An Autumn Guide on Seed Harvesting From Your Vertical Garden Planters
Did you know that you can harvest more than just produce in your garden? While many associate harvesting with fresh herbs and vegetables, you can simultaneously harvest seeds from your vertical garden planter, too. As the summer winds down, autumn is the perfect time to begin this process. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what seed harvesting is, its benefits, and how the process works from start to finish.
Understand Seed Harvesting and Its Perks
The Health and Budget Benefits
Seed harvesting entails exactly what it sounds like—gathering seeds during the harvesting process to be preserved and used during the next growing season. This is done for a variety of reasons, including:
- Access to healthier, organic seeds that you know the origins of
- Advanced knowledge of the life of both your plants and garden
- Cutting gardening costs by not having to buy new seeds
- Getting refined varieties that are adapted to your local environment
Not only is harvesting your own seeds useful, but it’s fun, too. Once you start learning about the history of different plants and begin breeding and creating new varieties, you’ll be hooked! You can even name these new varieties and keep making better seeds for years to come. Additionally, this process allows you to be less reliant on mass-produced seeds, both saving you money AND lessening your carbon footprint.
Step 1: Gather Familiar Seeds From Your Vertical Garden Planters
Our Favorite Part of the Process: Seed Harvesting
Seeds can be harvested from just about anything in your vertical garden planter, but some of our favorites include peppers, fermented tomatoes, beans, or even peas! It’s important to take these seeds from healthy and organic plants, though. This gives you a stronger plant in the future, allows you to continue to grow organic foods, AND ensures that your next generation will stay fairly true to the original plant. However, sometimes it’s exciting to see what kinds of hybrids you may arrive at, too.
The first part of this process is fairly obvious—you need to gather the seeds. Every plant is different, so it’s important to research the specific herbs and veggies that you want to save seeds from to ensure that your efforts don’t go to waste. While some seeds are taken directly from the vegetable itself, others must be harvested by allowing the plant to go to seed first. Once you’ve done your research and have harvested your seeds, it’s time to prep them for storage.
Step 2: Treat Your Harvested Seeds
Prepare Them for Preservation
The most crucial step in the seed harvesting process is ensuring that the seeds are treated properly once extracted. While most seeds typically just need to dry for a few days, it’s important to research the specific types of seeds that you’re harvesting, as some may call for different protocols. An example of this is that tomato seeds must be submerged in water for about three days until the gelatinous coating ferments off before drying.
Additionally, it’s important to remove any seeds that have been damaged, broken, or affected by mold or bacteria during the process. This allows for healthier plants during the next growing season. While this is a mostly simple process, doing the additional research will ensure that you’re treating your seeds correctly, making this a simple and pain-free process. Lastly, before moving on to the last step, it’s important to make sure that your seeds are completely dry—we don’t want them to mold and ruin your hard work!
Step 3: Properly Label and Store the Seeds
Keep Safe to Use in Vertical Garden Planters Next Season
To finish up, let’s make sure that you’re storing your seeds properly. The most important part of this step is stashing them in a cool, dry place. By keeping seeds away from moisture and sunlight, they won’t prematurely sprout or end up molding. To keep them extra dry, we recommend using commercial silica packets which can be reactivated in your oven.
Labeling your seeds is also crucial to this step—plus, you’ll thank yourself next season for doing it. We recommend including the type, variety, the date they were saved, and the source of each type of seed to keep you organized and informed about your harvests. After finding a place and labeling each type, place the seeds into an envelope, tin, or jar to be stored until the next season.
Now that you’ve done your research and know how to harvest seeds in your vertical garden planter, it’s time to get your hands in the dirt and start in your own garden! As experts in all things vertical gardening, we’re here to help you through any type of organic growing process, not just seed harvesting. Ready to deepen your knowledge of planting? Visit Garden Tower Project’s website today to begin your organic gardening journey.