Seed-Saving Tips

Save seeds of your favorite plants as an easy way to save money or share them with friends and family.
100333930.jpg		Collecting Seed

Seed saving has long been the primary way to pass plants down from generation to generation. Continue the tradition of sharing the best of nature's gifts by saving seeds in your garden.

The best plants for seed saving are heirlooms, old-fashioned varieties, and open-pollinated plants. This is because the seeds usually grow into plants that look like their parents. Seeds saved from hybrids will not usually grow into the same plants as their parents.

Where to Find Seed

Most plants develop their seeds behind the faded flowers. The plants may make their seeds in pods, capsules, heads, or fruits. Seeds differ in appearance, as well. Some are tiny, like dust. Other seeds, like morning glories, can be as large as your fingernail.

How to Collect Seed

No matter what the seeds look like or how they're held, the key to successfully saving seed is to wait until the seed has matured -- but get it before it falls off the plant. The seeds of most flowering plants can be harvested after they dry on the plant. Fruit and vegetable seeds are often harvested when the fruit is ripe. Remove and clean seeds from fruits thoroughly for a few days. Then set them out in a warm, dry place to thoroughly dry for storage.

Continued on page 2:  What to Do with Your Seeds