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Seed Saving

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These tips and techniques will revolve around four basic varieties of vegetable seeds as in lettuce, tomato, cucumber and squash. The type and variety of these seeds will allow you to distinguish the method of harvesting and deseeding required for that particular vegetable.

Here is how you begin:

•    When you start harvesting choose a sunny and dry season (or day, if your region doesn’t bask under the sun much). The best time to harvest during the day is afternoon, when the sun is out and shining and at its brightest.
•    If you are going to preserve lettuce seeds, which seeds in its flowers, pluck the flowers and put them in a plastic bag. Shake the bag nicely, the flowers tend to disgorge the seeds. It is also important to remember that choosing the harvest season for any kind of seed vegetable is determined by the season that suits best for that vegetable harvest.
•    For your cucumber and squash, allow these vegetables to be on their vine till they are fully ripe, and such that the seeds also dry up in the vegetable. Remove the flesh and fiber off these vegetables and soak the seeds in a bucket of water. This ensures that all the remnants of stringy flesh material are washed out.
•    When it comes to tomato seeds, take the seeds out along with the “saucy” substance that also coats them. Soak these seeds in a bucket of water for at least a week, to make sure that the seeds are absolutely clean.
•    For ample seed collection, you have to repeat the process of hand-picking your vegetables for minimum two-three days.
•    Once the collected seeds are thoroughly cleaned using the process mentioned above, pat-dry them with a paper tissue. Make sure to remove the excess moisture from the seeds as you don’t want them to end up sprouting. The moisture-removal is crucial in your step towards ‘How do I preserve seed from vegetable garden?’
•    Keep each variety of seeds in a separate envelope and put them in tight-lid dry jars. You can place these jars in a dry place in your refrigerator.

Now your seeds are aplenty to be sown for the next, vegetable-full harvest.