Saving Vegetable Seeds by Helene Demels

Seeds from my Garden

  • Asparagus Cut the ferns with berries from the female plants and allow them to dry a few days in the field or inside. Soak berries and remove “skins”. Place the seeds on a paper towel to cure and dry for a week before storing.
  • Bean Pods are ready for harvest when some are dry and the remainder have turned yellow, about 6 weeks after the pods were of fresh- eating quality. Cure the pods for 1 to 2 weeks in a warm dry place. Store the seeds in paper bags or envelopes in a dark, dry area.
  • Cabbage Pull entire plants when most of the pods are brown and hang them upside down to cure in a warm, dry place. The siliques will split open, when fully dry, so place something under the plants to catch the seeds.
  • Corn Ears are ready to be harvested for seed from 4 to 6 weeks after they reach eating stage. Pick ears when the husks are brown. Make sure ears are fully dried. Twist the ears or rub two together to release hard, dried kernels into a bucket.
  • Cucumber Select large, overripe fruit for seed saving and allow them to ripen on or off the vine in a cool dry place for at least 5 weeks after eating stage, until they turn yellow, white, orange or brown in color. Select the seeds and store them in a cool, dry place for several more weeks to complete their ripening.
  • Eggplant Scoop the seeds with a spoon into a bowl with water and rub between your hands to separate the seeds. Put the good seeds in a strainer and rinse then drain and place on a coffee filter or screens in a warm, ventilated area to dry.
  • Okra When pods are brown, they will split and you’ll have to collect seeds in a bucket.
  • Pepper Scrape out the seeds and spread them on a screen or coffee filter to dry for about 2 weeks.
  • Squash When they have turned yellowish, orange, cut the squash in half, then scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rinse off the pulp. Spread seeds on a paper towel to dry for 2 weeks and then store.
  • Tomatoe Scoop out seeds, place in a cup of water for 4 days. Each day draining the water and adding fresh water. The seeds will be separated from the pulp and ready to dry. Dry on a coffee filter for a week or two.
  • Watermelon Seeds are ripe when watermelon are good for eating. Wash seeds lightly, rinse and spread on a screen or paper towel. Dry for about a week.

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