Home gardeners find that the produce and flowers they grow themselves often times are of a much better quality and freshness than what they purchase at the store. It only makes sense to preserve the seeds from the flowers and vegetables they grown in order to continue enjoying them in the following planting season. The following are tips for preserving those quality seeds.
An opportune time to collect these seeds is at the point of clearing a garden out ahead of the spring planting season. Annuals present the easiest seeds to collect. The dried out bulbs can simply be broken off and placed inside of a Ziploc bag as they currently stand. Perennial seeds require additional moisture in order to stay viable. This moisture is most easily obtained by adding some of their soil into the Ziploc bag.
Wet seeds can be preserved in a similar manner to perennials, but they do require more care in extracting the seeds. Wet seeds are those that come from inside the fruit or vegetable such as cucumber, pepper, tomato, squash, zucchini, etc. Some of these seeds can easily be removed and dried, but others such as tomatoes are stuck in a gelatinous liquid that needs to be removed before the seeds are capable of being stored. This is because certain wet seeds stand a risk of getting moldy and spoiling if they are not properly dried.
For tomatoes, extract the gelatinous seed mixture and place it in small container with water and set it in the sunlight. Cover the container with plastic wrap with some holes poked in. Stir the contents daily and after day three change the water. By day six, the gelatinous liquid will have separated and floated to the top. The seeds can be extracted after the content are run through a sieve. Then carefully dry the seeds at which point they will be ready for storage. In some other cases, where the seeds are wet, but not contained inside of a sticky mixture like tomatoes, just place the seed-containing bulb in a paper towel and crush it gently. This will allow the seeds to be picked away.
Those who do not wish to store their seeds may elect to place them into a seed tray. Just sprinkle the seeds into the tray and the soil will keep them fresh during the winter. Alternatively, a person may elect to straightway sow the seeds. They won’t grow until springtime, but they will remain safe. For those seeds which will be stored, remember that dry seeds can be placed inside of drawer or closet inside the house. Perennial seeds will need to be kept in a cooler environment such as the garage or even inside the crisper of a refrigerator.
Gardeners saving their own seeds will save a little bit of money on seeds, but more importantly cultivate quality food products by planting seeds from their preferred vegetables and fruits. Just remember to take care as annuals, perennials, and wet seeds each have their own nuances and need to be cared for differently.