Best Tips for Saving Seeds to Get a Better Harvest Next Year

Don't be left fumbling for seeds next year if your favorite varieties become hard to find.

Learn how to save seeds from your own plants so you can grow them again in your garden.

Here's what to look for when choosing the right seeds to save, the right time to harvest them, and the best way to store seeds to maximize their shelf life.

Collecting and storing seeds

There are two ways to collect seeds:

1. Wait for the seed pods or seedheads to dry out completely on the plant. Think: peas, beans, radishes, spinach, and parsley.

2. Wait for the vegetable to over-ripen a bit on the plant to ensure the seeds are mature. Think: tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, and squash.

How to collect seeds from seedheads

With the first method, you want to gather the seeds when they have hardened and dried out, but before the seeds drop from the plant (as with flowering seedheads) or before the pods and capsules split open (as with legumes).

Collecting seeds from ornamental flowers is most efficient when you’re deadheading spent blooms, as they’re easy to miss if you wait too long before they fall.

Swipe up to learn more.