How to Save Seeds & Start a Life-Saving Garden

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Saving seeds is just one of the many ways in which you can start a great, life-saving garden outside your own home. Save seeds and start a life-saving garden with help from an experienced gardener in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fall Gardening
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of my sustainable garden. I'm here in my fall garden in Belmont, Massachusetts with my buddy Skippy and his friend and I'm going to show you how to save seeds and start a life saving garden. You know, growing your own organic vegetables can really help you and your family live a longer and healthier life. I'm going to show you how to save four types of seeds. I have some bean seeds I'm going to show you, some peppers, squash and tomatoes. One of the most important things with saving seeds is to make sure that the seed has fully matured. While at the pods, ripen on the plants until the seed pods are dry and, and brittle. You can then pick them, I like to just put these on a paper napkin, on a plate; I have a shelf inside where in a room with good air circulation and I let them finish drying even more. Okay. Once they're nicely dried, you can then put them in a plastic bag and the important thing is to make sure they stay dry. You can either just leave the bag open so that there's air circulation. You can also add a, additive to keep them dry and these are sometimes you get these little desiccant packs, you can save one, put them in there or use some grains of uncooked rice or cornstarch. The next thing I'll show you how to save is peppers. These are two different types of Chile peppers. This type has a thin skin and it dries very easily. And I've just left them on a paper towel for a couple of weeks and they've dried in the New England climate. They have dried very nicely. What we can do is just save them like this until next spring and then, come next spring, you can open the Chile pepper and remove the seeds and plant them. Seeds are inside the pod and they'll be fine for planting. Or, you can take them out in the fall and save them in a plastic bag. Now, this is the other type of Chile pepper with the thick skin that isn't the one we can dry. So, with the Chile pepper, we're going to cut it open and remove the seeds. We'll put them on a paper towel, spread them out and just leave them couple of weeks until they are dry and then they can be stored in a baggy. The next plant I want to talk to you about is saving summer squash seeds. And this is a summer squash, but rather than picking it when it was young and best for eating, we've let it sit on the vine for many weeks. It's developed to thick skin, almost like a winter squash, but the seeds are now very mature inside the squash. So, what we're going to do is to cut it open; it's got a thick skin here. We're going to cut that open and there are the seeds. We can just remove some of these seeds, let them dry on a paper towel for a couple of days until the moisture has dried up, and then they can be stored in a baggy. The next one I want to talk about is tomatoes. Tomatoes are a little more difficult to save because the seed does have this gelatinous coat over the seed and you need to remove that in order to get the seed to dry. So, what we're going to do is cut open the tomato and you're familiar with the seeds are inside. And what we're going to do is to pop them into a jar of water with the cap on and then shake it twice a day. After three to five days, the seeds settle out to the bottom and the gelatinous coat has come off. So, we're going to let them settle down to the bottom, open up the jar and pour off the liquid. Pour that in to my garden. The seeds are staying at the bottom, there's a little bit of moisture left, I'll just pour that onto a paper towel and now we have the seeds without the gelatin, gelatinous coat. And we're going to let this sit on the paper towel to completely dry out for a couple of days. So, I've showed you how to save four types of vegetable seeds. The most important is to make sure the seeds are fully mature and the fruit, fruit is ripe and second is to make sure the seeds are dry before you store them. I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of my sustainable garden. Enjoy your sustainable garden and grow some great vegetables.

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