If there is one thing that we have been taught in 2020, it is that life is unforeseeable. For a good part of the year, society has been on the brink, prompting preppers to become even more ready for what is ahead. If we all want to be ready for it, if and when SHTF.
Growing your own food is one great way to ensure your family will have enough to eat. You’ll need quality seeds in order to grow a productive garden. You can harvest seeds from store-bought fruits and vegetables as well as garden-grown produce instead of paying your hard-earned cash for seeds.
The selection for seed harvest of non-hybrid, heirloom, or open-pollinated produce increases their chances of viability when planted. In addition to harvesting, when seeds are harvested and stored, drying and seasonal storage are also vital.
How To Harvest Your Seeds
Make sure that your healthiest plants are selected for their seeds before harvesting. Any disease or product abnormalities will be passed to the seeds and, thus, to the new plant.
Select heirloom or open-pollinated plants as well, as they continue to produce each year. Hybrid plants are more seasonal and will not, after one season, continue to produce a consistent crop.
- Pick a fully matured fruit to harvest. Healthy, mature, and productive plants will give off the best seeds and grow into the healthiest plants.
- Slice the produce open with a clean, sharp knife.
- For dry seeds, such as bell peppers, shake the seeds into a bowl. For wet seeds, such as tomatoes, scoop the seeds into a bowl.
- Cover any pulpy or wet seeds with water. Allow them to sit in the water for 2-4 days, stirring daily. This will allow the seeds to sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the pulp floats on top of the water.
- Rinse all seeds with clean water before laying out on a paper towel to dry. Be sure to layer in one single layer so the seeds dry properly.
- Place the seeds in a well-ventilated area to completely dry. Turn the seeds with your hands every day to ensure they are drying evenly on all sides.
- Once the seeds are fully dry, store them in a sealed glass jar, away from light. This environment should be very cool and dry. Seeds will last up to one year if stored this way.
Issues That Can Arise When Seed Harvesting
Any disease that the plant previously had would be passed on to its seeds and new plant eventually. For the best chance of plant survival, select very healthy produce to harvest all seeds from.
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After the seeds are harvested, storage is everything. When dry, seeds need to be kept in an airtight jar, away from light and moisture. Seeds, if they are not stored properly, will not be viable.
Residual Moisture Content
To be ready for storage, seeds need to be completely dry, without any moisture whatsoever. In the seeds, any residual moisture will invite disease and bacteria. The seeds may also be germinated by moisture, making them useless for the planting season.
Best Home Seeds for Harvesting
As it is one of the most nutritious fruits, you should harvest your tomato seeds, and tomatoes grow easily in many environments. Tomatoes are one of the easiest fruits to harvest seeds from and one of the most common products in anyone’s kitchen.
Since it is a plant with pulpy seeds, the water technique would require them to be harvested. The collection of non-hybrid tomato plants will produce the best harvest. Every year, heirloom tomatoes are excellent for harvesting and growing.
The bell pepper is one of the fruits with the driest seeds inside. It is nice to harvest bell pepper seeds because it will produce a large number of seeds, and for your family, friends, and neighbors, you will have more than enough peppers.
It will give off loads of seeds by simply slicing a pepper in half and shaking it. Prior to planting, the seeds then simply need to be dried and processed. Uh, quick!
Another fruit with pulpy seeds is cucumbers. Harvesting them in a way similar to tomato seeds would produce the best replanting results.
In abundance, cucumbers grow and are perfect for pickling. In order to harvest viable seeds, cucumbers need to be yellow and past-ripe before harvesting.
You can harvest cucumber seeds because, once fully grown, cucumbers can be used in several ways. As a snack, in a salad or as a pickle, they’re delicious. It will allow them to last a long time and to grow a delicious, briny flavor by pickling your cucumbers. To harvest more seeds, use some of your cucumber harvest and use the excess fruits to pickle or preserve.
In a desperate situation, you may want to harvest beans to add fiber and nutrients to your diet. The processing of beans is somewhat different from the methods discussed above.
On the vine, let the pods dry until they are rough, dry, and brown in color. To dry indoors, cut the pods from the plant and spread them out in a single layer. Leave them for 2 weeks prior to the beans being shelled. You may also wait until the planting season for the beans to shell and then plant immediately.
Several herbs are self-seeding, so when the season changes to spring, their seeds will drop in the fall and grow on their own. However, to better monitor where the crop grows, you might want to harvest the seeds before they germinate.
Enable the seed to dry as long as possible on the plant. Remove the whole flower from the paper bag. Harvest the flower’s healthiest looking seeds and, as discussed, dry / store the seeds. It is essential to harvest fresh herb seeds because they will add flavor to your dishes, and can be dried to last for a long time.
Not only do dried and fresh herbs from the garden add spice, they also add nutritional value.
- Do your utmost to rotate the garden where you are planting your produce. Each year, adjusting the position of your plants will help enrich the soil. Do not, for instance, plant your tomatoes where your tomatoes are already planted. Adjust the layout and you will reap nutritional benefits from your soil.
- Mark the seeds. Fall season is seed season, so many seeds can be harvested at once. Mark each seed group later on when laying out to dry so as not to confuse yourself. When storing, often mark the jars so that there are no surprises in the planting season.
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The cost of buying new seeds would increase every season by not harvesting seeds from your produce every year. Harvesting seeds from your own produce, if and when SHTF, will keep your garden afloat. Your garden will continue to produce beautiful, delicious crops year after year by using these clear, effective methods. Seeds harvested have the potential to last in a cold, dry, dark place for one year, allowing you to practically grow your own food for free.
During a crisis situation, getting seeds on hand would only help your tribe.