SEED HARVESTING & STORAGE -for vegetables and flowers
**Harvest seed on a dry sunny day**
SEED HARVESTING FROM FLOWERS- You can collect seed all summer.
If you like to collect seed as I do, watch for the flowers
that fade and die. Instead of 'deadheading' (removing
the spent flower), leave the dead flower head intact and
let it go to seed. Once it has grown large, and has dried
and turned brown, you may harvest the seed.
(free plants for next year!)
SEED HARVESTING HERBS: Once herb flowers fade, they will turn brown.
Take a small brown lunch bag, or a large plastic drink cup,
place under flowers and tap the seeds into the cup or bag.
SEED HARVESTING FROM VEGETABLES: Vegetables like peppers can
just be cut open, seed scooped out, and dried on a paper
plate for a week. From lettuce and radishes, just use a cup
(as with the flowers), and tap seed into the cup from the
dried flower heads. With string beans, leave a few beans on the
plants to dry up and turn brown. Once dry, pick off the plant,
open the pods and harvest the seed-same with peas.
SAVING SEED FROM ‘PULPY’ VEGETABLES- Pulpy vegetables would be
tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash etc. After picking these
vegetables, cut open the vegetable and scoop out the seed.
Remove as much of the pulp from the seed as you can. Place
the seed in a jar with about 1 cup of water(depending on the
amount of seed). Cover the jar with a cap and shake very well.
Leave the jar to sit for about 1 week. Please note: the
water will get smelly as the seed ferments- YUK! If the water
gets a little moldy, don’t worry- you just let it sit too long.
After several days, pour the stinky water and the seed into a strainer.
Rinse the seed very well and place on paper plates, or newspaper
to dry for about 1-2 weeks. After the seed is completely dry,
place in envelopes, label and place into Tupperware and
into cool storage.
SEED STORAGE- Store your harvested seed in envelopes, labeled and
put into a Tupperware container. (Tupperware keeps out moisture
the best)Store the container in the fridge. *I have had seed for
YEARS that germinated very well by storing it this way.