SAVING SEEDS - so very, very important!!
Mr. Organic’s basic helpful hints on…
Harvesting and Storing Seeds
Make sure that all seeds are fully formed before harvesting; immature seeds will not germinate
Fruit seeds are ready to be harvested when the fruit is fully ripened; ready to eat
Vegetable seeds appear after the flowers have died; some seeds are ready immediately but seeds that are in pods are not ready until the pods have enlarged and turned colour (usually brownish)
Harvesting Fruit Seeds…
Pick the designated fruit(s)
Place on a flat smooth surface
Carefully open so as not to damage any seeds
Separate the seeds so that they are not touching and remove any gooey/wet substance; some really gooey seeds e.g. tomatoes will need to be rinsed and then dried
ALL seeds need to be separated and fully dried before storing
Harvesting Vegetable Seeds…
When the flowers and the pods start to appear place biodegradable plastic bags over them and secure with a rubber band or string
Harvest the individual seeds as soon as they start to fall and the pods when they turn brown
Follow the procedure as stated for the fruit seeds- above and below
Once totally dry - and this can take a while depending on the seed in question - place seeds in airtight containers and write the name/variety of seeds and the date saved on the outside
Store the containers in a dry, cool, dark place…
Seeds contain food and to maintain/retain the food they need to be kept dormant
Warmth and moisture makes a seed ‘want’ to germinate therefore...
Carefully choose that Dry, Cool, Dark storage *
The more dormant the seeds are the longer the food will last resulting in a higher germination ratio come the Spring!
Ideally, you want a location that can provide and maintain a steady temperature in an atmosphere without humidity and moisture e.g. a well insulated garden shed would work but making sure the seeds are safe and secure from vermin
The fridge? Not really as they can be wet and humid e.g. seeds can expire if they absorb moisture
Heated garage? Not really as the temperature can fluctuate with the doors opening (cold) and closing (heat)
Unheated garage or shed? This can work. Making sure that your seeds are totally/completely dry before storing. The changes in outdoor temperatures are generally quite gradual and therefore, there is less danger of condensation. The air in winter can help to keep the seeds dry. Remembering ‘Dry, Cool, Dark!’
Seeds can freeze without too much damage. You can experiment by putting some of your seeds in sealed glass jars - and let them freeze.
Here’s wishing you a happy and productive Seed Saving!!
And of course, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions that you have
Dave Friend aka Mr. Organic