Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time to save some seeds

Every year I try to save more and more of my own seeds.  Most are relatively easy to save, especially if you are a lazy gardener like me. 

Tomatoes are easy.  You get a good, slightly over ripe tomato and cut it across the equator.

Then you stick your finger in and squish out the seeds into a bowl.  Leave the bowl on a counter for a few days until it gets good and disgusting.  The rot is what you want.  Tomato seeds have a protective coating on them that has to be broken down by a bit of rot, so that they are then able to be planted.  After a few days, put them in a colander and rinse all the yuck off. 

I then put them on a piece of paper to dry with the name of the tomato type on the paper.  (It looks like an ink blot test)  When they're good and dry I will put them in an envelope to keep.  This of course, can only be done with open pollinated seeds.  Hybrids will not produce true to their parent plant. 

I also have bags of parsnip seeds, lettuce seeds and spinach seeds to be done.  These are easier.  In the case of the lettuce and spinach,  you just let them go to seed and ignore them for a while.  I then snip off the seed heads when they are fully mature and stick them in a bag to dry in the house.  When dry, I crunch them up to separate the seeds out. 

In the case of the parsnips, they need to go through a winter and then go to seed.  Carrots are the same way.  These parsnips were planted last year.  Most were dug this spring for eating, but a few were left in the ground.  The picture in my header is of the parsnip seed heads.  They are quite pretty and very tall.  This way, I have tons of seeds for myself and to share for free. 


Daphne said...

I love to save seeds too. This year I haven't done much but I still have tomatillo and tomato seeds saved.

Kimmi said...

I seed some bellpepper seeds last year. It was really easy so I probably shouldn't be so excited but it was my first time. This year they have started to grow, but no peppers yet. I planted them late to replace peppers that my dog destroyed.

The Mom said...

Daphne, I think you can worry about saving seeds another year. You've had a lot going on!

Kimmi, I've never saved pepper seeds before. I always have too many varieties planted next to each other.

Karen Anne said...

The Mom, maybe it would be interesting to see what you get if you plant some of those seeds.