growing seeds-tips and techniques for saving vegetable seeds
For those growing an organic garden, there is nothing more enjoyable than picking and saving seeds in order to plant them at the appropriate season.
In this manual I gathered tips and techniques from over 20 years of experience, simple explanations, and illustrations.
so , in this guide i will teach you:
- Structure of a Seed.
- Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms
- seed Growth and Development
- Seed Dormancy.
- Seed Germination
- Factors Affecting Seed Germination
- Internal Factors
- External Factors
- steps in Seed Germination
You have surely seen and maybe you’ve also planted or have eaten some of it before, but how much do you know about these tiny but complex living things known as seeds? Just imagine how this little seeds can grow up and develop to be some great, tall trees or even become the smallest shrub or plant which produces flowers and fruits and other edible food for our consumption. Wonderful isn’t it?
Seeds are tiny, matured ovule of a plant and encased in a seed coat for its protection. It contains an embryo and has some stored food inside. The development of seeds in seed plants completes the reproduction process. Seeds are capable of propagation that’s why these are usually sown for the purpose of growing new crops.
The importance of seeds is evident not just on how it helps crop cultivation, but also on the spread of seed plants in different biological niches like grasslands, forests, jungles, savannas, etc. Apart from this, some seed species can be eaten. Examples of edible seeds are: grains, beans and nuts. These seeds form part of healthy diet for humans. Seeds can also be made as oil or vinegars.
This guide will focus on seeds and its development and more importantly, on the different tips or techniques in ensuring development of the seeds to seedlings. For this chapter, the focus will be on the basics regarding seed and its propagation.
Structure of a Seed
For better understanding of a seed and its development, its different parts must be discussed.
There are three parts of a seed:
(1) Seed coat;
(2) Endosperm and;
(3) Embryo which contains the cotyledon, radicle, hypocotyl, epicotyl and the plumule.
The seed coat is the protective cover of the seed from possible attacks of insects, fungi or bacteria. The endosperm is the stored nutrients and food supply needed for the growth of the embryo to a seedling. The embryo is the immature plant which will grow to a seedling; it’s different parts are:
(1) Cotyledon – the seed leaf, it will become the first leaves of the seedling;
(2) Radicle – the root of the embryo which would later develop as the roots of the plant;
(3) Hypocotyl and epicotyl – the stem of the embryo;
(4) Plumule – the shoot of the embryo.
Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms
Gymnosperms are vascular plants which produces seeds protected by woody cones instead of fruits. Gymnosperms is the Greek term of “naked seed”, relevant to the cone-containing seeds. Gymnosperms are usually represented by coniferous trees like pines, firs, ginkgoes, spruces, cedars, and redwoods. Gymnosperms do not have flowers and their leaves are retained throughout the year.
On the other hand, angiosperms are plants which produce flowers and therefore fruits. The seeds are contained in the fruit. Angiosperms have two types: monocots and dicots. Monocots have only one cotyledons with flowers in multiples of three (e.g. grasses, corns) while dicots have two cotyledons with flowers in multiples of 4-5 (e.g. oak, roses).
seed Growth and Development
Before entering the germination phase, seeds undergo the state of dormancy. Dormancy is the state wherein the germination process is suspended because of various conditions within or outside the seeds. Seed dormancy is an important phase because it provides time for the dispersal of seeds before germination. Dormancy also protects the seeds and seedling from possible harm or death during unfavorable weather or from transient herbivores. Aside from these, dormancy happens to prevent the seed in germinating in unfavorable external environment like when the climate is too hot or too cold. Actually, in many species of seeds, dormancy may take up to months and even years.
There are two major types of seed dormancy: the endogenous and exogenous dormancy.
Endogenous dormancy is the effect of the conditions within the embryo and this type of dormancy includes:
(1) Physiological dormancy – wherein there wouldn’t be any seed germination which will occur until the required chemical changes occurs, the factors that usually affects this type of dormancy are temperature, light and drying;
(2) Morphological dormancy – happens when the embryo of the seed is underdeveloped, this immature embryo undergoes dormancy to give the embryo the time to further grow and be fully-developed;
(3) Combined dormancy – also known as morpho-physiological dormancy, this type of dormancy is the combination of the preceding types of dormancy
Exogenous dormancy is the effect of the conditions outside the embryo; this would include:
(1) Physical dormancy – happens when the seeds unable to absorb water or prevented from exchanging gases.
(2) Mechanical dormancy – when the protective covering or the seed coat of the seed is too hard to allow growth and expansion during germination
(3) Chemical dormancy – these may involve leaching out of chemical growth inhibitors by natural factors like rain or snow and other means like washing or soaking the seeds
Germination is the process wherein the embryo within the seed grows and develops forming a seedling. After the state of dormancy wherein growth of the embryonic plant within the seed is prevented, growth resumes with the germination stage. Only with favorable conditions within and outside the seed will the seed undergo germination and resumes growth to become a seedling.
So what are the factors affecting seed germination? It might seem impossible, but within this tiny seeds are different processes which happen.
Factors Affecting Seed Germination
There are certain factors which could affect the germination of seeds, these factors could be from the external environment of the seed or it could be innate for the seed. External environment factors would include: water or moisture level, oxygen, temperature and light; while internal factors may include: genotype, seed vitality, dormancy and seed maturation.
- Genotype – The genetic or hereditary factors of a seed affects seed germination, it controls the size of the seed and its growth rate. Several studies have confirmed that a seed with a larger size produces a faster germination and emergence of shoots and roots because it contains a larger reserve of nutrients.
- Seed viability – Viability is the capability of a seed to germinate. The issue in this factor is how long will a seed remain dormant and so retain their ability to germinate. Usually, a period of dormancy characterizes different seeds and there is a specific time frame for these seeds to germinate after ripening. Thus, if these seed doesn’t fails to germinate within the time frame, it means the seeds can now be considered as not viable.
- Seed dormancy – How long the seed remains dormant affects seed germination because the seeds will not germinate unless it passes the stage of dormancy.
- Seed maturation – Immature seeds will fail to germinate that’s why seeds need to be matured.
- Moisture – Water is very important in the germination of seeds. Seeds are particularly dry and they would need to absorb enough water to resume metabolism and growth. Absorption of water is called as “imbibition” which leads to the softening and breaking of the protective covering or seed coat. The embryo then awakes and resumes growth which would be evident when the seedling comes out of the seed coat and the leaves and roots starts developing.
- Oxygen – Oxygen is essential for the seeds’ aerobic respiration. Respiration is needed to enable metabolic process within the germinating seeds since this will be their main source of energy while they don’t still have the leaves to aid them in photosynthesis.
- Temperature – Different species of seeds germinate at different ranges of temperature. Since temperature affect growth rates and even cellular metabolic processes within a seed, various seeds will likely germinate on favorable conditions which include temperature. Many seeds are dependent on temperature for germination and they will only germinate when the right range of temperature is achieved. Some seeds require cool temperatures while others require warm to hot temperatures for germination.
- Light – Most seeds is not really affected by light or darkness but it some cases, light can trigger germination. An example would be various species of seeds common in jungles and forests – they will remain dormant until enough light reaches them.
steps in Seed Germination
In seed germination, several stages occur before an established seedling is produced.
- The imbibition of water involving respiration
- In this stage, two steps are involved: water absorption and respiration. The seed rapidly absorbs water because of the transfer of water molecules to the extremely dry seed. When the seed is already saturated with water, it will now only absorb lesser water and starts breaking down stored nutrients to transfer to the embryo are growing points. The next step would be the respiration wherein uptake of oxygen and conversion to carbon dioxide occurs for production of energy. Respiration also involves formation of enzymes.
- Enzyme systems activation
- There will be an increase in activity of the newly formed enzymes while protein synthesis increases for the preparation of the next stage.
- Metabolism of stored nutrients
- Synthesis of enzymes and proteins lead to metabolism of nutrients for the food of the embryo within the seed, for example, the conversion of starch to sugars for the growth of the embryo.
- Emergence of radicle and growth of seedling
The emergence of the radicle or the embryonic root will be the first sign of seed germination. From this step, the other parts of the embryo like the embryonic leaf will emerge. Continuously, it grows leaves, stems and root systems and is now a seedling.
Tired of all the technical jargons encountered in the preceding chapter? Now, this chapter would be on the tips or techniques for the best ways of saving your seed to become a successful crop and a healthy growing plant. This chapter is the highlight of the whole discussion, so brace yourself for more, there’s still a lot to learn regarding seeds!
Saving seeds is a process wherein you yourself will produce the seeds you need for your garden. Seed saving involves the selection of the best plant where you could gather its best fruit. From
these chosen fruit will be the seeds you will save and then preparing these seeds to store them properly.
You might be wondering why you should choose to save seeds on your own when in fact you can just buy them from any local stores offering agricultural supplies. Why indeed? One reason is to save money because you wouldn’t need to buy the seeds anymore, saving seeds is very inexpensive, and in fact, it can be totally free! What’s more? Plant propagation from sowing these seeds will be ultimately dependent on your will – of what conditions are needed and which variety of that seed do you want to save. The process is entirely in your control. Aside from these, heirloom seeds’ genetic diversity is well-preserved by saving seeds. Whoever said that seed saving is difficult? Nah, it’s definitely very easy and a fun activity to do! And of course, saving seed is an educational activity and it can also make you feel empowered and more satisfied.
With the advantages of saving seeds on your own, the seeds you’d want to grow in your garden are best gathered from heirloom seeds. But what are these heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants, this type of seeds are capable of producing crops which are the same as the parent plant. In contrast with heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds come from cross-pollination with other varieties of the plant. Hybrids are meant to cross-pollinate two plant varieties in order to combining the features of the parent plants. The problem with hybrid seeds is that these will not produce plants consistent with the qualities of the parents. So between heirloom and hybrid seeds, heirloom seeds are preferred because of its consistency in producing plants with features same as the parent.
There are a lot of seeds out there, and proper propagation and techniques vary from seed to seed. So for your convenience, we’ve come up with a list of seeds together with the tips on properly saving their seeds.
Tips on Saving Seeds of different organic plants
Certainly, it’s much easier to just buy tomato seeds or seedlings in farmer’s market or any agricultural supply stores than to manually save seeds from tomato fruits. Well, where’s the fun? Saving your own tomato seed is definitely a fun thing to do aside from the fact that you can ensure that the tomato fruits is of high quality
Prepare the things you would need in saving the tomato seeds: spoon, knife, container or a jar with a wide mouth.
Tip No. 1. Choose an heirloom tomato fruit rather than a hybrid one. Heirloom tomato seeds will “breed true” unlike hybrid tomato seeds wherein you are not sure of what you’ll end up with. For better results of choosing an heirloom tomato fruit, you can ask a tomato fruit from a local gardener in your area.
- Choose a fully ripe tomato, not an over-ripe one. Tomatoes which are over ripe may contain seeds which are already germinating or it is starting to rot.
- Save tomato fruit from the plant which produces the best-tasting tomato and choose the best-looking fruit amongst them. The seeds from the chosen fruit will likely result to tomato plants producing the same excellent quality of fruits.
Tip No. 2. After choosing the right tomato, slice it in halves across the equator.
Tip No. 3. Scoop out the insides of the fruit including the seeds, gel, or liquid. Add some water.
Tip No. 4. Loosely cover the mouth of the container. You can use a plastic wrap and poke some holes in it.
Tip No. 5. Set the container aside within 3-5 days. What we’re trying to achieve here is a fermentation process for the gooey gel surrounding the seeds to mold.
- Make sure that you set aside the container in a warm place and away from direct sunlight.
Tip No. 6. When the molds can be seen on the water surface, this proves that the gel has already broken down. Remove as much of the mold as possible by scooping it down and throwing it away.
Tip No. 7. Rinse the seeds with water, throwing away any debris and seeds that float.
Floating seeds are bad seeds which wouldn’t germinate.
Tip No. 8: Get a coffee filter or a paper plate where you can put the seeds to allow them to dry completely.
Tip No. 9. Put the dried seeds on plastic envelopes or small paper bags or envelopes. Store the packet of seeds in a cool and dry place and keeping it away from direct sunlight. Properly label the packet for you not to forget the seed type or kind.
When you properly store the tomato seeds, it will be able to germinate even after years of dormancy
Beans have different varieties, but the most common among them would be the string beans, dry beans, lima beans and the wax beans. Beans are included in the legume family which forms part of a healthy diet for us. Beans are a healthy inclusion in our diet, and as much as possible, you’d certainly want to organically produce your beans most especially that the primary purpose of growing them is for your own consumption. Organic seeds are much more expensive than the regular ones, so it surely will help your pocket a lot if you save your own seeds for the next planting season.
It might seem that saving bean seeds are extremely difficult. You will surely be surprised to know that the activity is not just relatively easy, actually, it’s very, I mean VERY easy! Try for yourself.
Materials to be used: container (jar or paper envelope), paper towel
Tip No. 1. When the harvesting season draws close, start selecting the vines wherein you could get the seeds from. Remember to choose plants which are non-hybrid for you to be sure that you get the same produce like from the parent plant.
Tip No. 2. Allow the beans to mature and completely dry out. This would be evident when the color is already brown and the seeds inside the pod rattle when you shake it.
Tip No. 3. Pick and collect all the bean pods now. Just get all the seeds from the pod removing any part or piece of the pod. Choose the best seeds among the collection, remove wrinkled or broken seeds.
Tip No. 4. You can directly store the seeds but for precautionary purposes, it’s better to lay them first in any paper or towel and let them completely dry out for a few days. Damp or moist seeds have a risk of developing molds or signs of rotting.
Tip No. 5. After ensuring that the seeds are really dry, put them in any container like on envelopes, plastic packets and even jars. Label the container with the name or variety of the bean and the month and year when you stored the bean seeds. Also, make sure that you store the seed in a dry and cool place.
So how did you find the difficulty level in saving the bean seeds? It’s really easy!
The best way to ensure that you’ll be having seeds you can plant on the next planting season in your garden is to save your own seed. Aside from that, it’s also a nice way to save some money because you won’t need to buy seeds from the farmer’s store anymore. Anyway, why would you choose to make these business owners richer when in fact you can do seed saving on yourself? You can also ensure that the plant you’ll be planting will produce the same quality and yield like the one you have now.
There are a lot of variety of pepper which can range from sweet to hot ones, for example, the bell pepper variety and the chili pepper variety. With the differences, the ways of saving the seeds is relatively the same save some precautions and protection needed for handling the chili variety.
Materials needed: knife; hand gloves, mask and/or goggles; a jar or container with a tight lid, small sealable bags or paper bags
Tip No. 1. Choose a healthy-looking and vigorous plant with the most delicious peppers on it. Again, don’t forget to note if it is a hybrid or an heirloom one. What we want and need is to collect heirloom seeds.
Tip No. 2. Let the peppers mature and ripen in the plant. Upon seeing that the peppers start to wrinkle, you can now pick them. A good precaution in handling chili peppers is to use gloves, mask and/or goggles to protect your eyes, nose and skin because chili can prove to be an irritant to these body parts.
Tip No. 3. – For bell pepper variety, you can cut the bottom and the top of the fruit. Slice it then remove the seeds inside. Separate the seeds from the fleshy part of the fruit then place it in a fine mesh. Subject the seeds under light running water and rinse it removing any residue or other debris from the white fleshy membrane of the bell pepper. Look out for the floating seeds and remove them because these are immature or bad seeds.
– For chili pepper variety, simply tear open the pepper then rub and shake the seeds from it and put the seeds in a fine mesh. Rinse the seeds, remove residues and floating seeds. Again, better use some protection in handling the chili variety like usage of gloves.
Tip No. 4. Now that the seeds are cleaned, you can place the seeds on the paper towel, spread the seeds and allow it to dry. After a few days, you can check whether the seeds are fully dry by testing if a seed breaks with the pressure from your fingernails or when it breaks by simply bending it between your fingers.
Tip No. 5. After the seeds are completely dried out, put them in a tightly lidded container or paper bag or a re-sealable bag to prevent moisture from developing inside. Moisture may cause the seeds to germinate or it may start to mold. Label the container with the pepper variety and store it in a dark, dry and cool place.
A nice way to save money and preserve heirloom seeds is to save your own seeds. Saving squash seeds would be a great way to do this heirloom preservation, but then the problem with this is that squashes are famous cross-pollinators.
So read further and check out our tips and techniques to help ensure “pure” squash seeds!
Before we get on the saving seed tips, it is first and foremost important to ensure that you are to save seeds from heirloom plants. This is because squashes are known for its notoriety when it comes to cross-pollination, and you wouldn’t want to produce squashes which aren’t consistent or the same as the parent plant. First of all, you have to look for a local gardener which could provide you with an heirloom squash seeds. If you can’t find any, then you would need to buy them from agricultural stores. For least chances of cross-pollination and to be able to produce heirloom seeds from these pure squash plants, plant only one variety of squash in your garden.
So you’ve already sown those seeds which grew and bore fruits, now you’re set to save your heirloom squash seeds!
Get the following materials ready: knife, colander, spoon (or anything which can be used to effectively scooping out the seeds), paper plate or old newspaper, a jar or an envelope
Tip No. 1. Let the squash mature. Make sure the squash is fully ripe when you pick it. It would be preferable if you wait around 6-8 weeks after the supposed date of harvest when you pick the squash. If the seeds are given more time to mature and ripen within the fruit, it will surely gain more robustness.
Tip No. 2. Scoop the seeds out to remove them from the squash; you can use your hand or a spoon in doing this. Separate flesh from the seed.
Tip No. 3. Rinse the seeds completely free of other debris or residue from the flesh and pulp under running water using a colander.
Tip No. 4. Let the seeds dry by spreading these to a newspaper or a paper plate. The seeds would surely be completely dry within several days up to a week.
Tip No. 5. Protect the heirloom seeds by storing them in an envelope or a jar and place it in a cool and dry place. Your heirloom seeds will last for several years if properly stored.
Aside from being a healthy food, cucumbers is also a beauty food. You can use it to reduce the puffiness around the eyes and lighten dark circles around it. Saving cucumber seeds will save money because you won’t need to buy your seeds, you will also have a continuous supply of cucumbers that will save you a lot of money from buying beauty products for your eyes (e.g. concealers, lightening creams, etc.)
In choosing the right cucumber for its seeds, taste one from the vine. This is important especially that some cucumbers have a bitter taste, and you wouldn’t want to choose that. After you’ve tasted some, determine which vine produces the best tasting cucumber and mark it. Save the fruit in the said vine for seed saving.
So what are you waiting for? Experience the beauty of saving seeds!
Prepare the following materials: knife, spoon, deep bowl, colander, container
Tip No. 1. Of course we don’t wait for the cucumber to ripen when we eat it, we wait until it’s mature enough to be eaten. But in picking the right cucumber, don’t pick it when it can already be eaten. Instead, pick it when the cucumber is already soft, big, and yellowish.
Tip No. 2. Cut the cucumber open in halves, but do it carefully to avoid destroying and cutting the seeds.
Tip No. 3. Scoop the seeds from the fruit and put it in a bowl. Add some water in it.
Tip No. 4. Set it aside for a few days. If molds develop on the surface, don’t worry. The mixture is undergoing a fermentation process for the seed and its gel covering to separate.
Tip No. 5. Remove the mold and then rinse the seed a few times. To shake off the few remaining water droplets, use a fine mesh colander.
Tip No. 6. Spread the seeds on a piece of paper or any paper plate then let it dry for a few days.
Tip No. 7. If you try to bend the seed and it snaps instead of bending, the seeds are now dry enough and ready to be stored away. Put them in a container like a jar or a ziplock then store them in a dry place but cool enough to avoid moisture on developing inside the container. Moisture can trigger germination or it may also destroy the seeds because of rotting.
Lettuce plants is easy to grow and very easy to save seeds from. It is an ideal plant for saving seeds because it does not cross pollinate, instead, its flowers self-pollinates which would entail that the seeds will retain the characteristics from the parent plant. A possible problem would be saving lettuce seed is that the parent plant is a hybrid one. The cross-pollination would be attributed to human interventions like when seed companies or local gardeners do the cross pollination instead of the plant doing it by themselves. Saving seeds from hybrid plants, will likely result to different issues like: the lettuce may flower but it won’t produce seeds; the lettuce plant may produce seeds but it fails to germinate; the lettuce may produce seeds that germinate but the plants which will be produced which is not the same to any of the parent plants; or it may produce seeds which germinates and has the same characteristic like the parent plant. So you see, saving seeds from hybrid plants would be a gamble, you won’t be sure if the result would be good or bad, there’s no way of knowing what is the exact outcome. So be sure to save seeds from self-pollinated lettuce plants.
Saving lettuce seeds is very easy, it doesn’t require much energy and effort in doing the activity and instead it requires time and much patience.
Here is the list of the things which would be needed: knife, a ribbon or a stake for identifying the plant, a big bowl, and a container.
Tip No. 1. Choose the plant from which to save your seeds from. Select the healthiest plant among your lettuces. While it would be alright to choose only one plant for your seeds because it could generate many seeds, it would be best to save from more than one plant to have more reserve seeds that you could use for the upcoming years. Aside from that, lettuce may produce slight differences through time so it would be advisable to save from more than one lettuce plant.
Tip No. 2. After choosing the plants, label them. You can simply put a stake or any identifying mark to be able to identify them later on.
Tip No. 3. Now here comes the waiting part. The lettuce plants will eventually bolt or it is now going to produce seeds. This would be evident when a stalk grows from the top of the plant and later on flowers. The flowers will now self-pollinate and then grow seed heads which would look like some white puff balls.
Tip No. 4. Let the seed heads mature until it nears to shedding its seeds. Seeds close to shedding get darker while the plant dries out. Be careful in harvesting because if you pick the seeds to early it would not be mature enough. Immature seeds are characterized by being greenish in color and flatter than matured seeds. Another precaution is that leaving your seed heads too long, the seeds will start to shed and strong winds could easily blow away the seeds. So for best results, pick the seed heads when the seeds are matured enough and the heads are not completely dried out. And don’t forget to harvest the seeds by carefully cutting the stems below the heads.
Tip No. 5. Separate the seeds by holding the stalks and shaking it onto a sheet, basket, but its best to use a big bowl for separating small pieces of dried plant that may have been mixed with the seeds. Not all seeds will shake free but others would not so you must manually separate the left ones. Large and small pieces of the dried plant may be left together with the seeds. Pick the large pieces, at the same time, tilt the bowl at an angle where one side is higher than the other side. Now continually blow on the mixture of seeds and small pieces of the dry plant. The pieces of dry plant are lighter than the seeds so it would be easy to blow the dried plant parts away. Continue to do this until most or all of the dry plant parts are gone.
Tip No. 6. Let the seeds completely dry out by spreading it out on a sheet of paper on sunny days. Dry them for 1-2 days. Be cautious during damp nights; cover the seeds so that formation of molds or mildew will be avoided.
Tip No. 7. When the seeds are completely dried out, you can now store them in a container jar. Put them away in a cool and dry place.
Okra, also known as “Lady’s Fingers” is popular in India and the southern parts of America. The okra is characterized as a green with a somewhat fuzzy and ribbed skin. Its insides have a gooey and sticky texture and it is also full of seeds. In culinary, okras are should be picked while it’s not too matured and doesn’t exceed a length of 3 inches. It’s best eaten young because as they get bigger than 3 inches and matures, the woody flavor and unpalatable texture would be unpleasant.
In saving the okra seeds, do not store it for more than a year. Okra seeds doesn’t store well for a long time that’s why only save enough of what will be used for your garden. Again, choose to plant heirloom seeds only. For best chances of producing heirloom seeds, plant only one variety of okra because it easily cross pollinates with other varieties. Hybrid plants won’t produce true seeds, so you better be careful in planting varieties.
Thing’s you will need: gloves (optional), bowl, jar
Tip No. 1. Choose the healthiest okra pods and reserve it for seeding. Allow the reserved okra pods to mature in the plant until it gets brown. Allow it to dry in the stalk naturally until the pods start to split. When this happens, start removing the pods from the plant. Be careful in handling the plant, you can use a pair of gloves to avoid being irritated by the tiny and spiny mechanism which covers the okra stalks because these can irritate your skin.
Tip No. 2. Use the bowl as the container of the pods picked. Break or pry the pods lengthwise and the seeds will readily fall down.
Tip No. 3. Let the seeds completely dry out for a few days by spreading it in a sheet of paper. After complete drying, put the seeds in a tightly closed jar and store in a dry but cool area.
Tip No. 4. Again, only save seeds which are enough for the next planting season not exceeding a year because the seeds will not remain viable after the year. Another thing before planting the seeds, soak the okra seeds in water for a couple of hours.
Watermelon is a great treat during the summer. This sweet and delicious fruit is also full of juices, making it a perfect thirst-quencher. Save money by growing your own watermelon, and save more by saving some seeds without needing to buy the seeds from stores. Besides, planting watermelon is a fun activity. What more but because of the joy of seeing a seed grow to a plant and then produce large fruits like these watermelons. It’s definitely a mouthwatering treat for the whole family! Aside from that, saving the seeds is very simple.
What you will need: large knife, spoon, bowl, strainer, paper towel, small paper bag
Tip No. 1. Select a ripe watermelon for your heirloom seeds. Slice it with a large knife and then use the spoon to scoop out the seeds inside.
Tip No. 2. Put the scooped seeds in a strainer then rinse it by holding the strainer under running water. Continue to rinse it until all of the flesh or fiber tissue from the watermelon is gone. Afterwards, transfer the seeds in a deep bowl.
Tip No. 3. Fill the bowl with water, the water should cover all the watermelon seeds completely.
Tip No. 4. Use the spoon to stir the seeds. Separate the bad seeds from the bowl by removing and throwing away all the seeds that float.
Tip No. 5. Continue stirring the seeds until no seeds are floating in the water surface.
Tip No. 6. After ensuring that all the bad seeds are gone, use the strainer to drain the water from the bowl.
Tip No. 7. Prepare the paper towel and spread a single layer of the watermelon seeds on it for the seeds to dry.
Tip No. 8. Place the paper towel in a dry but sunny area to allow the watermelon seeds to completely dry.
Tip No. 9. Ensure even drying among the seeds by stirring the seeds daily. The seeds will dry completely within a period 1-3 weeks.
Tip No. 10. Put the dried seeds in a small paper envelope or paper bag and then store it in a cool and dry place.
Sunflowers are a good addition to your garden. Its glorious beauty and color will surely brighten up your garden! When you wake up in the morning and you open your windows to let the fresh morning air in, upon seeing those sun-kissed flowers, it surely brings delight to one’s heart and a nice smile on the lips – it definitely gives you a cheery feeling making you start the day just as better. Yeah, just imagine those big and yellow sunflowers lining up your garden, its exquisitely wonderful! Aside from beautifying your garden, sunflower seeds can be eaten, and it can also be a food for birds. It definitely serves different purposes that’s why saving seeds from this beautiful flower is a must.
Materials needed for the activity: scissors, brush, paper packet
Tip No. 1. Wait until the sunflowers are dry on the stalks or when it begins to die before you cut the head. Drying is evident when the back of the head turns yellow from the usual green color.
Tip No. 2. The head would still be covered by tiny yellow buds so it’s better to set it aside for a few until all the yellow buds become brown. Brush the brown buds aside until the seeds are revealed.
Tip No. 3. Now, be patient to pry the seeds out. There are many of these seeds thus it may take time before you finish it.
Tip No. 4. You can put the seeds on a paper envelope or bag and then store it in a cool dry place. Don’t forget to label the paper packet with the sunflower variety and date of harvest.
Seeds are important in food production because it is used in cultivating plants. Seeds are sown to grow as a crop or any plant that’s why there is a need of saving seeds.
Saving seeds definitely varies from seed to seed and even with variety. An important factor which should be considered in saving seeds is selecting heirloom seeds over hybrid seeds. Now that we’ve given you some tips on saving seeds and thus saving money, you can now start saving seeds on your own. Saving seeds can be very easy and could give one lots of fun!
All the best.