Quick Tip: Save Your Seeds


closeup of saved seeds in hand

By Jennifer Poindexter

Gardening is a skillset. Don’t ever be convinced otherwise. At times, it can seem overwhelming because there are so many skills wrapped in one activity.

One part of gardening you don’t want to miss is saving your seeds. Not only is it avoiding waste, but it also saves you money.

Here are my tips on saving your seeds at the end of each growing season:

Quick Tip: Save Your Seeds

It’s the end of your gardening season, and your plants are going to seed. What should you do? You have two choices:

The first is allowing the plants to complete their cycle and treat them according to what type of plant they are in your planting zone.

If they’re an annual, you should dig the plant up, discard it, and close the gardening area down for winter.

If it’s a perennial, you should trim the plant back, clean the garden space, apply a light layer of mulch (in some cases), and close the area down for the plant’s dormant period.

Your second option is allowing the plant to go to seed and harvest the seeds prior to closing the growing space down for the season.

Some plants have different seed harvesting methods, but in general, you’ll wait until you see the seeds forming on the plant.

Then remove the seeds or dried seed pods. If the seeds are in pods, shake them out onto a paper plate. Next, either allow the seeds to dry in the sun or place them in a dehydrator.

Ensure you remove any debris. Some seeds have a thick casing around them, which you may need to remove prior to drying.

It’s important to research which type of seed you’re saving to ensure you don’t miss a vital step. 

Some people also place a paper bag around the plant, so when the seeds fall, they fall into the bag. This usually works best with larger plants.

The main goal is ensuring the seeds are harvested and dried prior to storage. Once the seeds are completely dried, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark space until it’s time to start seeds the next year.

Some people store their seeds in paper envelopes, plastic freezer bags, or glass jars with a lid. It’s also common to store seeds in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Hopefully this tip helps you utilize all your plants have to offer. It can help save money around your garden by harvesting what’s already there.

Plus, it allows you to continue your plants from one generation to the next. If you’re interested in utilizing what’s on-hand in your growing space, begin by harvesting seeds. 

More About Saving Seeds

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/saving-vegetable-seeds

https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2020/10/how-do-i-save-seeds-next-years-garden

saved seeds in gardeners hand with text overlay gardening quick tips save your seeds

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