How to Get Veggie Seeds From Plants

Overview

If you are growing your own plants, then there are many practical considerations for saving seeds from this year's crop of vegetables to start your garden for next year. Saving seeds will save you money on the cost of purchasing seed from year to year. Additionally, you can be certain that the quality of the seed you save is high. Finally, the seed that you save is from a vegetable that has grown in your own unique climate. This is an additional assurance that your seeds are adapted to the climate that you will grow them in. Collecting vegetable seeds from plants is simple.

Step 1

Select seed stock from the healthiest and most vigorously growing plants. Pick fleshy vegetables immediately, but allow husked or podded plants such as corn, beans and peas to dry on the plant.

Step 2

Scoop the seeds and pulp from fleshy vegetables. Allow to dry for several days.

Step 3

Add water to the dry mixture and skim off floating seeds and pulp. The floating seeds are not viable.

Step 4

Strain seeds through sieve, dry with a paper towel and turn seeds out on a glass pie plate. Allow seeds to dry.

Step 5

Store seeds in paper envelopes. Place paper envelopes in glass mason jars. Place a strip of masking tape on each jar and label it with a marker. Store in the refrigerator.

Step 6

Pick plants that have dried in pods or husks. String these, and hang in a cool dark place such as a basement or cellar.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hybrid seeds don't reproduce true to type. This means that a seed from a hybrid plant won't always have the same qualities as its parent plant. For this reason, you should only save seeds from a non-hybrid plant. Plant only one standard variety of vegetable to avoid cross-pollination of your plants. Cross-pollination can cause a plant's seeds to produce a weaker second-generation plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bag
  • Newspaper
  • Well-ventilated room
  • Glass Mason jars
  • Paper envelopes
  • Sieve
  • Glass pie plate
  • Masking tape
  • Sharpie marker

References

  • Saving Vegetable Seeds

Who Can Help

  • Save Your Own Garden-Grown Vegetable Seed
Keywords: propogating vegetables, collecting seeds, storing seeds

About this Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.