Seed Saving

Now is the time to save your seeds for the Seed Swap next April!

 

There is immense pleasure in seed-to-seed gardening. You will come to appreciate a plant’s life cycle through seed saving. 

Wait to collect seeds as late as possible. The seedheads should be dry, but you should harvest them before too many fall away. Don’t use seeds from weak or diseased plants or those plagued by insects.

Hybrids are crosses made with two different parents, so don’t count on the seedlings to turn out exactly like the parent plants. Some hybrids produce inferior offspring, non-viable seeds or no seeds at all.

Separate seed heads from stems or break open seedpods and allow seeds to dry for a week or two on a sheet of newspaper or in bowls or baskets. Before storing, clean out any plant debris to prevent spoilage due to fungus spores, bacteria or other problems.

When seed-saving (because many seeds look alike), be sure to label them as you harvest. It’s also helpful to keep a log of your seeds and their performance.

Store each type of seed in a separate labeled envelope and keep the envelopes in a tightly closed container—a Mason jar is ideal. To help keep seeds dry, fill a small cloth bag with about half-a-cup of dried powdered milk (or use one of those little packs of silica crystals that often come with packaged goods) and place inside the jar with the seed packets.