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Seed Saving Simplified

The following site gives a good quick and dirty on seed saving, by plant. The seeds from the watermelons I had for lunch are drying as we speak. They’re from the CSA and perfect for seed harvesting since the melon was a little overripe – could be from the fridge losing its temp or just having been perfectly ripe when I picked it up on Wednesday. I will be reaching out to the Garden of Eve farmers who grew the yummy watermelon that was in my lunch today. I want to find out what kind of watermelon it is and where they got the seeds. I’m making more of an effort to keep a thorough history of the plants I’m growing (someyhing I wish I would have started long ago), since i want to get a local seed exchange going here in Brooklyn ( email me at if you’re interested in being a part of it), and also to just be more familiar with whats in my own yard.

Going back to the question of ripeness, I’ve been hearing that it’s best to get your seeds from ripe or over-ripe plants. I don’t believe a watermelon is a squash. It is described, generally, as a flowering plant (originating in southern Africa). However, I don’t know about its possibilities to cross-pollinate. I do not know, if it is capable of cross-pollinating, whether it might cross-pollinate with squash (I found conflicting theories in a quick search online)? I’ll probably play it safe next year by planting no other watermelons, or even any other squash, next year. One goal for the next growing season for me is to simplify, simplify, simplify. In that spirit, I refer you to the quickest and easiest reference I’ve found online for seed saving:

More on seed saving to come, later this week. In the meantime, here’s the

QUESTION: what seeds are you saving. What are some tips you’ve learned on saving seeds? Go ahead … Gimme the dirt!

6 responses to “Seed Saving Simplified

  1. Ralph Tzu

    I try to save seeds from anything I grow. A couple seeds I bought were hybrids. Hybrid seeds are usually not good to save since the saved seeds more often than not do not grow the same as the original plant. I want to collect some red clover seeds since they are flowering quite a bit but haven’t got the timing quite right yet.

    Seeds that develop after flowers dry, like basil, marigolds, catnip, and last year some mint seeds are pretty easy. Basically let the flowers dry up until they are crisp. Some things like arugula, and I think oregano grow cylindrical pods. Let those get dry until hard and brown, the seeds pretty much fall out by themselves if you’re not careful picking them. I use a plastic cup and small scissors, put the flowers/ pods in the cup and cut the stem off so they fall into the cup. That works pretty well for me. Of cause you could just leave the seeds where they are and have a ‘pot luck’ garden next year.

  2. meemsnyc

    Definitely count me in on the seed saving exchange. i plan to save a bunch of my heirloom seeds this year

  3. Ralph ⋅

    Great on the seed idea. Does anyone have a cat(s)? If so I could try to take a catnip plant along with seeds. I have 2 pretty good sized plants and a couple smaller ones. I left some seeds on the plant, so hopefully there will be more spread around the yard next year.

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