Seeds are tiny, genetic miracles with all the information needed to grow amazing works of garden art, in a tiny little package usually no bigger than the end of your finger. Saving them to plant the next growing season is a thrifty and satisfying way to enjoy your garden treasures in the year to come.
Choose the plant you wish to collect seeds from. Different plants require various seed-collection methods, but a basic guideline for vegetables is to wait until the fruit reaches maturity before collecting seeds. Flower seeds can be collected after the flower bloom is spent.
Pick ripe fruit and separate seeds from the flesh. Rinse and allow them to dry completely on paper towels. For tomatoes or other juicy fruited plants, drop the flesh into a cup of water and leave overnight. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom. Skim the pulp and carefully pour the seeds over a wire mesh or paper towel and allow to dry.
Store seeds once fully dry in envelopes or sealed containers.
Mark the packages with labels and date them. Seeds perform best when planted the year after they are gathered.
Keep the containers in a cool, dry place free from insects. Refrigeration is the preferred method.