All about Seeds   ||   How to start - Seedlings Indoors

Heirloom Seeds or Open Pollinated

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Seeds and my Thoughts:

The last couple of years with Covid19 Pandemic, I've noticed that seeds are finally getting the respect that it deserves. I used to watch Youtube gardeners getting new seeds every year. At least they were new to them. I use to go "why"? Why aren't you saving your own seeds?
If you start with Heirloom seeds, what's the problem?
Now with the pandemic in full swing and people staying indoors, seeds are hard to find and people are starting to save their own seeds again.
Extra seeds can be shared with friends or used to grow microgreens during the winter for fresh healthy food.

Saving seeds and selecting seeds to save:

First I start with Heirlooms seeds, but I also bought peppers and strawberries that I really liked at the grocery store and I saved their seeds. Maybe they were from an open-pollinated cultivar, because the offspring tastes as good as the original fruits. When saving seeds to select from, choose the first vigorous, disease-free fruit, vegetable, flower or herb. That way the seeds will be mature when it's time comes to harvest.

Harvesting

Look for seeds pods that I brown, dry and brittle, but before they pop open and scatter their seeds everywhere. I can't ever catch lettuce seeds, before they are everywhere. That's when I know they are ready.
Some of the plants with fragile seed-pods I put them in a paper bag and hang them to dry out of Kritters reach. I remember picking my best sunflower heads to dry and then forgetting them outside overnight. Next morning all I had were left-over crumbs. Lesson learnt. :)
Beans and Peas are use to find out when they are ready to harvest. They will have brown pods and the beans and peas will rattle.

Tomatoes and Cucumbers; I let them over-ripe, then scoop out the seeds, put them in a jar with water for a couple of days. Rinse seeds and strain. If they still have a gelatinous coating on them, just leave them in water for a couple more days and rinse again. I usually repeat this until my seeds are clean. When the seeds are clean they will drop to the bottom of the jar and the pulp will float to the top. Then I just strain and spread my seeds on wax paper, cover the seeds with paper towel ( any towel will do to absorb the extra moisture ) and let them dry.

Drying / Curing and Storing:

I like to dry my seeds in individual labelled paper bags, because sometimes the pods burst open and their seeds go everywhere. That's one way to get mixed flower seeds though. :) The well behaved ones can be dried on newspaper. When the seeds are thoroughly dry they can stored in jars or paper envelopes. Remember to store your seeds in a cool and dry place. Dampness and Heat will shorten the vitality of your seeds. Label packaged seeds with cultivar, date and other pertinent information. For convenience - link takes you to homes-n-gardens.com
seed packet templates here.
Seed Tabbed Index Cards to Organize Seeds

How to save seeds from your own Garden to plant next year.
Buy Seeds - list - Template
Timetable Templates - link to - homes-n-gardens.com
Pretyped with: Sow indoors, Sow outdoors, Seed starting timetable to print and more.
Seed Dividers - for flowers, vegetables, herbs etc.- link takes you to homes-n-gardens.com
Buy Seeds List Template