Seed Saving 101
Summer is the perfect time to collect seeds for the next year’s garden. Check out these tips to learn how to save seeds.
1. Collect seeds from mature fruits or flowers.
For plants like tomatoes, peppers, melons and herbs, this is super easy. A ripe tomato will usually have ripe, viable seeds. For plants like squash, cucumber, beans, eggplant and okra, you may have to let the fruit grow until it is fully mature, which means it might not be enjoyable to eat, as it may be tough, sour or overripe. Just, pick the seeds out leaving behind the flesh for your compost pile or worm bin. For plants like lettuce, herbs, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, you will have to collect the seeds from the flowers once they bloom. I usually find it easiest to pick the whole flower at this point.
2. Wash your seeds.
You can skip this step for seeds that come from flowers, but for seeds that come from juicy, sticky fruits, you must wash off the residue. For large seeds like those from a squash or melon, place them in a colander. For small seeds like those from a tomato, place seeds in a fine mesh sieve and rinse the seeds thoroughly.