Seed Saving: Four O'Clocks

Four O'Clocks can be a bit unruly in the garden, flopping over, sometimes growing to the size of a shrub, reseeding with abandon. I've read that in warmer climates they can become a nuisance, but up here I find them handy for my toughest spots. Below you can see a giant pink one, happily growing in the spot with the leanest soil. I did have to keep propping it up against the down spout, but it still looked good.

The name comes from the time the flowers open, but that never seems to actually be 4:00pm for me. Planting is easy, I usually just chuck a handful of seeds into an area with freshly turned soil and water them in. They won't come up until the weather warms, but really take off in the heat.

Each flower produces one little, black hand grenade shaped seed. They drop constantly, so I only worry about collecting seeds to sow in new locations or to share.

You can pick them by hand or take the easy way and collect from where a plant hangs over some pavement.

So many seeds! This scene kind of looks like rodent droppings unfortunately.