Seed-Saving Tips

Credit: Sylvie Michaud

• For vegetables, select plants with traits such as high yield, good size, early ripening, or best flavour.

• For flowers, choose plants that display the best vigour, beauty, colour or fragrance.

• Save only open-pollinated seeds and allow plenty of space between species to prevent cross-pollination.

• Timing is critical. Wait until the seed is ripe, but collect it before it naturally disperses.

• Label your seeds. Identify the species and variety with any special features, and record the source and the date of collection.

• Dry seeds on ceramic plates or in labelled paper bags in warm areas away from direct sunlight until all of the moisture has evaporated.

• Clean dry seeds by using screens to sieve seeds from chaff, pods and other debris. Winnow to remove tiny particles and complete the cleaning process.

• Store seeds in cool, dark places, away from fluctuations in light and moisture. For the longest storage life, put seeds in airtight and watertight containers and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.