COLLECT & STORE SWEET PEA SEED
After a beautiful show of spring blooms, it’s worth collecting the seed so you can enjoy them next year, and it’s an easy process. SOPHIE THOMSON shows us how she does it.
1 WAIT until your vines have begun to brown and die off, then look for some dry, crispy seed pods.
2 PICK a few seed pods and split them lengthways to reveal the seed. If they are firm and dark, they are fully mature and ready for storing. If not, leave them be, then come back and check them again in a couple of weeks.
3 COLLECT enough pods for a couple of years’ sowings, plus a few handfuls to share – the seed should remain viable for two years or more. Put the pods into something that will breathe, so they keep drying out. You can use a paper bag or envelope, or, as you can see here, just grab the vines, pods and all, and stuff them into an old chook grain sack. The pods can be sorted later!
4 STORE the paper bag in a cool, dry, airy place. I hang my sack in a cool spot in the carport, the same place I cure our annual garlic harvest. After a couple of months, if you like, you can shell the pods to release the seed and store them in an airtight jar in a cool cupboard, or just leave them in the paper bag and extract the seed when you need it.