8. Some seeds need special attention
Niki Jabbour explains the process of fermenting tomato seeds in detail in her award-winning book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener. It involves keeping the seeds and pulp of a slightly overripe tomato loosely covered in a warm area for a few days, which removes the gelatinous film around the seeds. Niki (whose new book, Groundbreaking Food Gardens, will be out in 2014) says this ensures the highest viability and better storage life.
Saving eggplant seeds also requires special care.
9. Know how to store your seeds
The key words for this process are: cool, dark and dry. “You want to keep them in conditions that are the opposite of how you will get them to germinate in spring,” says Laura.
Sheryl likes to keep collected seed in paper envelopes, labelled with names and notes, which are then placed in an airtight container.
10. Some resources our experts love
- Seeds of Diversity has an excellent publication called How to Save Your Own Seeds, which includes plant spacing information to avoid cross-pollination.
- The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore Gough.
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth