How to collect and save seeds

Collect and store seed from your garden plants, with the help of our step-by-step project.

Do it:

Sep, Oct

Takes just:

15 minutes

Saving seed from your garden plants is easy to do and will provide you with plenty to sow next season. Leave a few seedheads on your plants after they've finished flowering, removing the rest to conserve the plant's energy. Alternatively the seedheads may be highly ornamental and can be left on the plants for their display, but checki them regularly to collect some of the seed once it's dry.

You will need

  • Seedheads
  • Secateurs
  • Paper envelopes or paper bags
  • Pen

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Wait for seeds to ripen fully on the plant before cutting off the flower spike. Remove in several pieces if it's as large as this.

Have a paper bag to hand for transporting the flower spike as seeds will quickly fall and be lost if you carry them far.

Gently tip the bag out onto a sheet of paper, making sure you remove all the seeds. Pick out any bugs or pieces of debris.

Funnel the seeds into paper envelopes, not plastic bags. Write full details of the plant on the envelope, including the date.

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Put envelopes of seed into a sealed sandwich box along with a few sachets of dried silica gel, then pop it in the bottom of the fridge to keep cool until you're ready to sow them.

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