By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Got some envelopes? Good, it’s time to save seeds from your favorite flowers so you won’t have to buy them next year – you often find more seeds on one flowerhead than you get in an entire packet you buy at the store!

You can collect seeds from annuals like zinnias and cosmos, as well as perennials like Columbine, Echinacea, Baptisia and many more.

I usually gather seeds when flowerheads or pods are brown and starting to open on their own. That makes it easy to shake lots of seeds into an envelope – one for each kind of flower. Or you can also snip the whole flowerheads into paper bags and shake the seeds out later.

Let all the seed stuff you gathered dry well indoors – spread it out on trays or in cardboard boxes—before tucking seeds into marked envelopes to keep in a cool, dry spot for winter.

It’s smart to separate the seeds from the chaff (that’s the dried bits of leaves, pods, stems and flowerhead detritus) before storing them, because you don’t want to pack seeds away with a lot of errant plant matter that can hold moisture and make things moldy. But as long as you’ve dried everything well, I don’t get too terribly meticulous about the cleaning – seeds germinate fine outside and it’s not like Mother Nature is out there vacuuming every seed clean, right?