Friday, August 11, 2017

Seed Saving Basics


The most important tools in your kit are
awareness – if you are planting a variety to save, you will plant that variety in a way to ensure success of growing it and harvesting seed from it.
patience – because saving seeds takes time and really, if you're a gardener, you are already patient.
observation – look for differences and similarities – choose earlier, or later plants, or the ones with white flowers and not red, or the seeds that have a different look.

Useful tools for seed saving (you would be surprised how many of these you can do without)

First you probably really would like to have...
2 buckets or totes – collecting into and for winnowing.
Jars or small plastic tubs/yogurt containers – for fermenting and wet processing seed.
Plate or baking sheet or window screen - for seed drying.
Air tight containers and/or envelopes - for storing seeds. Keep them cool, dry, and rodent proof. Masking (or other writable) Tape - for labeling things.
Pruners - important for clipping, picking, cutting and harvesting stuff.
Sieve or fine mesh strainer - to drain water from wet seeds.
Hardware cloth screen - for screening seeds from debris

Bonus points if you have or can borrow...
Tarps - drying seed heads, catching seed or winnowing onto.
Sturdy storage container - protection from mice.
Box fan - for when there is no consistent wind for winnowing.
Food Dehydrator - for drying seeds to ideal (low) moisture content for storage. Must set thermostat lower than 95 degrees.

If you find seed saving to fit your lifestyle and tastes, there are other seed savers all around you! You can come to the Seed Library of Los Angles ( meetings on the third Saturday of each month (except December) at The Learning Garden, located on the campus of Venice High School. We talk about seed saving, plant breeding, saving varieties and finding new and very tasty varieties of vegetables. Perhaps one day we will get to California Native plants, medicinal plants and ornamental plants. (We already have sweet peas and calendulas. It's just a matter of time and interest.) Our web presence is getting better; we have an active Facebook Page and Instagram.

No comments:

Post a Comment