Now before we get started with this one - do not throw away those gourds and pumpkins just yet.
Okay, with that said let's move on. If you planted flowers this year and had some success, why not extend that over to next year. Our flowers actually did fairly well this year, I think mostly because we had pretty good weather and didn't require too much maintenance from me. Anyway, we did spend more than I had planned on acquiring the flowers though. Unknown to me when I planned the garden was that rabbits enjoyed feasting on marigolds. I had heard otherwise for years. I had thought by encircling the typical flowers we get with marigolds the rabbits would not munch and all would be safe and survive. Oh, how this is so not true. I cannot count how many times we would look out back and see one of our regular six rabbits of varying size enjoying our marigolds as if they were the cream of the crop. Then when I would go out front, sure enough I would be missing a number of them there as well. Of course they then went for the petunias and other flowers. Silly little rabbits.
So why go into all this, well the next activity has to do with harvesting marigold seeds. Yes, that's right.
Activity 4 - If you haven't had a hard freeze yet and still have these out then now is the time (if not sooner) to get out there and collect the dead heads. (See them circled in red in above picture.) As the blossom dies out there are seeds housed within the base of the flower. Have your preschooler or older one help snap off those dead heads and open up the base. Carefully take the seeds and spread them out to dry. You do not want any moisture in the seeds when you pack them up for next year. There are lots of internet and book resources that can teach you how to do this with most flowers. Marigolds are one of the easiest for little kids I think though. My little one is decorating the envelops and handing them out as gifts this year. She had a great time learning about the life cycle of the flower and can't wait to plant them in the spring. She is also learning some patience as well as things take time to grow just like her.
Labels: autumn, fall, harvesting, marigold seeds, preschool activities