Posts Tagged ‘seed saving’
Harvesting Seed Only save seed from the most vigorous plants with the best fruit and avoid using seed from weak or unusual looking plants. In this way you will be naturally selecting the traits you wish to encourage in your crops.
- Tomato seeds: Allow the fruits to fully ripen on the plant and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place in a jar of water and leave for a few days, swirling them in the water daily. After a few days, the seeds should have come free from the pulp and sunk to the bottom. Pour the liquid away and rinse the seeds. Leave them to dry on a paper towel and, when fully dry, store in an envelope in a cool, dry place.
- Pepper seeds: Harvest seeds from peppers after the fruit has fully ripened on the plant and started to wrinkle. Remove the seeds from the peppers and spread them out on paper towels to dry. When fully dry, store in an envelope in a cool, dry place. You can also use this method for chillies.
- Peas and Beans: Allow the pods to ripen on the plant until they are dry and start to turn brown. Remove the pods from the plant and spread them out on a tray indoors, to dry. Leave them for at least two weeks before shelling the pods or wait until you are ready to sow the seeds the following spring.
- Eggplants: Choose the first fruits of the most vigorous and healthy plants and leave them until they are about to fall off the plant. Pick and hang the mature fruits in a shed until their colour dulls. You can get to the eggplant seeds by cutting off the top and grating, or blending the bottom which contains the greater density of seeds. If you use a blender cut the eggplant into cubes and whiz them up with water at a slow speed. Pour out the mass and collect the seeds from the bottom. Wash and spread the seeds thinly on a sieve, leaving them to dry for a day or so. Place in a paper bag and hang for a further couple of weeks ,before storing.
Storing seeds Seeds should be stored in individual envelopes, in an airtight container and in a dry place above ground level. This prevents moisture from spoiling the seeds or animals such as mice eating their way through your supply.
It is equally important to label your seeds correctly, including the name, variety, and date you collected them. Not only does this ensure that you know which seeds you are sowing but you can also evaluate how successful each seed-saving project was.