Seed Saving Basics

The reasons to save your own seeds for short term storage are numerous. The number one reason to many may be cost savings compared to buying seeds year after year. Now more than ever, since GMO’s have invaded our lives, and our gardens we need to learn the art of seed saving. If you have never saved seeds before begin with some flower seeds. Common flowers that are very easy to grow from seed are marigolds and pansies.

  • Save your own seeds for cost savings
  •  for micro-greens
  •  for sprouting
  •  next years gardens
  •  for preservation of a species
  • to trade with friends

Dry the seeds out of direct sunlight for a couple weeks. Seeds should be dry enough that the shells will break or the seed itself will shatter if hit with a hammer. This will insure that they do not mold during storage. For most plants, allow the flowers or fruit to mature fully before harvesting seed, even to the point of letting them dry on the plant.

I like to select seeds from a really sweet melon or a tasty squash. Chances are the seeds will produce fruit with the same tastiness next year.

Save seeds from only the best vegetables by choosing the largest seeds from vegetables with superior traits. You want the strongest seed that performed best in your garden.

Once the seeds are dry, I wrap them in wax paper and place in an envelope and labeled with the species and year I saved them. I place them in my freezer for a few days to kill any insect eggs or diseases that may be on them. Store them in a cool dry container where rodents and insects cannot penetrate. Seeds stored for more than a year begin to lose viability.

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