Why Collect Seeds?

  • Relocating favourite plants. Some plants move better by seed. Plants with big tap roots are hard to dig and move. Examples include Lupin, False indigo, and Sea holly. Often but not always make sure you choose plants that are easy to grow from seed.
  • Saving Money is another great reason to collect your own seed. Beans, peas, and some annuals are easy to collect and grow from seed. Scarlet runner bean seeds are easy to grow from seed and are attractive to look at!
  • Sometimes we have access to strains and varieties only from a seed source. Also, we can get a surprise in cross pollination and maybe come up with our own tomato variety!
  • Lastly, but most importantly, is to improve our green thumb, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when starting with seed is immeasurable.

Tips and Tricks for Collecting and Storing

Pepper Seedling

  • You need a felt marker, paper bags or envelopes, clean pruner/snips.
  • Note: plastic sealed bags can cause rot and should be avoided.
  • Collect seed on a dry day to avoid added moisture that could cause mould on your harvest.
  • Collect mature, dry, firm seed. Seed often shows it is ready when it changes colour or is pod or capsule becomes dry and starts splitting.
  • Leave collected seed in the dry warm house air for a week before putting in glass jars or plastic envelopes for long term storage.
  • Store at low moisture and low temperature for the longest viability. A fridge or cold room where bulbs are stored is perfect.
  • Never put seed in the freezer. The shock of going so far below zero can be damaging. Embryo cells can burst and ruin the germination potential. Breaking dormancy is better done when seed is moistened put at cool (above zero temperatures) for a short period of time before growing time.
Note: many of the hybrids or specific varieties we grow are best chosen a bedding plants in the spring as they will not come true from seed.
“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there and I am prepared to expect wonders” Henry D. Thoreau