If you love to garden and want to make sure that you are able to collect and store your own seeds, then you are likely very interested in how to save seeds. While it is now very easy to simply open a seed packet that you bought in the store and plant your new seeds, this wasn’t always the case.
Seed packets are a luxury, but if you want to leave seed packets behind and save your own seeds for growing in the future, then you need to understand the process. Knowing common setbacks and hints will improve your success.
How to Choose Seeds to Save?
One of the most important things to bear in mind when you are going to be storing and saving your seeds is that you want to choose the strongest and most viable options that are in your garden.
If you choose lower-quality plants and store those seeds then you will not have strong and healthy plants in your garden in the future. It’s important that you take time to spend in your garden selecting the healthiest plants and looking for their seeds to store.
In this YouTube video from Suburban Homestead, they talk about the importance of choosing the best plants when you are going to be saving seeds. Since you want to make sure that you have a successful garden the next spring, you want to choose hardy and strong plants when you are selecting and storing your seeds.
Collecting Your Right Seeds
Collecting your seeds isn’t difficult, but does take a little effort to ensure that you get the right seeds to save and that you know when to harvest them. The professionals at Seed Savers outline what you need to do to collect your seeds, and the first step is to make sure that they are actually mature before you try to harvest them.
Some crops, such as beans, lettuce, and grains, need to have their seeds harvested once they are hard and dry. Other crops, for instance, summer squash and eggplant, are a little more difficult to harvest correctly, as the seeds are not mature when the food is ready to be eaten.
This means that you have to be willing to leave some of your fruits and vegetables in the garden so that the seeds can mature before harvest. When you are harvesting from wet fruited crops, you will need to then cut open the flesh, remove the seeds from the pulp, and dry them completed before they are stored.
What’s the Best Way to Store Your Seeds?
Storing your seeds is a little tricky and will vary from seed to seed, which is why you need to be careful and not just store all of your seeds in the same manner, as explained at HowToSaveSeeds. Some seeds, known as desiccation-tolerant seeds, will stop any metabolic activity and can be stored for years without loss of vigor.
Desiccation-intolerant seeds, on the other hand, will need to be kept moist in order for them to last as long as possible and are very likely to succumb to mold or bacteria.
There are some problems that you may run into when you store seeds for longer periods of time, and these include mildew and mold, problems with temperature and moisture fluctuations, and insects.
For this reason you will need to be very careful when selecting the containers that you are going to use for storage, and you need to be vigilant about the temperature and moisture.
It’s always a good idea to dry all desiccation-tolerant seeds completely before storing them and to check your seeds on a regular basis to ensure that they have not been affected by moisture or insects, as this can quickly ruin all of the seeds that you have stored.
Storing your own seeds is a great way to ensure that you have all of the seeds you need in the spring when it comes time to start your garden. Whether you want to store seeds because you are interested in decreasing your costs when buying new supplies each spring or simply want to try to control the size and quality of the food or flowers that you grow.
Storing seeds is a great way to become more involved in your garden and to get the most out of your time spent outside.