Skip to main content

How to save seeds - a 2016 update

I love being able to keep seeds from the vegetables I grow.  Some people get upset when their plants bolt and go to seed, but I'm happy because it means I'll be able to save the seeds and sow some more.

Poor Man's Beans seeds that I've saved
I have saved seeds from beans, capsicums, lettuce, mustard greens, tomatoes, parsley, basil, broccoli and spring onions, as well as flower seeds.  I keep the seeds in little jars from my Damadi moisturiser and have a cupboard full of tiny jars.  I also keep the little sachets of desiccant that come with shoes and other products and drop one in each jar to keep the moisture out.

My seed cupboard is full of little jars of seeds
Drop in a sachet of desiccant to keep the moisture out
Saving seeds from most plants is easy, just let them flower and wait for the seed pods to form and dry out.  A few tips for some of the seeds that I regularly save:
  • Beans and peas - I just leave some large beans on the plant and wait until they're yellow and dried out.  
  • Tomatoes - best to ferment the seeds (that's why they do so well in the compost!). 
  • Capsicums - I just scrape out the seeds, let them dry on paper towel, and tip them into the jar.
  • Curcubits like pumpkin and melon -  also just scrape out the seeds and let them dry (only issue being that they can cross-pollinate over long distances, but that doesn't bother me).
  • Brassicas like broccoli and asian greens - wait until the seed pods have dried, then harvest the entire plant and pop the seeds out of each pod into a container, then pick out all the bits of pod, you will get hundreds of seeds!
  • Lettuce and herbs like parsley and dill - wait for the seed head to dry and then shake them into a container and store in a jar.
  • Silverbeet - this one takes FOREVER to grow the seeds and dry out, so just be patient, eventually you will be able to harvest the dry seeds, which are a very odd shape.
I have far too many seeds to ever use in time, so I give them away to neighbours and friends and at our local produce share.  I also scatter them around my garden and they tend to sprout at the right time, this is a concept from One Straw Revolution - letting nature do the gardening.  I also found a lot of good information about seed saving in Australia in the book Organic Vegetable Gardening (not an affiliate link).


Do you save seeds?  Any tips?


See below for affiliate links to some of my favourite gardening books:



      

Comments

  1. Your cupboard looks just like mine LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am really excited that you will join in with trans-planting at Sow. Give. Grow. : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I never think of saving those little sachets, let alone putting them in with seeds I have saved. What a fantastic idea. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Making tallow soap

For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.
Then we had the steer butchered at home and I saw just how much excess fat we had to dispose, it was nearly a wheel-barrow full, and that made me think about how we could use that…