How To Collect and Store Seeds From Your Gardens

ALso don’t forget to look for my new gardening book which is coming out this spring.

Step1 Select plants that you wish to save early in the season. Look for plants with healthy growth habits, abundant flowers or exceptional flavor.
Allow some faded flowers to remain on the plant toward the end of the growing season. The end of the bloom cycle is triggered by shorter daylight hours. Seeds will begin to form as flower production comes to an end.
Harvest seeds when the seed heads are dry to the touch and brown. Gather seed pods by hand or with clippers if stems are tough.
Allow vegetables to over-ripen on the plant before harvesting the seeds. Vegetable seeds are ready to harvest when the fruit is easy to pull off the plant. Beans should be dry and rattle inside their seed casings. Corn should ripen and dry on the stalk. Tomato seeds can be squeezed out of very ripe fruit and dried on paper towels in the sun.
After harvesting, place seeds on top of a water heater to dry for up to one week. Allow to dry thoroughly before storing.
Store seeds in their own protective pods or shake them free and store loose in paper envelopes. Harvested seeds should be kept in paper, never plastic, containers. Plastic may cause delicate seeds to rot.
Label each seed envelope with the variety and date harvested. Use a waterproof pen to avoid disappointment and confusion later on.
Place the labeled envelopes inside an air-tight container, such as a mason jar, and store in a cool, dry location until the next planting season. A desiccant made of 1 tablespoon powdered milk wrapped in a paper towel and placed inside the container will help absorb moisture.

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