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October 14, 2010

Don't forget to save some of those heirloom seeds!

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Now is the time to take any of the heirloom seeds and save them. It's not an arduous process. Bean and pea seeds are the easiest. They can be left on the vine until the pod dries and then havested. Simply open the pods and store the seed in a glass jar.

Tomatoes are a little more complicated. Some gardeners like to let the tomato ferment before saving the seed and they insist that this fermenting process is necessary for the seeds to germinate. If you have unpicked overripe tomatoes on the vine, you are halfway there as the feminting process has already begun. You can put the squishy tomato right in a jar, cover it with cheese cloth and let it sit some more until you see a mold form on the top. Then put the whole mess in a strainer and run cool water over it until the seed is uncovered and cleaned. Spread the seeds on a paper towel and let dry. When totally dry they can be stored in a plastic ziplock bag and labeled.

If this sounds too much for you, there are those who say the whole ferminting process can be skipped. In this case, you take your best, biggest most flavorful tomato and mash it. Then move on to the strainer and rinse the seeds until they are clean and follow the same directions as in the ferminted tomatoes.

An even simplier method of tomato seed saving is to scoop out the seeds with a spoon but the seeds and the gelintous mass on a paper plate or towel, let it dry and store the seed as above.

If you are totally into saving all the seed you can, then this book will be invaluable;

At Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds (A Down-to-Earth Gardening Book)

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at October 14, 2010 9:10 AM
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