At first glance, not much appears to be happening in the native garden in late summer. Aside from the blooms of California fuschsia, goldenrod, and perhaps a clarkia or two, most plants have finished up their show and appear to be in stasis, lying dormant in anticipation of the fall rains.
Your garden is not as dormant as it appears. Most of those plants that have finished up their spring show are quietly producing as many seeds as their stores of water and nutrients can muster. It’s this time of year when a gardener has the opportunity to harvest some of that bounty to populate their (or their neighbor’s) garden the following year.
Every plant has its own time table for when its seeds are ripe. Depending on the type of plant and the type of fruit produced, there are varying signs to look for to tell if the seed is ready to be harvested.
Whatever the seeding plant, you want to go about this addictive process the right way. Fortunately, help is a click away. Visit the California Native Plant Society website for tips, cautions, and next steps — all written clearly and carefully illustrated. It’s a new kind of recipe. Go to CNPS.org and search
California Native Propagation.