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

Getting started with chickens - Tanya from Lovely Greens

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Farmer Liz: You will remember Tanya from Lovely Greens from the first series, she lives on the Isle of Mann and added chickens to her garden about a year ago.  You can leave comments for this post on Tanya's blog.



How many chickens (and other fowl) do you keep, what breed and what do you use them for (meat, eggs, slug control etc)?
Tanya: Around the same time that we were initially thinking about having hens another friend beat us to the punch. She went to the local pet store and bought a flat-pack hen house and chicken run combo and found a local farmer who had dozens of semi-feral chickens running around his property. One night he pulled three down from the trees and my friend took them home in a pet carrier. She named them Miracel, Carmen, and Geraldine and though they’re probably related they were all…

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 mushrooms in my kitchen!

I’ve been wanting to try growing mushrooms for some time. I LOVE mushrooms and we buy them from the supermarket every week, so I was keen to find a way to produce them at home to reduce waste and potentially cost as well.





A few years ago I found out that you could grow mushrooms from the spent mushroom compost from mushroom farms. So we dropped in to a farm on the Sunshine Coast and picked up a couple of boxes for $2 each. I diligently kept them dark and sprayed them with water, but in our climate, I just couldn’t keep them damp enough (and I had to keep them outside because our shed was too hot). I never managed to produce any mushrooms from those boxes, but when I gave up and tipped the compost out onto the garden, mushrooms sprang up everywhere. I wasn’t confident that they were the right mushrooms though, so I didn’t harvest any of those. As the proverb says, All mushrooms are edible, but some only once! I am generally a bit nervous about unidentified fungi.

Since then, I had…