Are you sick of buying seeds every year? Learning how to harvest and save seeds is a skill all gardeners must tackle.
There are many benefits to saving seeds. Not only does this save you money, but it produces stronger, healthier plants that can better handle pests and diseases in your area. Plus, you’ll have a bigger harvest because you save seeds from only the best plants. You take natural selection into your own hands!
If you’re ready to start saving seeds this fall, let’s find out!
- 1 When to Harvest Seed for Savings
- 2 2 ways to harvest and save seeds
- 3 Wet seed harvesting
- 4 Dry seed harvesting
- 5 3 Tips for Saving Seeds in the Fall
- 6 How to store seeds
- 7 Benefits of Harvest and Save Seeds
When to Harvest Seed for Savings
Gardeners can save seeds any time of year when the seeds are ripe, but most seeds are ready for planting in late summer to early fall. The best time to save seeds depends on the plant in question.
Fruit crops such as tomatoes and peppers need to preserve the seeds that ripen at their peak. Flower-producing non-fruiting crops such as carrots and lettuce should be harvested at the end of their lifespan. Crops such as peas and beans must be dried on the vine before harvesting and saving.
Flowers such as coneflowers, roses, sunflowers, zinnias and marigolds are also best collected in the fall after they have dried on the plant.
2 ways to harvest and save seeds
Before you can harvest the seeds, you must determine whether you are harvesting from a wet-seeded crop or a dry-seeded crop. This makes a big difference in how you save the seeds.
Let’s see what you need to know.
Wet seed crops
Examples of wet-seeded crops include:
- black pepper
When you harvest wet-seeded crops, you will need to remove the seeds from the fruit and flesh, scraping away the residue. Tomatoes and cucumbers need to be fermented in their own juices for several days to remove the gel that surrounds the seeds.
Part of the trick is knowing when the seeds are ripe. It is difficult to tell wet fruits because the seeds are not always ripe when the fruit is ready to eat.
For example, we harvest cucumbers and summer squash when the seeds are still immature but the fruit tastes best to use. This means you have to leave several on the vine for them to fully mature.
Dry seed crops
Harvesting dry-seeded crops is much easier because you remove the seeds from the pods when they turn brown and dry. Remove the seeds and let them rest for several days on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment or newspaper.
After that, you put them in their envelopes. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Examples of dry seed crops include:
However, it is important to know that not all dry-seeded crops are harvested in the same year that you plant them. Some plants are annuals, biennials or perennials, and they all produce seeds at different times of the year.
Biennials such as carrots and onions flower during their second growing season after going through a cold winter. Perennials, like fruit trees, bear fruit for years, giving you plenty of opportunities to seed.
As with lettuce, spinach, and other plants, bolts need to be in place before you can harvest the seeds. It is necessary to remove and dry the flower ends to save the seeds.
Wet seed harvesting
Collecting wet seeds takes a few more steps than harvesting dry seeds. You have to make sure that you allow the fruits to fully ripen, so they usually have to move past their eating stage. Then, remove the seeds and clean them gently by placing them in a bowl of water. Pulp and dead seeds will float to the top.
Then, remove the moisture and spread them out on a baking sheet to dry. Do not place the seeds on paper towels as they will stick.
Some plants, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, require fermentation for the seeds to be viable. The fermentation process is like the natural process of fermentation in the digestive system of animals.
this is easy!
Squeeze the seeds and pulp into a jar and add water. Then, keep the mixture in a warm place for two to five days; You will see the form of bubbles. When you see a thin film of mold, scoop it out and clean the seeds like other wet seeds.
Dry seed harvesting
Let us now learn more about harvesting dry crops.
While it is possible to pick the pods or husks early and allow them to dry later, the best approach is to store them on the plant as they dry out naturally. Once they have dried on the plant, harvest the seeds and bring them inside to dry for one to two weeks.
Not all dried seeds are inside the pod like green beans; Some carrots are flowers. Typically, the flower heads are allowed to dry on the plant and then removed. I often put the ends of the seeds in a paper bag and shake them to remove the seeds, but this is not a guaranteed way.
Removing the seeds from the pods is a bit tricky, but it is done in two possible ways.
- Filtrate: Sifting is an easy process that involves two different sized screens. The husk should be large enough to allow the pieces to come out but small enough to hold the seeds.
- Winning: You use the wind to blow off the husk, leaving the seeds behind. You really only need a fan and a bucket, but it takes time to find the right air flow and direction to make it work.
Most of the flowers are also dry. They are very easy to harvest. Wait for the flower to dry on the plant and then remove it. Shake or scoop out the seeds in a bowl and gently blow off the husks.
3 Tips for Saving Seeds in the Fall
Saving seeds is not as difficult as it may seem. Starting with dry seed crops is often the easiest route for new gardeners because there are fewer steps.
Here are some tips to help you save seeds this fall!
1. Start with Easy Crops
If this is your first attempt at saving seed, start with easy crops like peas, beans, lettuce and squash. These are some of the easiest crops to save on seeds because they are annuals and self-pollinating that produce a lot of seeds.
2. Protect from disease free crops
When choosing vegetables from plants to save seeds, make sure you choose only from disease-free plants. Diseases infect seeds, so it’s possible that you start planting plants and they will get the same disease that killed their parent plants.
It doesn’t make them more resistant.
3. Open-pollinated are the easiest to save
Open pollinated plants retain their characteristics as long as they are crossed with plants of the same family. Seeds remain true-to-type instead of being crossed and formed like other plants.
How to store seeds
Once you have harvested the seeds and prepared them, you must store them properly.
The best way to store seeds is in an airtight container, such as a sealable jar. It must be tightly sealed to avoid air and moisture from entering. Then, store the seeds in a cool, dark and dry place as too much moisture shortens the lifespan of the seeds.
I keep my seeds in their own envelopes, stored inside a jar in the back of my refrigerator.
Another option is to freeze your seeds; This makes their life longer. Some say that frozen seeds last up to 100 years – that’s wild!
Don’t forget to label them! There is nothing worse than going to all the trouble of saving seeds, only to forget which ones are which.
Benefits of Harvest and Save Seeds
Harvest and Save seeds will give you a huge advantage in any garden. You’ll be able to grow anything from tomatoes to vegetables using your very own soil. If you’re looking for the ultimate in organic gardening, then you’ve come to the right place. There are some ways in which you can increase your yield with a simple garden. This article is going to tell you how to do it. It’s all about knowing how to harvest and save seeds at home.
Harvest and Save Seeds allows you to save seeds and plant more of what you like in the garden. By saving seeds, you’ll be able to reuse them in the next year and have unlimited growing options. Saving seeds also allows you to grow plants that are in season at the time you are planting them. For example, if you want to plant beans next year, then you can plant the beans in the late summer. This will ensure that you’ll have fresh beans when you need them.
Next, Harvest and Save Seeds will help you in your quest to plant the right varieties in the right season. In order to do this, you need to know which varieties are in season at that time. Then, you simply follow the instructions on the package to plant those varieties. For example, if you’re planting the beans in the late summer, then make sure that you plant the kidney bean varieties. You can always plant a different variety next year, if you wish to.
There are many different types of hybrid plants available as well, if you’re looking for something that will provide a little extra variety. Many people like hybrid plants because they provide something different than the plant or flower they’re replacing. For example, some people like to plant zinnias instead of the hydrangeas because zinnias are open-pollinated plants. Open-pollinated plants aren’t pollinated by bees and therefore don’t attract honey bees. Honey bees are known to be aggressive towards open-pollinated plants.
Finally, Harvest and Save Seeds will help you in your quest to save seeds. If you are like most gardeners, you love the idea of saving seeds but hate the idea of losing them. Harvest and Save Seeds allow you to save seeds so that you don’t have to plant the new crop by the same seed. They are especially useful if you are not experienced with planting. If you have experience, you can save seeds for the next year as well.
Encourage Friends And Family
Many experienced gardeners encourage their friends and family members to try to save seeds. They understand that it is a gradual process that takes time to learn. However, for those just starting out, and for those who do not know how to plant, it can be a great way to save money on the things that you need to get started in the garden or save money for the future.
There are also some pros and cons of harvesting and saving seeds. Some recommend that dry-seeding is less expensive and also quicker than wet-seeding. It can be used to replace a field you’ve already sowed and if you are just starting out, you can purchase a few bags of seeds rather than planting a field. Dry-seeding has more flexibility compared to planting in rows.
Other crops like lettuce, peas, squash and tomatoes will need to be planted in rows. This can cause weeds to sprout in unwanted places. On the other hand, planting seedlings in rows can make it easier to monitor their growth. Harvest and Save Seeds is a resource you may want to consider for your next gardening adventure.