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Saving Seeds

Saving seeds is a great way to grow fruits and vegetables that you have enjoyed planting and eating for the next season. It is pretty easy and economical to store seeds. Seeds are either buried in flesh, pod, slime  or stringy fibers. The following are instructions to cleaning and storing them.

Seeds buried in flesh
Fruits like mango and rambutan have seeds that are wrapped in their flesh. Pick a ripe fruit and strip the flesh down to its seed. Make sure you don’t break the seed. Rinse off the seed and let it completely dry for 2 to 3 days. Slip the seed in an envelope and label the fruit’s name, date of storage and file it away in a dry and cool place in the house or in your fridge.

Seeds buried in pod
Vegetables like peas and green beans have beans that are really the seeds. Let the pods grow on the vine past edible stage until the beans in the pod bulged and the pod is drying up to near splitting. Pluck the pods and remove the seeds. Rinse the seeds and let them dry for a few days. Slip the seeds in an envelope or dry glass bottle and label the plant’s name, date of storage and file it away in a dry and cool place in the house or in your fridge.

Italian green beans' seeds

Seeds buried in slime
Fruits and vegetables like heirloom tomatoes are found in the center of the plants, covered in its slime. The slime contains chemical properties that inhibit the seeds from germinating. Pick a ripe fruit/ vegetable and cut down in the middle. Squeeze or scoop out the seeds into a bowl of water. Cover the bowl and let the seeds sit in the water for 2 to 3 days. Strain the seeds and let them dry for 2 to 3 days. Once dry, store the seeds in an envelope and label the plant’s name, date of storage and file it away in a dry and cool place in the house or in your fridge.

Seeds buried in stringy fibers
Vegetables like squashes and gords contain many seeds covered in stringy fibers. Remove the seeds by first cutting the vegetable in half and scooping them out. Rinse in water and pluck the seeds out from the fibers. Let them dry for a few days and store the seeds in an envelope. Label the plant’s name, date of storage and file it away in a dry and cool place in the house or in your fridge. 

Plucked and rinsed pumpkin seeds

If the seeds were not properly dried, there would be mold. I learned that the hard way when I saw my pumpkin seeds looked flurry after a few weeks sitting out. When the seeds are properly stored, they are really in dormant mode. By labeling the seeds, you reduce the chance of mistaking the seeds for another since many can look alike. Seeds can be kept up to 2 years but really depends on the type of seeds.

I hope this article is helpful. Enjoy sowing!

Date: 4/16/2011

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