Urban Food Garden

SEASONAL BLOG: This year’s processing of saved seeds underway.

I started the final process of sorting, labelling and storing of my saved seeds last week.

Some seeds, like chilli, capsicum, and tomato, are collected, dried and stored in a single action, but the bulk of the seeds I save go through a two-stage process. 

The seed pods (and sometimes entire plants) are harvested and hung up to dry in my garage using an assortment of paper bags, fruit bags, fine bird netting, shade cloth and sometimes just tied up.  They are left in that state until the end of the season when all the seeds to be harvested have been harvested and hung up for long enough for them to completely dry out. 

Sometime in May (I am late this year)  I take down the hanging seeds and process them before placing them into suitable storage containers and labelling them.

Details of how I save and process various types of seeds can be found in the links below.

FOREGROUND: Bush bean plants hung upside down in my garage to dry.  REAR: Silverbeet wrapped in fine bird netting.  then paper bags holding various smaller seeds.

FOREGROUND: Broad beans and peach seeds in fruit bags.  REAR: Blue Lake climbing bean wrapped in 50% shade cloth.

Seeds after they have been stripped of other plant matter.  REAR LEFT: Nathen bush peas CENTRE A bush bean of unknown type I have named TIMBO RIGHT: Blue lake climbing beans.  FRONT LEFT: Chantenay Red Core carrots. RIGHT: Coriander

Note that this is just a sample of the seed varieties I have saved this year.  I routinely save capsicum, chilli. eggplant,  lettuce, rocket, pak choi, broad beans, snow peas, pumpkin, silverbeet, and leek, though not every year.

The seeds stored in various tins.  As well as being labelled by name they are given a unique ID number.  I record this number each time seeds are planted.  This allows me to identify poorly performing batches of seeds, which are then disposed of.   Over the years I have used various sized envelops, plastic bags and jars to store seeds but I have found these tins are the best as they are reusable and make dispensing of seeds easy.