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Does anyone have any tips on harvesting your own seeds?

I want to try harvesting my own seed from the plants in my garden and the product I have gotten from farmer's markets. Just wondering if anyone has any advice!

Tags: growing, harvesting, seedsaving

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Check out the little book "Basic Seed Saving" by Bill McDorman. It's $6 bucks and covers 18 veggies and 29 wildflowers.

Excerpt: "Eons ago, a tribal farmer found a corn cob slightly larger than a fingernail. This farmer took care to save the seeds from the largest and best ears of, plant them and harvest anew. There is no way to count the number of times this ritual took place before corn was harvested in its modern sizes, shapes, and colors. When a gardener plants his own open-pollinated seeds, he is passing on the ageless, priceless gift bestowed upon him.

Join in on this beautiful, ancient ritual!
I love seed saving!
As the others do, I try to be patient enough for seed to dry in the garden. Sometimes I need the space though. So I will cut partially dry seed, hang it from the ceiling of our storage shed and when garden tasks are minimal, and the seed is dry, I will harvest the seed.

I save envelopes of all sizes and so I write the name, date with year, and notes about the seed on the envelop. Then I file this in an old cardboard box which has a date on it and place it in a large bin for next year.

We have lots of folks seed saving in our area. We trade seed, which is great! And I grow out other people's seeds when they ask. This year I get to grow out heirloom blue corn and nine new sunflowers for a friend.
My husband's mother passed away before we met, but one of my favorite stories about her is how she used to snip off the dried flower heads out of gardens wherever they went, she would even do it at the lawn and garden stores. He said she would walk by, pinch it off with her fingers and put it in her pocket or purse. She could grow anything.

I just started trying to save seeds. This year we purchased all heirloom seeds with the sole purpose of saving them. Thanks for all the tips. But I do have one question, has anyone had any luck growing fruit trees from seeds. My son saved some peach pits last year and I keep promising him we will plant them.
I save tomato seeds using the fermentation method. I choose a good specimen from the garden (and then force myself not to eat it), I squeeze out the seeds into a small container. I then add enough water to cover the seeds, and put a lid on the container that either has holes or I punch some holes in it for oxygen exchange. Each day I remove the scum that forms on top of the water until the scum ceases to form. When it no longer forms then you can be pretty sure the gel that surrounds the seeds has fermented away. I then rinse the seeds off with a small mesh strainer (they will be pretty stinky). and then spread them out on a paper towel to dry. Make sure that you keep them labeled through this process.

Cucumber seeds and really any seed that has a gel coating should be first fermented. This process not only produces clean seeds, but it also kills any fungus or bacteria that may be inside of the tomato so that it isn't spread to the following year's plants.
Harvest only those seeds from single varieties in your garden. Where you have more than one variety of vegetable from the same family you will have a hybrid seed. Seed from hybrid varieties will not come true. You will end up with a wide range of hybrid plants.
I have not had any issues in the years that I have done this with tomatoes. I grow from seed and plant over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes each year. By the time I get around to planting what doesn't sell I usually have a thousand tomato plants or so in the ground planted in no particular order. I try to group at least four of the same variety together, but it doesn't always work out. However, I have never had a seed that wasn't true to the mother plant. I don't sell the seeds, and I usually keep the plants sep. that I plant from seeds that I have saved just to make sure that it doesn't happen. The experts say that you should keep tomato varieties 50ft apart to make sure that they don't cross pollinate.

I always plant White Currents, and they never fail to volunteer each year for me. They are always true to the seed no matter if the year before they were planted in the middle of German Giants or Jaune Flammes. This, however, has not been my experience with the members of the cucurbit family. Very seldom do I get a plant true to seed. So I do plant the varieties sep. for seed saving purposes or I buy them each year from a reliable source.
Why is it important to ferment the seeds/pulp before removing the pulp and drying out the seeds, etc. What is the point of fermentation?
Hi everyone, this is my first post!

I'm always collecting seed from flowers whilst I'm out and about but am not really organised enough to know which ones I've planted and have come up! I'm in my first season of veg growing and have already saved loads of seeds from achocha, some that got knocked into a house plant started to grow so I think we'll have a lot of plants next year...

This is where I get my seeds and they have a lot of info about how to save your own, they only sell things you can and it's kind of their raison d'etre what a lovely business model!
Apparently fermenting the seeds helps break down the gelatinous material surrounding each seed, and also helps eliminate any diseases and other bad stuff that could be clinging to the seed. Here's an explanation.

Ashley Capps said:
Why is it important to ferment the seeds/pulp before removing the pulp and drying out the seeds, etc. What is the point of fermentation?
soory, I forgot the link....



Lyndsay Officer said:
Hi everyone, this is my first post!

I'm always collecting seed from flowers whilst I'm out and about but am not really organised enough to know which ones I've planted and have come up! I'm in my first season of veg growing and have already saved loads of seeds from achocha, some that got knocked into a house plant started to grow so I think we'll have a lot of plants next year...

This is where I get my seeds and they have a lot of info about how to save your own, they only sell things you can and it's kind of their raison d'etre what a lovely business model!
hmmm, I can't get the link thingy to work

http://www.realseeds.co.uk/whyseedsave.html

Lyndsay Officer said:
soory, I forgot the link....



Lyndsay Officer said:
Hi everyone, this is my first post!

I'm always collecting seed from flowers whilst I'm out and about but am not really organised enough to know which ones I've planted and have come up! I'm in my first season of veg growing and have already saved loads of seeds from achocha, some that got knocked into a house plant started to grow so I think we'll have a lot of plants next year...

This is where I get my seeds and they have a lot of info about how to save your own, they only sell things you can and it's kind of their raison d'etre what a lovely business model!

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