Tips: Saving & Storing Heirloom Seeds

Harvesting seeds:
What do I save?

I save everything that's Heirloom. If I grew it from seed, I save some for next year, either to plant or give it away.

How do you go about deciding which of the plant material to let go into seed?

I have a short growing season, so the first blossoms, the first vegetable etc. those are the ones I'll leave for next years seeds. By doing it this way I'm assuring that my plant seeds will have a chance to mature.

How do you know when your seeds are ready?

If the seed pod is dry, the seeds are probably ready. Don't pick too early, better to leave them a little longer and lose some, than taking a chance on harvesting seeds that are not quite mature.

What do you use to harvest your seeds in?

I have labelled terra cotta pots lined with paper towel right by my back door, away from the rain and squirrels. Terra Cotta pots are sturdy enough to stand on its own. I can also hold the pot with one end and snip the seed into it with the other. When I'm sure my seeds are dry, I can lift the paper towel from the pot and pour the seeds in labeled jars or seed packets. The jars, I usually leave the lids off for a while longer to make sure there isn't any moisture trapped in any of my seeds.

What do I use to store my seeds?

I have jars of all sizes, including baby food jars. I also use a box with index cards for my seed packets.

What do I do with them afterwards?

All of my treasures are then set on the shelf where they sleep and wait for spring. I'm not fussy about the temperature of the room where I have my seeds in. I just like it to be dry. I love looking at those shelves in the middle of a cold winter. You can't help it but to think of flowers, soil, birds and slugs.

Seed packets to print
Seed index cards dividers
Monthy Tabbed Seed Box Organizer -