Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
Saving your vegetable and flower seeds after your harvest is a rewarding and wallet-friendly practice, and necessary for heirlooms to live on. For all of your efforts, however, there are many things to watch out for when harvesting seeds:
1) Hybrids: Hybrids can be beautiful and hardy but many seeds are sterile or will not produce plants that are true to the parent.
2) Cross-Pollination: These plants are able to cross with others in their family by open pollination through their flowers, by the way of wind, insects or animals and people. These plants include squash, cucumbers, melon, parsley, cabbage, chard, broccoli, mustard greens, celery, spinach, cauliflower, kale, radish, beets, onion, and basil. The only way to maintain the original variety is to isolate by large distances. Isolation is often impossible or impractical in a home garden.
3) Diseases: Discard the seeds of any plant that had a disease during the growing or harvesting season so it will not be passed on to the next generation or other plants.
1) Gardeners do well with beans, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers.
2) Choose the most flavorful vegetables or beautiful flowers: Consider size, harvest time and other characteristics.
3) Choose Mature Seeds: Seeds are mature when flowers are faded and dry or have puffy tops. Beans are mature 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.
4) Ready your soil for your spring garden, now. Try our all-natural fish fertilizer, Nature’s Balance 231,to balance and refresh your garden soil. Nature’s Balance will balance the PH, give back vital nutrients and help breakdown compost so your soil will be healthy for your spring garden.
Beans, peas, onions, carrots, corn, most flowers, herb seeds: dry method
1) Spread seeds on a screen in a single layer
2) As the seed dries the chaff or pods can be removed
Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber, roses and other fleshy fruits: wet method
1) Separate seed mass from the fruit
2) Put seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a jar
3) Let the mix ferment for 2-4 days. Stir daily
(The good seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float to the top)
4) Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mold
5) Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry
Storage and Use:
Put your seeds in the freezer for two day to kill pests. Then, store your seeds in a glass jar, envelope, or use for your indoor garden. If you decide to use them for your indoor garden, try our eco-friendly Grow Big 521 as a soak. Grow Big 521 contains a natural and organic growth enhancer and fertilizer which will help your seeds grow into healthier and bigger plants.