- Author: Anne E Schellman
In August we featured an article by former Environmental Horticulture Advisor, Ed Perry, called "Save the Right Seeds."
This article discussed how to successfully choose which vegetable seeds to save to plant in your garden next year.
Now, we wanted to follow up with tips for how to save your chosen seeds. Master Gardeners Royce Rhoads and Heidi Aufdermaur taught this class last year, and plan to teach it again in 2021.
Here is a list of items to gather. Most likely you already have most of them:
-Marker and masking tape
-Knife and spoon
-Jars and rings; or just use paper cups
-Paper towels or cheesecloth
-Fine mesh or strainer
-Paper plates for drying
Most people save tomato seeds, so let's go over the steps to save them. Tomato seeds have a gooey covering over them that needs to be removed first.
Allowing the seeds to sit in water lets “good” bacteria break down that covering. The empty seeds will float and you can skim them off. The seeds you want are at the bottom of the jar.
Step 1: Label the outside of your jar with masking tape and a permanent marker.
Step 2: Cut tomato, scoop out seeds & put into jar.
Step 3: Fill your jar, with the seeds in it, 1/2 full of water. Cover with paper towel/cheesecloth.
Step 4: Two days later, skim off floating seeds and remove.
Step 5: Wait a few more days until a film forms on the surface (fermentation* process).
Step 6: Strain the pulp through a screen until seeds separate. Spread onto labeled plate until dry for a few days.
Step 7: Label a paper mailing envelope and add seeds. Make sure to include the date.
Your seeds can last up to 4 years if stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Did you save any seeds using this post? If so, please tell us how you did in the comments below!
Vegetables such as peppers, eggplants, and melons are much easier to save than tomato seeds. Just remove and spread them out to dry. Squash seeds are also easy, but may need a little bit of cleaning by straining and rinsing with water.
We are excited to announce the UCCE Stanislaus County Master Gardener Program has started a YouTube Channel! Our goal is to bring you FREE gardening programming asked for by members of the community.
Our first video, Spring Container Vegetable Gardening was just posted. It was recorded on April 15, 2020. Master Gardener Rho Yare tells you everything you need to know about growing food in containers in spring.
Although spring is in full swing, there's still time to purchase vegetable transplants from a local garden or nursery. You can find tomato, pepper, eggplant, cucumber, and squash plants. There's still time to get seeds in the ground for melons, pumpkins, and beans.
We are planning for classes on vermicomposting (composting using worms), pollinators, fall container vegetable gardens, and possibly herbs. If you have a request, feel free to type it into the bottom of this article.
Transforming our classes from in-person to online has been a new challenge for us, but we are taking it in stride. Please let us know what you think about our classes by commenting or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch our new video clicking on the link below. After watching the video, please share it with your gardening friends, and leave a comment telling us if you found it helpful.