Seed Saving - 5 Different Ways to Save Seeds

Seed saving


Seed saving is a frugal gardener's friend. Why throw away money in the garden, when you can save yourself a lot of money with very little effort by saving seed instead of purchasing new seeds every year?

For lettuces, arugula, broccoli and more seed-producing vegetables, it is easy to save seeds right in the garden with a little patience, legume seeds are even easier to save, while saving seeds from tomatoes and pumpkins takes a little more effort as they need to be fermented to get rid of the slimy coating that surrounds the seeds.

Arugula seeds


Seed Saving:

  • Make sure you save seeds from heirloom plants and not hybrid plants, as you cannot rely on the quality of the seeds from hybrid plants since these are made up of different varieties.
  • We use these small organza bags for seed saving
  • For insect-pollinated plants, you want to separate the different variety of plants in the garden if you want to keep them from being cross-pollinated. These include peppers, cucumbers, squash, and melons.
  • We try to keep our different pepper varieties at least 50 ft from each other because we save seeds.
  • Labeling your seeds is very important.
  • Store your seeds in paper bags or envelopes. We use these seed-saving envelopes for many of our seeds. 
  • Store your seeds in a cool, dry place. 

Seed saving envelope


Seed Saving 

Different types of plants produce seeds in different ways. 

Saving arugula seeds
How to save Arugula Seeds


Seed Saving from Bolting Plants: 

  1. Observation - when the plant starts showing signs of bolting be ready with organza bags. 
  2. Once the plant has stopped flowering and started developing seedpods or you see it turning into seeds tie organza bags onto the plant to prevent seed loss.
  3. After the seeds start drying on the plant, you can cut off the section from the organza bag and toss everything in the bag into a paper bag. 
  4. Separate the seeds from the dried vegetation
  5. Pour the seeds into a small seed envelope with the name and date you saved the seeds. 
  6. Store in a cool, dry place until next growing season. 


How To Save Peas and Bean Seeds

  1. Leave a few bean or pea pods on the plant
  2. Once the pods are completely dried pick the bean and pea pods and toss them in a paper bag.
  3. Leave them in the paper bags for a week or two to make sure they're completely dried
  4. Remove the dried beans and peas and toss them in a seed saving envelope or jar for later use.



How to Save Tomato Seeds and Cucumber Seeds:

  1. Pick a couple of the best tomatoes at the height of the season.
  2. Squirt the tomato seeds into a jar with water and put on a lid.
  3. Leave the seeds in the water for 3 - 5 days to ferment.
  4. The viable seeds will drop to the bottom. 
  5. Pour out the water with any floating seeds. 
  6. Rinse the viable seeds a few times
  7. Pour seeds onto a piece of cloth, paper towel, or napkin.
  8. Put the seeds in a dry bowl and make sure they're in one layer.
  9. Once the seeds are completely dry add them to a seed envelope.
  10. Label the envelope with the type and date saved.
  11. Leave the envelope open for a few days to ensure the seeds are completely dry.


How To Save Pepper Seeds

  1. Pick the best pepper (make sure it's an heirloom variety)
  2. Remove the seeds and leave them to dry
  3. Once the seeds are completely dry add them to a seed envelope.
  4. Label the envelope with the type and date saved.
  5. Leave the envelope open for a few days to ensure the seeds are completely dry.



How to save Pumpkin seeds

  1. Separate the seeds from the flesh 
  2. Rinse the seeds 
  3. Get rid of any small or broken seeds
  4. Leave the seeds to dry in a cardboard box or on a paper towel for 2 - 3 weeks
  5. Once the seeds are completely dry add them to a seed envelope or paper bag. 
  6. Label the envelope with the type and date saved.
  7. Leave the envelope open for a few days to ensure the seeds are completely dry.


Seed saving can save you a lot of money on gardening. Just think about it, for every bag of seeds you don't have to buy, you save $3 - $5. Plus, now you know that your seeds have been grown without pesticides and chemicals. 


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