Monday, September 28, 2009

Seed Saving

We recently put the John Brown’s House garden to bed, and saved some seeds for next year in the process. Saving tomato seeds is easy. Squeeze seeds into a class of water, let it sit and ferment for a few days, strain, and dry. I like to dry them on paper plates where I can write the variety on the plate. Paper towels work well, also, but the seeds have a tendency to stick. Peppers and beans are even easier. With peppers, allow the fruit itself to dry, then break open and save the seeds. The same procedure works with peas and beans – allow them to dry on the vine until they rattle, then harvest and allow to dry. Paper envelopes are best for storage, then putting them in an air-tight jar and placed in the refrigerator or freezer. Here’s a fact sheet from the University of Minnesota.

Remember that saving seeds from hybrid varieties, or from plants that easily cross-pollinate (like cucurbits), is not recommended.

Seed saving is not limited to vegetable gardening, of course.

The National Gardening Association’s recent regional newsletter, pointed me to this site. It’s all seeds all the time. There are sections on plant ID, based on its seed, or seed pods. Saving seeds. Links to other seed sites. It's an excellent resource. I’ve added it to the sidebar.

We are always looking for seeds from native plants to add to the wildlife area. Echinacea, Rudibeckia, Ratibida, Cosmos, Cleome, Helenium, Asclepias, Digitalis, Larkspur, Lobelias, and Lupines are all welcome. If you grow any of these, consider not dead heading, and letting them go to seed to collect and spread in the wildlife area.

You can sign up for the regional National Gardening Association Newsletter here. Here is their home page.

No comments:

Post a Comment