In this quick tutorial I am gonna show you just how to save seeds from the garden, the easy way.
When I became a gardener, I found it absolutely incredible that at the end of a plants life, they often give it’s energy into providing us with seeds for next season. Now surely, we realize that seeds come from the actual plant. But somehow I missed this little nugget of information in my pre garden mind. Truth be told, I am still quite taken with the perfection of the garden itself and so seed saving for me, is not only “free” seeds. But a receiving of a gift that only the garden provides in this way. An offering of life after the death so to speak.
Now, saving seeds is much more simpler then you might be thinking. Although do a quick google search and you can have yourself quite confused by the steps some take in doing so. But today I want to show you not only a simple way to collect those seeds that are being offered from your garden. I want to show you how I get them ready to be stored and how I actually store them myself for next season.
What You Will Need To Save Your Seeds
The easiest thing you can do this time of year is to allow your plants to dry up. You will still water them of course. But you will now allow those little flowers to sprout on the basil and leave on the flower heads.This may seem like a strange thing to do especially if you have been the gardener who dead headed aggressively all season. But being that we are at the end of our summer growing season and most of the annuals in your garden are begging for you to collect the seeds they are producing at the end of their lives.
Zinnias, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Calundula, Holyhocks
The majority of the flowers I grow are annuals. Which give off seeds each year for me to collect and resow year after year. To do this I allow the flower heads to dry right on the plant. Once the flower head is dried up completely, it is time to collect the seeds. To do this, you will cut the top portion off. Taking your fingers pull the seeds away from the base. They are easy to find once the flower is dried up. Take the seeds and put them in a an envelope for storing. Make sure to write on the envelope what each seed is so that you know exactly what you have for next season. Store them in a cool, dark place. Since they are already dried, they will be ready to plant next season in the state you stored them in.
Basil, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Dill
These seeds a much smaller then the flowers mentioned in the video. So a good idea for these is to bundle them in bunches and hang them upside down to dry. When fully dried, shake them into a bag to allow the seeds to fall. You can store them the same way described above in a labeled envelope. Or you can simply leave them dried hung until you are ready to plant. One thing I will warn you on, is that if you choose to keep them hung upside down until ready to use, they will drop leaves and seeds when touched or bumped. So be careful where you place them to avoid a mess.
When storing squash seeds. I use the same envelope/label storing method. However saving these seed will require a little bit more effort but not much. I allow the squash to grow a little larger then usual. This way the fruit will have large seeds for saving inside. When large enough, I cut the squash down the center being careful not to slice the seeds. Scoop the seeds out and make sure to get all the fruit off the seeds. Lay the seeds out on a paper towel for 2-3 days on your countertop and allow them to dry out before storing. When the seeds feel dry to touch, place them your labeled envelope. Store them in a cool dry place.
When saving beans, I take the exact same approach as I do with the flower seeds. Since bean seeds are basically the beans themselves. When allowing the bean to grow and dry out on the plant, it tends to grow slightly larger. Which means, the seeds are large and easy to store. Allow them to dry out in place. Then cut the pods off and take out the beans. Place them in a labeled envelope. Store in a cool dry place.