ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Seed Saving: Collecting and Storing Seeds

Updated on June 17, 2014

Growing and harvesting your own garden seeds is one of the most economical and profitable ways to create a fabulous vegetable garden.  Learn how to grow your own healthy seeds at Seed Saving: Growing Your Own Seeds.  

When your garden plants are mature, begin to watch the flowers and the seed pods that will form and collect the seeds at the right time.  How do you know when the time is right?  Here are some tips for collecting and storing seeds:  

Photo credit: Dhaniyangal on wikipedia.


1. Harvest seeds at the right time. You will need to do some research on what you want to grow in order to learn specifics about when and how to harvest the seed. For most plants, harvesting techniques fall into two categories: wet and dry.

Seeds that are harvested wet are found in juicy plants, such as tomatoes, eggplants and many melons and squashes. When the fruit is at it’s peak of ripeness, harvest it and bring it inside. Allow the fruit to sit at room temperature for a few days, following which the seeds can be harvested and cleaned of pulp. To clean, swish the seeds in water and skim off the pulp. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container. Strain off the water and spread the seeds in a single layer on a tray to dry.

Seeds that are harvested dry are found in beans, okra, peppers, basil, as well as members of the Onion and Carrot Families. Harvest dry seeds when the pods or husks have dried on the plant. If rain threatens as the pods are drying, many seeds can be picked before they are fully dried, but you will need to research your specific varieties as some will not finish ripening after removal from the plant. In any case, it is preferable to leave seeds on the plant until they are fully mature and dry.

2. Place clean, dry seeds in a paper envelope, a mylar bag or a glass spice jar and label them. It is a good idea to include the botanical name on the label, as well as the common name, as this will assist you in planning your plantings for the next season (remember that plants that share a botanical name may cross-pollinate.) Check your seeds after a week or two. If any condensation has collected on the container, remove the seeds and spread them out to dry for a few more days before returning them to the container.

In my opinion, mylar bags are the best option for seed storage. They store flat, requiring little space. Seeds stay dry and fresh for months, or even years! Mylar bags are available for purchase on Amazon.

3. Store seeds in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. A dark pantry or the refrigerator are good options. Do NOT store seeds in the freezer. Seeds that have been properly cleaned, dried and stored will stay viable for several years.

Photo credit: Global Crop Diversity Trust on Flickr.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is a really inllteigent way to answer the question.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)