How to Collect Pepper Seeds & Dry Seeds

Overview

Harvesting and saving seeds from your own garden crop is not only economical, it is a great way to pass down "heirloom" seeds to your friends and family for their gardens. Peppers of all varieties are a summer garden favorite, and when it comes to collecting and drying pepper seeds, the process couldn't be easier. There are a few steps you should follow, however, to ensure that your seeds will be viable and produce a good crop when you decide to plant them.

Step 1

Choose a healthy pepper from your garden harvest. The pepper must be fully mature and ripe, and the skin should be starting to wrinkle.

Step 2

Cut open the pepper, and scoop out the seeds.

Step 3

Remove any pulp or debris from the seeds.

Step 4

Spread the seeds out in a single layer on a window screen that is laying down flat. For better airflow, place a 1 inch block under each side of the window screen. The screen should be in a dry and well-ventilated area and left alone for two to three days.

Step 5

Place the dried seeds in a paper envelope, and then place the envelope in a sealed jar or another moisture proof container.

Step 6

Store the jar in the refrigerator until you need to use your seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hybrid seeds are seeds that have been cross-pollinated, and while they may still produce a crop, that crop may not be anything like the harvest that you collected the seeds from. Check your seed packet to make sure you are not collecting seeds from a hybrid pepper variety. If you are, you can save some and give it a shot, or make sure you have non-hybrid seeds this year and start saving after this season's harvest.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Window screen
  • 2 blocks, 1 inch
  • Paper envelopes
  • Sealed jar or another waterproof container

References

  • Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center: Saving Seeds of Peppers
  • University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension: Saving Vegetable Seeds
  • Colorado State University: Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Keywords: storing pepper seeds, collecting pepper seeds, drying pepper seeds

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.