thought I will give a go. I used basic black permanent pens instead of oil based paint pens. I experimented on the paper before going ahead and scribbling on the jar.Kitchen organisation ideas: jars Although the pens are permanent, it can be easily wiped out with some acetone or other type of solvent.Kitchen organisation ideas: jarsKitchen organisation ideas: jarsHope you like my jar organisation idea and get to adopt it at your home.
Rasa xoxo

knitted scrubby pouches + three ways to use it

Knitted scrubby pouches It was such a breakthrough when we started reusing cleaning cloths, I am sure it saved few £££ too. It does not take a lot of space in the washing machine and I never seem to run out of them. Now my next step is to reuse scrubbing sponges, we go through soooo many! This is when I thought I could make my own! I saw few knitted wash cloths around so I thought it will be fun to knit the scrubbers too. I chose garden twine for it’s ridged and rough properties and garter stitch for it’s simplicity and texture. Let’s see how they hold up 😉
These scrubby pouches are great as they can be used three ways. You can insert biodegradable sponge for some sponginess or a bar of soap for continuous foam (this can be suitable to use it in the bath I am sure). Alternatively you can use your hand which I find is easiest when doing some intense scrubbing.Knitted scrubby pouches To make this scrubby pouch you will need:

  • garden twine
  • 4-6mm knitting needles
  • matching size crochet hook
  • scissors

To begin with cast on a row measuring your hand width.
Knitted scrubby pouchesContinue by knitting on both sides which makes up garter knit stitch. Carry on knitting till you achieve long enough cloth that fits your sponge when folded.Knitted scrubby pouches Fold the cloth in half and join one side together using a crochet hookKnitted scrubby pouchesCrochet a chain same length as the cloth width. Knitted scrubby pouches Join another side same way as the other previously.  Knitted scrubby pouchesThis turns the cloth into pouch.Knitted scrubby pouches I have already tried out this scrubby pouch and must admit it is not as effective as a regular scourer sponge because it is not as flexible and soft. However with some practice it does work and it is gentle enough not to damage your pot and pans ;-).Knitted scrubby pouchesHope you found this useful!
Rasa xoxo