Tips for Saving Seeds

Saving seedsIf you grew a container plant in your balcony garden and had good luck with it, save some seeds and use them to plant another crop next year or give the seeds to friends. Here are some tips for successfully saving plant seeds.


Pick the best seeds. The best future plants will come from the best seeds. If you have a small tomato that never fully formed in your kitchen garden, the seeds inside won’t be fully developed. These tomato seeds should be tossed. However, choose your biggest, best tomatoes for seeds.

Dry the seeds. Make sure all the seeds are free of plant matter, and then dry them. Tomato seeds, for example, have a jellylike substance surrounding them. Remove excess substance by rubbing the seed on a paper towel before laying it on a plate to dry. Seeds of the bell pepper plant, on the other hand, will be dry as soon as you cut open the pepper. These seeds just need to be laid out in a dry area for a day or two before being put into an airtight container.

Label and store the seeds. The best way to store plant seeds is in a cool, dry place. You can use multiple Ziploc bags all stored in a larger Ziploc bag in a kitchen cabinet. Label each bag with a paper label on the inside or with a Sharpie marker on the outside. Label the approximate date the seeds were harvested from the garden (usually seeds will only be viable for a year or two), and store the seeds until you need them again. Periodically go through your seeds and throw out any expired ones (you can always try planting the seeds if they are expired, but they will often not grow).

Keep saving. Keep saving your plant seeds. If you plant only the best in your balcony container garden, your seeds can be passed down and given to friends. Share your best vegetable plant crops, and let others know how delicious home-grown food from the kitchen garden can be!

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