23. Seed Saving Begins

Seed saving has begun. So far I’ve saved some:

Dragon’s Tongue Beans (more than just this ONE!)

Dragon’s Tongue Beans (more than just this ONE!)

Nasturtium seeds

Nasturtium seeds

Delice de la Table Melon seeds

Delice de la Table Melon seeds

And cucumber seeds.

The process (wet method) of saving cucumber seeds

The process (wet method) of saving cucumber seeds

This is the “wet method” of seed-saving:

Seed contained in fleshy fruits should be cleaned using the wet method. Tomatoes, melons, squash, cucumber and roses are prepared this way. Scoop the seed masses out of the fruit or lightly crush fruits. Put the seed mass and a small amount of warm water in a bucket or jar. Let the mix ferment for two to four days. Stir daily. The fermentation process kills viruses and separates the good seed from the bad seed and fruit pulp. After two to four days, the good viable seeds will sink to the bottom of the container while the pulp and bad seed float. Pour off the pulp, water, bad seed and mold. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry. (source)

After re-reading the rest of the article (only a portion is quoted above), I’ve just now realized that the seeds were probably too immature to be viable and you need to wait until the fruits mature (past the point of “eating”). So I will be saving cucumber seeds again!

Chinese Red Noodle Beans drying on the vine

Chinese Red Noodle Beans drying on the vine

The yard-long beans are drying out well on the vine. In a few more weeks all I will have to do is just pick the dried seeds from the pods. Saving seeds is one of my favorite parts of having a vegetable garden. I love seed-packet artwork/photos and have always envisioned myself making pretty homemade (maybe even kid-made!) seed packets. Maybe that will actually happen this year! In non-seed saving news…

Mums

Mums

Our mums are just starting to show some color. I always buy mums when they get marked down really cheap at the grocery store (usually this is sometime around thanksgiving) so I have amassed a nice range of colors over several seasons.

Thai Red Roselle Plant

Thai Red Roselle Plant

I am really excited to see some little buds forming on the Thai Red Roselle! It requires a long growing season so I wasn’t sure if I had started it early enough.

Thai Red Roselle

Thai Red Roselle

 (Hibiscus sabdariffa) A valuable plant for making cranberry-flavored bright red beverages, jelly, pie and tea. Much grown in Asia and the mid-east as the flavor is wonderful. A tasty sauce can be made by boiling and sweetening the fleshy calyxes; the leaves are also used to make a drink. The entire plant of this Hibiscus is red and very beautiful. Start early, unless you live in the far-south. Citrus-flavored flowers are delicious on frozen deserts. This plant has too many uses to name here. Collected in Thailand. (source)

Little calyxes just starting to form

Little calyxes just starting to form

The leaves taste very sour and cranberry-like. I haven’t really used them in much but they would be great in a variation of this basil jelly!

6 thoughts on “23. Seed Saving Begins

  1. Julianna Holden Mohler

    We bought nasturtium seeds from a home improvement store (didn’t have time to wait for mail order). The seeds said to get them to germinate, you should sand them first. Only 2 of ours came up out of the whole pack because I didn’t sand them. Any clue if that should be done after they’re dry or if you save your own, does that still need to be done? I plan to collect the seeds from the ones that did sprout.

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      I’ve never heard of sanding the seeds (nasturtiums or any other). I just stuck them in the ground in the spring and the majority of them popped right up. I think they probably need a good amount of moisture to germinate and I think they are supposed to be direct-sowed and don’t tolerate transplanting well.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Harvesting, Eating, Saving | Garden State-ments

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