General Seed Harvesting & Storage Tips

  • Aim for diversity ensuring a healthier, stronger stock by collecting seeds from more than one plant/fruit/flower of each variety ie. collect seeds from 5 Roma tomatoes not just one
  • Choose the best looking, healthiest plant/fruit/flower. Never collect seeds from diseased plants.
  • Allow seeds to mature and dry on the living plant before harvesting for best results. Pulpy fruits and vegetables with their seeds inside, like eggplant, should be fully grown and even past being edible for the most mature, viable seeds.
  • Once harvested, use paper bags to allow further drying and to prevent loss of seeds through spillage. You may also dry them on paper laid out on a table where they won’t be disturbed.
  • Seeds dried on branches or stalks like oregano and coriander can be hung by string in a dry, sheltered location until they are completely dry. Do not dry seeds in direct sunlight.
  • Once seeds are completely dry, remove seeds from their pods or branches with clean, dry hands.
  • Make sure seeds are completely dry before storing.
  • Label your seeds throughout the seed saving process. It’s easy to lose track of 3 varieties of tomato seeds!
  • Create a labeling system for longer storage ie. name of plant, year harvested, location, any helpful notes
  • Store seeds in labeled paper envelopes.
  • Place envelopes in a shoe box with dividers ie. cool vegetables, warm vegetables, herbs, flowers, etc.
  • Share your seeds, swap seeds with friends and consider donating some to the Innisfil Seed Library! We aim to have a sustainable, locally adapted stock of seeds.