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William Moss has loved nature and the outdoors since childhood. Gardening is just an extension of that passion. The effects of his gardening efforts on the local ecosystem were intriguing and inspiring. His gardens provided nectar for swallowtails and skippers, shelter for carpenter bees and writing spiders, and an endless supply of voles and rabbits for the neighborhood red tailed hawk. On his websites, www.garden.org/urbangardening & www.wemoss.org , he chronicles the challenges of gardening in a city and discusses horticultural techniques. William also covers a wide array of "greening" topics ranging from soil contamination and remediation to eco-friendly pest management to the intricacies of native habitats. To comprehend and better explain the complex life-webs right outside his door, William enrolled in the extramural Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences program offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His focus is on creating wildlife corridors in urban areas. Concurrently, he has sought out opportunities to be involved in local environmental projects. While at the Chicago Department of the Environment, he worked with WRD, an environmental construction company, at North Park Village Nature Center. William supervised Greencorps crews and volunteers and they removed invasive plants and replaced them with native trees, shrubs, and perennials. At this point William began to focus more on presenting lectures, and he joined the Chicago Botanic Garden as an environmental educator.

How To Save Seeds From Your Garden

Master Gardener William Moss demonstrates how to save seeds from your favorite garden plants.

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Transcripts

William Moss: Winter is a good time to save seeds. Before you clear out your garden and get it ready for spring, think about all the plants dead from the previous season bloom beautifully or tasting great.

Saving seeds is a good way to get more of them inexpensively. The easiest ones are the annuals, simply pick them off and put them inside of a bag. Now when it comes to your perennial seeds, you want to store them in a more wet mixture.

So I have got them inside this baggy and I am going to add a little soil to the bag and that's what you have to do with the wet seeds too, but you got to take a little step first with them. You take them on a paper towel and you roll them out flat. So these are the middle seeds here that you want to save, you don't want to save all the pulp.

If you want to sow right away, use a whole different strategy. Pick off the seed heads; just sprinkle the seeds into the seed tray. It will go through winter and it will have all of the moisture it needs.

The final way that you can save seeds is to actually plant them in the garden now. What I am going to do is I am going to sow them directly into this bed.

Whether you are going to save dry seeds like deciduous in a drawer or a closet or save perennial seeds inside the crisper or the garage, saving your seeds from your garden is a good way to get more of your favorite plants and do it cheap. Get out and grow!