But on closer inspection I can see that despite their attempts at new growth and putting on new buds after each rain we've had in the past few weeks, they are no match for the handful of frosty nights we have also had.
So for the past few days I have been deadheading this patch of zinnias so that I can dry them out and save the seed to use for next year's plot.
I cut off heads that are already starting to dry on the actual plant and then I spread them out on mesh in our open greenhouse for a week or two to finish drying. After they are completely dry it is super easy to rub the seeds off of the stem into a bucket.
I actually purchased my zinnia seed this year because I forgot to save seed last year. I purchased a quarter pound of seed for around $8. Spending about five minutes each day this week deadheading will result in about a 5-gallon bucket of zinnia seeds. That would be enough to plant a VERY large plot of zinnias! I think everyone I know will get zinnia seeds for Christmas this year.
Next to my drying zinnia seeds are dried rudbeckia seeds that came from my mother-in-law's garden. I've already sown a mess of them and still have quite a few left but can't figure out where they are going to go. Perennial seeds are always a dilemma for us. I may have to break up MORE ground.