Tag: marigolds

Garden Update – October

It is hard to believe it is already October! The weather is changing and cooler weather is here. We had a challenging gardening month because wildfires stretched across Oregon and the thick smoke hid the September sun for weeks. Despite this, it has been a very busy month in the garden! Here is what we’ve been up to:


Our apple trees are doing great! I love having a 5-way grafted tree because apples ripen over a much longer season. While our gravenstein apples are ready in July, our other types are ready now. A few weeks ago I picked a 33 pound box of apples. And there are still plenty more on the tree!

What have we been doing with all these apples? Most of them have been eaten fresh. We also made some apple crisp, which is my absolute favorite fall dessert! You can check out the recipe here.

Box full of apples.
Lots of apples for apple crisp!


I cannot remember bean plants ever being as productive as ours have been this year. The variety I planted was Hickok from Territorial Seed. After setting a large crop in July, we got a second large crop a month later. In mid September we still had flowers and small beans on our plants!

I finally had to pull the bean plants after the weather started getting cooler at night. We have been enjoying lots of garlic roasted green beans! Yum!

Hickok green beans.
We picked beans up through the middle of September. It was a great year!


I did not plant many beets this year. After our radishes were done in June I poked a few seeds in here and there. I was surprised that they got as big as they did! I will have to plant more next year.


The canes for our marion berries are growing long! I wound them around the trellis so they were not dragging on the ground. This also prevents them from sprouting new plants. The blackberries seem healthy and strong so think we will have a pretty good harvest next year!

Marion berries on a trellis.
I wound the blackberries around the trellis so they do not drag on the ground. I think we will have a great harvest next year!

Marigold Flowers

I finally took our marigolds out last week. I saved the seeds and you can read more about that here. Marigolds produce SO MANY SEEDS and I will have plenty to plant next year!

Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads
It is easy to save marigold seeds for next year!


I planted peas a few weeks ago and the seedlings are about 4 inches tall now. I usually start my peas in the fall and overwinter them for a bigger and earlier crop. You can learn more about overwintering pea plants here.

Related post: Why Garden Planning Starts in September

Sweet Peas

Shortly after I planted my peas, I also planted my sweet pea flowers. After I saw “volunteer” sweet peas coming up already I knew the seeds would sprout easily. I planted a row along the bottom of my trellis so they can get established before winter comes. I am looking forward to early flowers in the spring!

Related post: How to Save Sweet Pea Seeds


Each year we grow something we have never tried before, and the kids chose popcorn to grow this year! We planted the popcorn after the weather warmed in June. However I did not realize that popcorn takes 110-120 days to mature, which is significantly longer than regular sweet corn. It FINALLY got ripe and the end of September.

Glass Gem popcorn.
The popcorn is finally ready. It is SO pretty!!!

Ideally we would have let the popcorn dry in the garden but we had to pick it and bring it indoors since the weather has been so wet. The ears were so beautiful! We pulled the husks back and displayed some of the prettiest ears around the house.

We peeled the rest of the corn and put it in a box in the garage to dry out. We put one ear in the food dehydrator to speed up the process. It was very difficult to get the moisture content just right but finally we got it to pop! So fun!

Place the popcorn in a box to dry.
We peeled the rest of the popcorn and put it in a box in the garage to dry out. It is so pretty to see the variety of different colors!


We finally picked our pumpkins for the year! One weighed in at 15 pounds and the other was 25 pounds. We did not get as many pumpkins as we do some years. This may be because they were planted in a little more shade. The kids are already looking forward later in the month when they will get to carve them!


I had to take some of my sunflowers out of the front yard so I made these cute DIY sunflower bird feeders. The birds found them right away and the seeds are almost gone already. It has been a lot of fun to watch the birds out our back window!

Chickadee bird on DIY sunflower birdfeeder.
The birds love these sunflower bird feeders!


I took out my tomato plants a few weeks ago. The weather has been getting cooler and the tomatoes started ripening much slower. Before I pulled my plants I picked off all of the green fruit to ripen inside. You can read more about ripening green tomatoes here.

Only nine months to go until fresh tomatoes again next year! I am already thinking of what varieties I want to plant 🙂

Related: Cherry Tomato Taste Test

Final Thoughts

It has been a busy month around here but a lot of fun to harvest everything. What have you been up to in your garden? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you are able to enjoy this beautiful fall weather! Happy Gardening!

Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads

How to Save Marigold Seeds

Marigolds are wonderful flowers to include in your garden! They repel bugs, are easy to grow, are drought tolerant, and bloom continually over a long season. It is September now and my marigolds are about done blooming for the year. Read on to learn how easy it is to save marigold seeds for beautiful blooms year after year.

Marigold flower
Marigolds are an easy-to-grow garden favorite!

When to Harvest Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are ready to harvest as soon as the seed heads are fully dry, and this can happen as early as August. However, I usually wait until September or October to collect my seeds because a larger number of seed heads will have formed. Try to harvest the seed heads before the heavy fall rains arrive because wet seeds will not last as long.

How to Harvest Marigold Seeds

Collect the dry seed heads from your marigold plants and put them on a work surface. Be sure to look deep in the plant because some may be hiding among the leaves. Remove the dried petals and then carefully pull the seeds out of the seed head and place them in a small bowl. The bottom of the seeds should be hard and black. Discard any seeds that are soft or light colored because these are not fully mature and they will not germinate properly.

Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads
Harvest the seeds by removing the orange petals and then pulling the seeds from the base.
Spread your seeds out on a paper towel for a few days so they can dry. It is surprising how many seeds each plant can produce!

After you have collected all of your seeds spread them out on a paper towel and let them sit there for a few days so they can dry. After they have dried completely they will be ready for storage.

Seed Storage Tips

There is one thing that will ruin your marigold seeds and that is mold caused by too much moisture. I learned this the hard way a few years ago when I stored my seeds in a plastic zip-top bag when they were not fully dry. In the spring my seeds were a black moldy mess and completely ruined. It was so disappointing!

Now I recommend storing your seeds in a brown paper lunch bag after they are done drying on the paper towels. Since the paper bag can breathe, moisture can escape and the seeds will last longer. Fold the top of the bag down and seal it with a piece of tape. Store the seeds in a cool, dark, dry place until you are ready to plant them in the spring.

Paper bag of marigold seeds 2020
Store your seeds in a sealed paper bag. Since the paper is breathable excess moisture can escape.

When to Plant Your Seeds

Marigolds are very easy to grow from seed. Plant them in mid-spring around March or April. In my experience, marigolds planted from seed are much more vigorous than those planted from transplants. If your marigolds last year were a hybrid variety, the plants that grow this year may or may not look exactly like the parent plants. Either way, they will add a bright and sunny pop of color to your garden!

Butterfly sitting on marigold flower

Hope you get to enjoy these beautiful flowers in your garden again next year. Happy Gardening!

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