Heirloom Flower Seeds Our flower selection — from asters to zinnias — will brighten any landscape. Best of all, we ship them FREE! Need advice? When to collect seeds depends on the plant.
Melon seeds, for example, are ready when the fruit is ripe for eating. Cucumber and squash seeds should be left on the plant until after the first frost.
Tip: Consider saving seeds from several plants around 5 is best in case one or two plants produce inferior seeds. Root crops, usually biennials, will need to be dug out in the fall and replanted in the spring so they can produce seeds their second year. Harvest seeds after the dew has dried on a sunny day.
Remove as much fiber and pulp as possible. You can wash the slime off in a mild bleach mixture 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
Then lay the seeds on paper towels or newspapers to dry. Shake plants whose seeds scatter easily many flowers, lettuce, dill over a paper bag every day, or so. Beans, peppers and sunflower seeds can be picked by hand. Dry seeds on the plant for as long as possible. Then, place them on a screen or in a paper bag to completely dry before storing. Tomatoes require a little more preparation. Slice the tomatoes across the middle and scoop out the seeds, goop and all. Add a couple teaspoons of water and the seeds to a container and cover with plastic wrap.
On Sale 35 Reviews. Epic tomatoes includes a wide variety of tomatoes that will bring bold, new flavors to your dishes. If I ever do a fairy garden, I know for sure rainbow chard will be in it. Learn more about what that means here. Read our article How to Save Tomato Seeds for more information. Keep seeds dry and cool.
Poke a small hole in the plastic wrap and place the container on top of the refrigerator or in a windowsill to keep it warm. Read our article How to Save Tomato Seeds for more information. Each night remove the plastic wrap and stir the fermenting mixture. In days the fermentation process will have killed any diseases and the seeds are ready to go. The viable seeds sink to the bottom while the non-viable seeds float to the top. Remove the debris from the top of the container and pour the rest of the mixture into a sieve. Rinse with cool water and then dry the seeds on wax paper, newspaper or paper towels.
When storing seeds it is very important to keep them dry or they may become moldy. You can purchase desiccant packs to keep seeds dry or keep them in glass jars, paper envelopes or plastic containers. If you go the envelope route, consider putting the envelopes in a container to keep pests away. Store all seeds in a cool dark place until it is time to plant. Varying temperatures, heat and moisture are not kind to seeds kept in storage and will threaten their ability to germinate. Note: Every 10 degrees Fahrenheit decrease in storage temperature doubles the seed storage life at temperatures above freezing.
Every 1 percent decrease in seed moisture content doubles seed storage life. Herb Seeds Flavorful and exotic, these varieties have passed through kitchens for generations. What seems like a small garden to a farmer can be a large garden to an urban grower. In this case a small garden refers to an area square feet or smaller.
If your plot is this size, you can NOT grow crops far enough apart to eliminate cross-pollination. So how do you insure that your seeds stay true to type? An obvious technique is to plant only one variety of each plant — one kind of tomato, one type of lettuce, one variety of carrots, etc. Another technique is to set up physical barriers. Row covers can guard low growing plants from unwanted pollinators.
Upright and tall plants can be surrounded by a screen, while climbing plants may need to have their flowers covered find a material that lets in air, but keeps out insects, cut a swatch and tie it gently around individual flowers or clusters. Now you just have to figure out a way to pollinate those covered flowers. Some plants tomatoes, beans, peppers, chicory, endive, and peas are largely self-pollinators. Gently shake these plants to help distribute the pollen.
Lettuce can self-pollinate, but it does better with the help of bumble bees. Other plants will need you to pollinate them. Then, touch the pistil of the female flower.
Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas are good choices for seed saving. Seeds from biennial crops such as carrots or beets are harder to save since the plants need two growing seasons to set seed. You can save vegetable seeds from your garden produce to plant next year. Saving vegetable seeds can help preserve the particular variety you are vegetables in the squash family, as the same variety will rarely grow.
Some flowers have the male and female parts on the same flower, but the process is the same. Make sure you use a new Q-tip or clean the brush when pollinating more than one variety of the same cultivar.
One way to do this is to plant similar varieties at intervals so they do not flower all at once. Easy, if you live somewhere with a long growing season, more difficult if your growing season is short. Some gardeners prefer combining these two methods by planting in intervals, but using a physical cover during the time when the flowering overlaps.
The following spring, they produce tops that grow up to two feet tall. Then they send out white flowers that resemble Queen Anne's lace the wild plant from which carrots were originally developed. Eventually, tiny seeds form that you can collect. For fleshy vegetables such as tomatoes, squash and melons, pick them when they are fully ripe. Scoop out their seeds and spread them to dry in a well-ventilated place. Beans and peas need to be left on the vine until the pods are dry and crackly.
Corn should also be left to dry on the stalk until the kernels dent. Also remember to label and store your free bonanza as soon as possible after harvesting.
Some broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seeds resemble one another quite closely. Envelopes make good containers for storing small quantities of most kinds of seed since they can be sealed and labeled conveniently.
For larger quantities, I use glass jars they take up more space than envelopes and are breakable, but you can see inside them. I label my seed containers with the following: Each kind of vegetable, variety of vegetable, where and when I originally bought the seed, and the month and year of the harvest. The key to successful long-term seed storage is keeping your cache cool and dry. Mold growth occurs at a faster rate in warm air than it does in cool air. Potato and onion sets may be stored in open boxes or hung in mesh bags in a place where the temperature is 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air is not overly dry.
We store ours in a frost-free fruit cellar along with our canned goods and winter squash my neighbor, on the other hand, has had good luck squirreling away his eatin' spuds and seeds in a 4-foot-deep pit dug in a sandy, well-drained spot. When he unearths them in early May, the potatoes and seeds look just like they did the previous September, without a single sprout! Some seeds keep much longer than others.
The following chart will give you an idea as to the minimum length of time properly stored seeds will remain viable. Seed Longevity does fluxuate. Years ago, I helped carry out germination tests for a large store that bought seed in bulk and repacked it in small packets for resale.
Since the manager carried his unsold stock over from year to year, it was important for us to know how many seeds in a particular batch would sprout when planted. To test how many would sprout, first, we placed moistened cotton in a petri dish. Then we did the following:. I do essentially the same germination tests with my seeds now, except that I only use ten seeds per germination test, and I only test seeds that are more than a year old if the seeds are less than two years old and look good, I assume that their germination rate will be high.
Any plastic or glass container that will hold a damp blotter, damp newspaper, or moistened cotton along with the seeds will work as well as a petri plate. Just remember to label your containers with the date of the test and the variety of seed being tested. Then — after a week or so — check on your sprouts.
Homegrown seeds have many uses, in addition to serving as the source of next year's garden vegetables. Pumpkin and squash seeds, for instance, are extremely tasty and nutritious when roasted my wife spent three years in Turkey and she tells me the people in that country eat squash seeds the way we gobble peanuts. Dried peas make good pigeon food, if you're into raising squabs although it does take rather a lot of peas to do the job. In addition, many seeds have attractive shapes and colors that make them fun to use in craft projects.
Last year, my future zucchini patch end up as a wall plaque! Why not give seed saving a try? Most importantly, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you are a little bit less dependent on someone else for the food on your table. For more information on seed saving techniques and seed storage, read Clarice L. I could not fid the chart on "How long the seeds will keep"