10 Products for Winter Seed Prep and Storage – One of the most useful techniques a gardener has in their tool bag is reusing seeds between seasons. Not only do you save massive amounts of money, but seed saving gives you the power to pick and choose the best of your crop to reproduce the next year.
In fact, that’s how this whole process gets started!
During the harvest season, choose one of your favorite butternut squash or zucchini or tomatoes, and select that veggie or fruit to dry the seeds from. This does take some planning, but once you get the process down, it’ll be like second nature.
Now it’s time to dry!
For those that are beginners or are looking for the least hassle method, simply go with air drying. Go ahead and collect those wonderful seeds, wash off the “slime” carefully, and spread them in a single layer on a “coffee filter, wax paper, or a fine window screen laid on a flat surface in a dry, cool room.” Allow the seeds to dry for “a week to ten days before gently stirring them with your finger or a small spoon.” Give them another “two to three weeks” and then pick a storage method.
Second up is also the second easiest option, paper bag drying! For this method, “harvest the entire flower head or stalk soon after the flowers are spent,” and “put the flower stalk into a brown paper bag, top end first, allowing the cut stem end to stick out of the bag’s opening.” Make sure your paper bag is stored in a dry, cool place for two to three weeks. Once the stem is fully dried, “pull the seeds out of the dead flower head or seed capsule.” Leave the seeds at the bottom of the bag and let the open bag to sit “for another two to three weeks.”
Lastly, the silica gel drying method! This method takes the most tools, yet is the quickest, therefore it may be best for those living in a small space that can’t leave their seeds drying for weeks. First off, silica gel “is a granular substance that pulls and absorbs moisture from the air.” To begin, collect glass screw-top jars to be ready. Weigh your seeds and “place the same amount by weight of silica gel into the bottom” of your prepped jars. Separate the silica gel and the seeds with a small piece of screening, with gel on the bottom and seeds on the top. Seal the jars for “7 to 10 days.”
Choose your method and then choose the best tools to help you achieve your seed drying for next season! Here are 10 Products for Winter Seed Prep and Storage to get you started.
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