How to Save Spinach Seeds

Overview

Spinach is a cool-season vegetable, often grown in either the spring or fall. Saving seeds from your favorite spinach variety allows you to grow it each year without the expense of purchasing new stock. Seed is saved from spring-planted spinach, as the heat of summer is what causes the plant to produce flowers and seeds. Save seeds from heirloom and open-pollinated spinach varieties to ensure that your saved seeds are viable for future planting. Avoid saving seeds from types listed as hybrid on the seed packet.

Step 1

Water and care for the plant as usual throughout early summer once you are no longer harvesting the leaves. Stop watering once the spinach has flowered and the blossoms have begun to wither.

Step 2

Cut off the flower stalks at the base of the plant. Spread them out on newspaper in a warm, dry room and allow them to finish drying for another three to five days.

Step 3

Separate the seeds from the flower stalks and place the seeds in a bowl. Wear gloves while stripping off the seeds as some spinach varieties have prickly stalks and seed coatings.

Step 4

Place the seeds in a jar or envelope once you are done separating them from the stalks. Label the jar or envelope with the spinach type and year harvested, then seal.

Step 5

Store the spinach seeds in a cool (32 to 41 degrees F) room until you are ready to plant. A basement, outdoor shed, or other protected but cool place is preferred.

Tips and Warnings

  • Spinach cross-pollinates readily. Plant only one variety in your garden if you plan on saving seeds; otherwise, you may get non-viable or mutant seeds from crossbreeding. Protect seeds from rodents and other pests during storage. Either store them inside or place them in a jar if pests are a problem in your storage area.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Newspaper
  • Bowl
  • Gloves
  • Jar
  • Envelope
  • Pen
  • Label

References

  • Oregon State University Extension: Collecting and Storing Seeds from Your Garden
Keywords: saving spinach seed, seed collecting, harvesting seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.