A garden is the perfect place to truly see the fruits of your labor. If you are able to have your own garden to provide food for your family, you are able to not only ensure that these items are healthy, but can save you significant costs on buying produce on your own.
Buying seeds to keep your garden growing can be a hassle. The great thing about your garden and the fruits and vegetables it produces is that you can collect and preserve your own seeds.
Picking seeds can be relatively easy. Some vegetables that are easy to gather seeds from are tomatoes, peppers, melons, peas, and corn. For certain produce, there is an optimal picking time to get the best amount of seeds. While most seeds need to be harvested when the plant is
ripe, some vegetables like peas, need to be harvested when they are dry and wrinkly. Be sure to check on the optimal picking time for each vegetable or fruit you have in your garden. Here are specific seed saving instructions for common vegetables.
Drying Seeds Out
After you have picked your produce, your next step would be to dry them out. For vegetables like a tomato, you will want to ferment the seeds before drying them out. Place the seeds, with the jelly surrounding, into a glass jar. For 5 days, stir the mixture twice a day. After 5 days the
seeds should settle to the bottom. After this, place them out to dry.
You can dry out seeds a number of ways, on paper towels, paper plates, or brown paper bags. Depending on your climate or the coolness of your home, dry our your seeds for about 2 weeks. You’ll know when they are dried out as they will look smaller and feel harder.
There are a couple of different ways you can store your seeds. It all depends on what system works for you. Some people store there seeds in an airtight container, but I store my seeds in a paper packet. Then I place my seeds in a box and store them in a cool, dry location in my home. Be sure to label each container with the type of seed it is and the date is was collected, as it will be harder to remember in the next year. You can download this free printable seed collection packet to create your own seed packets. Just cut on the lines, fold, and tape or glue closed. Then fill it out with the seed information and you will have a jump start on your garden next year!