University of Illinois said.
Not every plant’s seeds are worth keeping. Hybrid plants are developed by crossing specific parent plants. Hybrids are wonderful plants but the seed is often sterile or does not reproduce true to the parent plant. Therefore, saving hybrid plant seed Is Not Recommended.
When saving seed, always harvest from the best. Choose disease-free plants with qualities you desire. Look for the most flavorful vegetables or beautiful flowers. Consider size, harvest time and other characteristics.
Seeds are mature or ripe when flowers are faded and dry or have puffy tops. Plants with pods, like beans, are ready when the pods are brown and dry. When seeds are ripe they usually turn from white to cream colored or light brown to dark brown. Collect the seed or fruits when most of the seed is ripe. Do not wait for everything to mature because you may lose most of the seed to birds or animals.
Beans, peas, onions, carrots, corn, most flowers and herb seeds are prepared by a dry method. Allow the seed to mature and dry as long as possible on the plant. Complete the drying process by spreading on a screen in a single layer in a well-ventilated dry location. As the seed dries the chaff or pods can be removed or blown gently away.
Seed contained in fleshy fruits should be cleaned using the wet method. Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber and roses are prepared this way. Scoop the seed masses out of the fruit or lightly crush fruits. Put the seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a bucket or jar. Let the mix ferment for two to four days. Stir daily. The fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seed from the bad seed and fruit pulp. After two to four days, the good viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float. Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mold. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry.
Seed Savers Handbook is a good source of saving your own garden seeds. You can read this handbook on line or print it for a good reference source.
Purdue University said. Many seed companies specialize in open-pollinated garden vegetables and flowers, and most of the larger seed companies carry both hybrid and open-pollinated seed. For those who want to learn more about open-pollinated seeds and preserving old-fashioned varieties, the Seed Savers Exchange offers seed-trading programs and an excellent selection of publications. If you are interested in saving seed from your garden, check out the publication “Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners,” available from at Seed Savers Exchange
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