Tips for Saving Heirloom Seeds


Choose Standard or Heirloom Varieties That Are Not Cross-Pollinated By Nearby Plants

Think beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. Known heirloom varieties are easy to save.


Harvest from the Best Plants

Choose disease-free plants that look like they have the most flavorful vegetables or beautiful flowers.


Be Mature

Harvest mature seed. This may mean that the fruit is beyond the eating stage. Fruit that is good for eating may not be good for seed saving. Let the fruit ripen (or over ripen) on the vine. Signs of maturity: flowers are faded and dry; pod plants like beans are brown and dry. Seeds are cream colored or have browned.


Dry Method Drying

Beans, carrots, corn, herbs, onions, peas and most flower seeds can be prepared using the dry method. Allow the seed to mature and dry as long as possible on the plant. Complete by spreading on a screen in a single layer in a dry, well-ventilated area until dry.


Wet Method Drying

Use the wet method for seeds contained in fleshy fruits like cucumber, melons, squash and tomatoes. Scoop the mass of pulp and seeds from the fruit or lightly crush fruits and put into a bucket or jar with warm water for 2-4 days, stirring daily. This process separates the good seed from the bad and eliminates any viruses. Look for the good seeds on the bottom of the jar. Discard the rest of the floating and non-seed material. Spread the good seed on a screen or paper towel to dry.



Store in a jar or paper bag in a cool, dry place and use the following season.


For a complete selection of Heirloom and Organic garden seeds visit





  1. Thank you for sharing how to save Heirloom seeds. Ruby

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