How to Harvest and Store Seeds

Parsley

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let seeds dry on plants.
  • How to Harvest: Shake seeds loose.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.


Peas

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let pods dry on vines until they have fully matured and turned brown in color (about 4 weeks after ripened).
  • How to Harvest: For small amounts, open pods by hand. Flail pods for large amounts.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Peppers

  • Harvesting Method: Dry/Wet
  • When to Harvest: Leave peppers on plants until they are dry, fully mature and have changed in color (most varieties will turn red).
  • How to Harvest: Use the dry method of harvesting for small peppers. Cut the bottom away from the pepper and remove the seeds by hand. Use the wet method for large peppers. Cut peppers open and scrape out seeds. Rinse and dry. Note: Wash hands with soap and water after handling hot pepper seeds or the residues will burn eyes and lips.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Cucumbers

  • Harvesting Method: Fermentation
  • When to Harvest: Let cucumbers fully mature on vines until they have changed in color and become soft. Note: Keep picking your cucumbers throughout the season to extend growing season. Wait until the end of the season to let cucumber fully ripen on the vine.
  • How to Harvest: Store for 3 weeks before removing the seeds. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and ferment for 2 days. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Dill

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let heads dry on plants.
  • How to Harvest: Shake seeds loose.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Eggplants

  • Harvesting Method: Wet
  • When to Harvest: Let eggplants fully mature on vines until they have changed color (usually dull in color) and become dry. Note: Keep eggplants off the ground while they fully mature to prevent rotting.
  • How to Harvest: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Beans

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let pods dry on vines until they have fully matured and turned brown in color (about 6 weeks after ripened). Note: Only allow 1-2 pods to mature on each plant to extend growing season.
  • How to Harvest: For small amounts, open pods by hand. Flail pods for large amounts.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Cantaloupe

  • Harvesting Method: Wet/Fermentation
  • When to Harvest: Pick cantaloupe when the tendril is completely dried.
  • How to Harvest: Store for 3 weeks before removing the seeds. Cut cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds. Rinse and dry. Note: Fermenting the seeds for 3-4 days will help stop disease and fungus but is not essential. 
  • Storage: Cantaloupe seeds will keep for up to 5 years if properly stored.

Cilantro

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let seeds dry on plants.
  • How to Harvest: Shake seeds loose.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Kale

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let seedpods dry on plants.
  • How to Harvest: Shake seeds loose.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Lettuce

  • Harvesting Method: Dry
  • When to Harvest: Let seed heads dry on plants for 2-3 weeks after they have flowered (half of the flowers will have gone to seed).
  • How to Harvest: Cut tops off each plant and hang upside down over a tarp or in an open paper bag. Shake seeds loose daily.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Melon, Honeydew & Musk

  • Harvesting Method: Wet
  • When to Harvest: Let melons fully mature on vines until they are hard.
  • How to Harvest: Store for 3 weeks before removing the seeds. Cut melons in half and remove the seeds. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Summer Squashes

  • Harvesting Method: Wet
  • When to Harvest: Leave squashes on vines until they have fully matured. Squashes will be ready to harvest when the skin can no longer be dented with a fingernail.
  • How to Harvest: Cut the squash open and scrape out the seeds. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Tomatoes

  • Harvesting Method: Fermentation
  • When to Harvest: Leave tomatoes on vines until they are fully mature and have changed in color (from green to red).
  • How to Harvest: Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and jelly-like substance and ferment for 3-4 days. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

Watermelon

  • Harvesting Method: Wet
  • When to Harvest: Pick watermelon when the tendril is completely dried.
  • How to Harvest: Store for 3 weeks before removing the seeds. Cut cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds. Rinse and dry.
  • Storage: Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container. Keep seeds in a dry and cool place.

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