How To Save Seeds From The Garden
A quick and easy guide for How To Save Seeds From The Garden.
When I became a gardener, I found it incredible that at the end of a plant’s life, they often give its energy into providing us with seeds for the 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 death so to speak.
Now, saving seeds is much simpler than 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 store them myself for next season. Let’s jump into this How To Save Seeds From The Garden post.
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 if they are still alive of course. But many plants begin developing flower heads that contain seeds this time of year. Normally we might pinch off the heads of those flowers to keep the plant in growth mode. So 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 our gardens are nearing the end of their life span. Their last bit of work is to produce seeds for us to collect. It is nothing short of a waste to not collect them. After all, they are free at this point and plentiful! So why not collect them and have ample seeds for the next growing season?
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 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 than 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 and hung until you are ready to plant. One thing I will warn you 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 seeds will require a little bit more effort but not much. I allow the squash to grow a little larger than usual. This way the fruit will have large seeds for saving inside.
When large enough, I cut the squash down in 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 in your labeled envelope. Store them in a cool dry place.
When saving beans, I take the same approach as I do with the flower seeds. Since bean seeds are the beans themselves. When allowing the bean grows and dries out on the plant, it tends to grow slightly larger. This 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.
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