How to Save Seeds

Saving seeds is a great and frugal way to start your garden next planting season.

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Up next in Seeds & Planting (15 videos)

Start your own vegetable or flower garden today with these gardening videos on seeds and planting.

You Will Need

  • Garden shears
  • Paper bags
  • A screen
  • A dry, well-ventilated location
  • A spoon
  • A glass jar
  • Envelopes
  • Labels
  • A marker

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Pick the best

    Pick seeds from the biggest and most colorful flowers and vegetables.

  2. Step 2

    Look for mature seeds

    Look for signs that the seeds are mature by finding plants whose flowers are dry, falling off, or have puffy tops. Plants with pods are mature when the pods are brown and dry.

  3. Do not save seeds from hybrids.

  4. Step 3

    Cut flowers from herbs

    Hang flowers from herbs such as parsley, fennel or cilantro upside down in a paper bag. As they dry, the seeds will fall to the bottom of the bag. Allow the seeds to completely dry in a well-ventilated location for 2 weeks.

  5. Step 4

    Spread seeds from beans and peas

    Spread the seeds from beans and peas on a screen after they have swelled up and rattle inside their pods. Then allow the seeds to dry in a well-ventilated location for two weeks.

  6. Step 5

    Scoop seeds from tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers

    Scoop the seeds out of tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers and place them in a jar. Add a small amount of water and let them ferment for 2 to 4 days.

  7. Step 6

    Save the seeds

    Save the seeds that have sunk to the bottom and place them on a screen to dry.

  8. Make sure the seeds completely dry before storing.

  9. Step 7

    Store seeds

    Store the dry seeds in a glass jar or envelope, label the container, and place it in the freezer for a few days to kill pests. Store the seeds in the refrigerator and plant in the next planting season.

  10. A seed that was discovered during an excavation at King Herod's Palace on Mount Masada near the Dead Sea sprouted a palm tree that was carbon dated at about 2,000 years old.

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