How to Save Garden Seeds Year to Year


Your garden this year was a phenomenal success, and the quality of the vegetables produced encourages you to save the seed for next year's garden. Provided the plants you have grown are non-hybrid or heirloom plants, saving the seeds does not require a lot of effort, and can save you money the next growing season.

Step 1

Allow the seed from beans, peas, corn and okra to dry on the plant. Harvest the dried pods into a paper bag. Place the pods or corn on newspaper in a well-ventilated area for several days to continue the drying process.

Step 2

Scoop the seeds from mature cucumbers, squashes, tomatoes, pumpkins and other fleshy vegetables into a glass jar or bowl. Allow the seeds to sit for two to three days in their own liquid. Pour into a strainer and rinse the seeds. Dry on paper towels.

Step 3

Place seeds in envelopes or glass jars and mark the envelopes with the contents.

Step 4

Place the envelopes or jars in the freezer for two days. This will kill any insects or other pests.

Step 5

Store the envelopes or jars in a cool, dry area until the next growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bags Sharp knife Newspaper Spoon Wire mesh strainer Paper towels Glass jar or bowl Envelopes Markers


  • University of Illinois Extension: Saving Seed From the Garden
  • Colorado State University Extension: Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
  • "The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening," by the editors of Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine, 1975
Keywords: saving seed, saving vegetable seed, save garden seed

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.