Seed Saving A Crash Course

It is time or very near the time of the year to be collecting flower and vegetable seeds for next years gardens.

I have posted about seed saving in the past. Saving berry, flower or vegetable seed can be as easy or as hard as you make it. I believe in working under the KISS principle….(K)eep (I)t (S)imple (S)tupid). Don’t make easy thing hard to do.

Some people will say that only so called heirloom plant seed(open pollinated plants) is worth saving. I say that’s a bunch of bull. Saving both heirloom and hybrid plant seeds for over 50 years I will say the number of times I have been disappointed with plants from saved seed has been very few.

There are many websites and books that will give you a detailed, blow by blow description on how to save flower and vegetable seeds.
The truth is you don’t need to invest a lot of time or money to become a seed saver.

Saving seeds, it’s not that hard! Mother nature manages to reseed plants of all kinds by simply allow seeds to fall from flower heads onto the ground or allowing plants like vegetables to lay on the ground and rot.

You will know your vegetables are ready to be harvested for seeds when that become soft and over ripe for table use. Some vegetables like cucumbers and peppers will change colors indicating that have reached maturity.

Flower seeds in general are the easiest seeds to collect and save. Cut and save when seed heads have dried and turned brown.

Peppers are easy. You will know the seeds are mature when the peppers have changed color indicating the fruit is ripe. Cut the peppers open, scrape out the seeds dry in a warm dry shady place.

Tomato seed saving requires a bit more work. Harvest ripe tomatoes cut each across the middle, and squeeze the juice and seeds into a bowl. Each tomato seed is encased in a gelatinous coating. Remove this coating by fermenting it.

To ferment tomato seeds, add about half as much water as there are tomato seeds and juice. Stir this mixture twice a day for about 3 days. As the mixture ferments, its surface will become covered with white or gray mold. When bubbles begin to rise to the top of the mass, or when a thick coat of mold has formed, stop the fermentation by adding more water to double the mixture, and stir vigorously. The clean, good seeds will settle to the bottom. Gently spoon or pour off mold, debris and any seeds that float.

Saved your seeds by pouring the remaining liquid through a strainer, dump the seeds on a plate to dry. Stir once or twice a day to prevent the seeds from clumping or sticking together.

Cucumbers, Melons, Eggplant, Squash and Gourds of all kinds. Allow these vegetables to become ‘Over’ ripe before picking. Cut ripe fruit open, scoop the seeds into a strainer, rinse, and set out to dry. Winter Squash and many Gourds, pull the seeds from the attached fibers, rinse, and dry.

A word of caution, do not store your saved seeds in air tight plastic bags like the popular zip lock bags. A small paper bag or paper envelope works much better and will not allow your seeds to germinate in a moisture filled plastic bag.

Grin … As for me I use the low tech method when I save seeds, I just scrape the seeds(including tomato’s) onto a paper plate. After drying a few days I remove the unwanted gunk scrap the seeds off of the plate and put my seeds in a small brown paper bag for winter storage. I get free or lost cost brown paper bags from my local hardware store.

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling me about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)


9 responses to “Seed Saving A Crash Course

  1. I saved peas that I forgot to pick in time and went dry on the vine. Also, I accidentally managed to save petunia seeds when I finally figured out what that little black dust falling out of the flowers was. Both grew the following year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the radom seed selection process, though this requires some patience and observation. We toss our peach pits into the compost pile and now have four trees growing. Melon and squash seeds go to the goats and ducks, with a few sprouting around the garden each year from cleaning the barn and spreading in on the garden beds each winter. Dill, goldenrod, Joe-Pye weed, Tansy, from our meadow spread each year as I deadhead the meadow and take the cuttings out along our driveway. I think I could re-forest our woods just by placing wire cages around to keep the deer from munching on oak, hickory, and dogwood seedlings until they are tall enough to suffer browsing. Obviously, I’m into untamed nature, or too lazy to systematically collect seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 formal plantings can be very time consuming and many times are a disappointment. As for me I’m a bit like you, I take what comes up without a lot of cultivation, seed selection, planting and intervention to grow and bloom or produce fruit.

      happy holiday season


  3. I’m saving the seeds from the basil plants and serrano peppers that grew so well in my garden this year. I liked the variety of each. Hopefully, they will do well next spring. I also saved seeds from some (surprise they are not sweet!) green chili peppers I got from the Farmer’s Market. Looking forward to spring already and autumn has just begun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking time to visit my tiny blog and for your comment(s)
      Good for you. I have never saved basil seed. Seed cost so little and there is enough seed in one pack to last me 🙂 about 3 years.
      Don’t give up on next years peppers to soon. Germinating hot pepper seed can sometime be a real challenge.

      Happy holiday season


  4. Reassuring post for us amateur gardeners! From a reader in England, UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grin … Even the so called expert / master gardeners are really all amateurs. Want to talk to an expert? Ask any ‘real’ farmer or rancher. They know the truth about planting and seed saving.

      Thanks so much for taking time to visit my humble little blog and for your kind comment(s).

      Happy successful seed saving

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bruce Goodman

    Thanks for the tomato seed advice. I never knew that, and shall be trying it come autumn here in New Zealand. I have a worm farm for scraps, and a thousand tomatoes inevitably come up each spring where I have tossed the compost! It doesn’t make for early tomatoes however, so I shall be trying your method for inside germinating (waiting for the frosts to finish).

    Liked by 1 person

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