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Summer Gardening Tips: Saving Seeds from your Garden

Saving seeds is an easy, fun and cost-effective way to start your garden for next year before the harvest from this year is even finished.

All fully matured seeds can produce food for your family. However only heirloom or open-pollinated seeds will produce plants that are the same as the parent plant year to year. Seeds from hybrid varieties may not “come true”, they will still produce fruit although it may vary slightly from its parent plant.

Below is a list of the easiest vegetables to save seeds from, along with how to save them curtsey of Clippings Floral Design.

Peas & Beans

🌱 Let pods dry on the vine until they turn brown and feel dry to the touch, be sure to harvest before any threat of rain or watering. 

🌱 Remove the seeds from the pods and dispose of any that have molded or are damaged.

Peppers

🌱 Leave peppers to fully mature and ripen on the plant. Once picked, remove seeds and dry on paper towel for several days. 

🌱 *Be aware that hot peppers contain capsaicin that can cause discomfort when saving hot pepper seeds*

Cucumber

🌱 Allow cucumbers to fully mature on the vine, which in most cases is past the prime for eating. 

🌱 Cucumber seeds germinate best after being allowed to ferment. Therefore place seeds in a jar for 1-3 days, then rinse and dry seeds on paper towel until completely dry.

Tomato

🌱 Tomato seeds also benefit from fermentation. Remove seeds and pulp from fully ripe tomatoes and place in an uncovered jar for 3-4 days. The seeds will become stinky and you may even see mold started to grow, this is a good thing! 

🌱 When seeds and pulp start to separate add water, viable seeds will sink, pour off the remaining liquid/pulp. Rinse the seeds in a sieve under running water and then lay out on towel to dry.

Summer Squash

🌱 Remove seeds from mature fruit and swish in a bowl of water to remove pulp. Place on a paper towel to dry somewhere with good air flow but out of direct sunlight.

Winter Squash

🌱 Allow your squash/pumpkins to sit and cure for 30 days after picking. Remove seeds, rinse pulp and dry on paper towel.

After you have harvested and dried your seeds be sure to label and date them. It’s easy to forget what you have saved by the time you go to plant them next spring. Store them in paper envelopes in a cool, dry, dark place until ready to start your garden next year.

To view more home and garden tips from Clippings Floral design click here.

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