Saving Seeds the Easy Way
Knowing how to save and preserve seeds is an incredibly powerful skill to have. If seeds are preserved correctly they can last for decades. Not to mention saving seeds saves you money in the long run and provides food security. Once you know how to save your own seeds, you’ll never need to purchase them from a nursery again.
Start by removing the seeds from the fruit or vegetable.
Depending on the food it’s easier to used a spoon vs your hands. In this particular instance it was easier for me to scoop the seeds out of the cantaloupe with a spoon. I find that it’s easier to do pumpkins with my hands.
I gather all the seeds and adjoined flesh on a paper towel. If you can, start to remove the large pieces of pulp. The goal is to clean as much off the seeds as you can.
For the tough to separate pieces you can put the seeds in a colander and run water over it. Use your hand to work the seeds through the water and break away the flesh. Make sure the water isn’t too hot. There’s a chance you’ll damage their fertility if you scold them.
Seeds need to be completely devoid of moisture in order to be preserved properly and last a long time. Flesh from the fruit or vegetable will retain moisture and will cause bacteria to grow in storage or it can potentially rehydrate the seeds and make them germinate.
When I’m saving seeds, especially when I’m doing more than one at a time, I like to write the name of what you’re preserving on the bottom of a paper plate before I put the paper towel on top. This way I don’t have to guess in 25-30 days which seeds are which.
After I write all the names, I put a paper towel on top of the paper plate and spread the seeds out. I continue to pick out as much pulp as I can. Then allow the seeds to dry overnight.
The following day the seeds are usually stuck to the paper towel. I like to pull them off and remove any remaining pulp (which is now dry) that may still be around. It will take at least 25 days for the seeds to dry out. If you don’t believe me, you can check out my blogpost on my seed saving blunder. I shared a pivotal mistake I made by cutting the air-dry time short. Don’t do what I did!
Keep them in a cool dark place for at least 25 days to allow all the water to evaporate. Once they are completely dehydrated they can be stored in a cool dark place for years to come! I like to store mine in labeled plastic bags in my closet.