Saving seed not only saves you money but it allows you to grow plants that are better adapted to your garden or allotment. Here’s four ways to harvest, store…or share
- Drying. Great for beetroot and onions. Collect dry seed heads or whole stems on a sunny day and pop them head down into a paper bag with a short piece of stem sticking out. Seal with an elastic band around the stem and the top of the bag, and leave in a cool place for a few weeks so the seeds drop into the bag. Store in a cool dry room or in the fridge if room allows!
- Fermenting. Great for tomatoes and pumpkins. The fermentation process helps kill seed-borne diseases and degrades growth inhibitors. Scoop the seeds into a jar and cover with water. Stir and store in a warm room until white bubbles appear on the surface. Rinse and sieve and dry thoroughly before storing in airtight jars.
- Bomb them. Nurture your inner ‘guerilla’ by mixing clay and compost together to form a thick paste and chuck in your seeds. Allow the seed bombs to dry out completely or stuff the paste into old stockings and plant within a few weeks.
- Swap them. Seed swaps are a great way to give away surplus seed and get your hands on some gems you might not have in your own garden. Find inspiration and events at seedysunday.org or swapseeds.org.uk