This really is a “Seed Saving 101” since I’m kind of a rookie too. 🙂 But I’m having some fun with it and thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned…
Last spring we started about 120 plants in the house. In spite of winter lasting alot longer than I personally would have liked and a subsequent long wait for planting outside, we had great success with these plants overall. We had very few plants that did not make it, and what we didn’t have room for, we gave away to family and friends.
Last year I saved pie pumpkin and various squash seeds (Delicata and butternut) and had pretty good luck with planting those this year. I simply cut open the raw pumpkin or squash – as you would for carving – wash off the “meat” from the seeds as well as you can – dry it out on a paper plate until thoroughly dry. It may take a couple weeks to be totally dry.
I recently got the Suzanne Ashworth book “Seed to Seed” and have branched out a little more into saving seed from brassicas like arugula, radishes, and turnips. When the plants start to flower, they put up little pods on their stems. You can either pick these pods for drying, or hang the whole stems to dry out. Once they are dry, the pods open easily and the little seeds come right out.
My little helper cleaning the turnip seed pods with me during some quiet moments at our garage sale last weekend…
The end result (I ended up with way more seeds than this, this picture was taken early on in the process):
I also saved seeds from both sweet and hot peppers simply by cutting the top off and removing the seeds. Dry them on a paper plate, remove the seeds from the stem/flesh of the pepper, and store.
I attempted tomatoes…. You put the tomato in a blender with some water, blend, and them keep them in the water for 4-5 days. There is a gelatinous sac around the tomato seeds that will interfere with germination so that needs to dissolve, which will happen in that 4-5 days. Strain the water off, wash and dry the seeds on a plate or fine mesh screen and store. I forgot about mine for about two weeks in the garage…they began to mold and grow maggots. The smell was atrocious. It was not pretty. Lesson learned. I will try that again when I have more time to deal with them. Any which way, I wouldn’t recommend doing that process in the house because of the stink.
I got these seed storing envelopes from Amazon.com to store them until next year.
Here are some other good seed saving resources: here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here – a good story about the Svalbard, Norway Global Seed Vault.
Happy seed saving! 🙂
This post was shared at Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday;