Saving Seeds: 7 Reasons Why and Dozens of Tips for How

Saving seeds can help gardeners save money, grow better crops and become more self-reliant. Learn all about saving vegetable seeds.

The Value of Saving Seeds
Gardeners save seeds for many reasons, including money savings, seed security and consistent quality.
Photo By Dwight Kuhn
Eggplant Saving Seeds
Grow eggplant for seed saving under tulle netting to exclude insects, including pollinators. Remove the netting to fertilize blossoms by hand, replacing the barrier when you’re done. 
Photos By Barbara Pleasant
Squash Seeds Saving
Save seed from squash by scraping seeds and meat out of the fruit and rinsing the seeds well in a colander before laying them out on newspaper to dry.
Photo By Superstock/Flowerphotos
Hand Pollinating Corn
Workers at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, hand-pollinate corn in the field.  
Photo Courtesy Seed Savers Exchange
Open Pollinated Corn
Save seed from open-pollinated corn by setting aside some dry kernels in a cool place for next year’s crop. 
Photo By Rick Wetherbee
Seed Heads
Because of their size, certain crops, such as these, will need extra space in your garden to grow, flower and create seed. Clockwise from top left: seeding lettuce, beets, rutabaga and lacinato kale. 
(Clockwise from Top Left) Photo By Flickr/Graibeard; Barbara Pleasant; Seed Savers Exchange; Flickr/Joerobb
Using Screens to Save Seeds
Using screens as filters (as demonstrated by author Roberta Bailey) is a method of removing chaff from seed. 
Photo By Rob Lemire
Dried Cucumber Seeds
An impressive collection of cucumber seeds dries spread out on screens. 
Photo By Rob Lemire
Rubbing Seed Pods
Rubbing seed pods back and forth between your hands is a method of removing chaff from seed. 
Photo By Ottmar Bierwagen
Seed Saving in Glass Containers
Glass containers kept in a cool, dry place are your best choice for storing seeds.
Photo By Barbara Judge

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