Three Ways to Save Seeds
time, please take some extra steps to save seeds for others to borrow
and plant. By returning a portion of the seeds you save from your
strongest, tastiest, and most vigorous plants, you’ll help keep our seed library growing.
Dry Seed Processing
For plants with seeds that grow on the
outside of the plant.
· Allow the seed to dry on the plant, and collect the seedpods before they break open.
· For plants with seeds that develop in the center of the flower, allow the plant to dry.
· When the stem holding the seed head turns brown, harvest the seeds.
Tip: Collect dry seeds under dry, warm conditions to prevent mold and reduce additional drying time.
Wet Seed Processing
For seeds that grow inside the fleshy fruit of the plant.
· Rinse off the seeds and dry them thoroughly.
· If the seeds have a gel-like coating, use the fermentation process.
Tip: If you’re not sure if your seeds have a coating, float them in a small amount of water. You’ll be able to see the coating in the water.
Fermentation Seed Processing
For seeds with a gel-like coating.
· Mix the seeds and the seed juice with a little water in a small plastic or glass container with a lid.
· Allow the seeds to ferment for 4 - 6 days.
· When a layer of mold has formed on top of the water and the seeds sink, the fermentation is complete. Add more water, swish it around, and remove the mold and pulp. The good seeds will sink to the bottom, while the bad seeds will float to the top. Remove the bad seeds.
· Drain the water from the seeds and set them out on a plate, screen, or paper towel to dry thoroughly. Once the seeds are completely dry, place them in a moisture-proof container. Label and store the seeds.
Tip: Use the fermentation process
for seeds from tomatoes, cucumbers, some squash, and some melons.