Saving the Seeds – Harvesting

Yesterday we posted an article by Littlehouseliving.com on how to save different categories of seed. They were Heirloom, Organic and Hybrid. Today we are posting from the same site the most commonly planted foods and herbs, with directions on how to save their seeds for next year.

Tomatoes
Tomato Seeds need to be fermented before storing just like squash seeds. To accomplish this with tomato seeds, simply pull the “guts” of the tomato out and place in a bowl or mason jar for 3 days with a little water. Once you see bubbling or mold start to form, empty out the jar. Rinse the seeds well and place on a paper towel or rag to dry.

Beans
Allow several bean pods to ripen and dry on the plant. Do not let them get wet after they have started to dry (don’t water and make sure it doesn’t rain on them!). Once they are dry the pods will start to crack open. Try and harvest before the seeds fall to the ground. If you pick the pods before the beans are dry, just lay them out in a dry, warm area of your home and let them finish drying before you store them for next year’s use.

 Corn
Make sure any corn saved is non-GMO. Leave corn to dry out on the stalk. Just like with the beans, do not allow the corn to get wet and do not water the plants while they are drying. Once the cobs appear dry, remove them from the plants and place in a warm dry area where they will not be disturbed for a few more weeks until they are fully dried. Pull the seeds off the cob before storing.

Peas
Peas can be saved the same as beans. Let them dry on the plants and do not let them get wet. Once dried, pull them from the plants and harvest the seeds from inside the pods. Make sure they are fully dried before you store.

Peppers
Again, let your peppers dried on the plants before harvesting. Pick the peppers off the plants and harvest the seeds inside (Always wear gloves when working with peppers and do not touch your eyes, I’m speaking from bad experience with this one!). Make sure the seeds are fully dried before you put away, you may need to let them dry for a bit longer on a plate where they will not be disturbed.

how to save seeds

Gourds
Gourds are one of the easiest seeds to harvest! Simply let the gourds dry out (either on the plant or picked). Once you hear them rolling around inside like a baby rattle you can break open the gourd and pull the seeds out to save.

Squash and Pumpkin 
Similar to cucumbers, let the squash or pumpkins ripen for a long time on the stems (leave them for at least another 3 weeks past the regular “ripe” stage). Pick the veggies and then leave them for yet another 3 weeks before even opening the plants to remove the seeds. You want squash and pumpkin seeds to ferment before they are harvested and they will do this best still inside the vegetable. After this time has passed, remove the seeds and wash them thoroughly (you want the oily feel to be gone). Dry the seeds from the water and then let them sit to finish drying in a warm, dry area before putting away.

Cucumbers
Cucumbers that are wanted for seeds should be left on the plants for long after they are ripe. Remove the cucumber and cut open to remove the seeds. Dry the seeds on a dry cloth or a paper towel in a place they will not be disturbed for 3 weeks before you put them away for next year. Before putting them away, make sure to clean the seeds.

Dill
Harvest Dill heads at anytime after they are ready to be picked. Store in a dry, warm area or hang upside down by the stem until the top part is dry. Harvest the seeds and store for next year. Dill will also re-plant its-self if the dried seeds fall to the grow from the plants before they are harvested.

Thanks to LittleHouseLiving

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