Varun Venaik tips on seed saving

Gardeners usually buy seeds online or from stores.  Many gardeners don’t realise that it is very easy to save seeds from crops that you grow in your garden.  It just needs a little patience and knowledge to learn how to save seeds.  The benefit of saving your own seeds is that you can save hundreds of seeds as compared to the packet of seeds that you buy online that will only have a few.  Additionally if you buy online you have to pay postage costs.  Another benefit of saving your own seeds is that you know what grows best in your garden so when you save the seeds you are saving seeds of plants that are best suited to your weather and climate.  Your seeds have a greater chance of germination.


Saving marigold seeds is probably the easiest.  Just wait for the flower to brown and dry on the plant.  Sometimes if you wait too long then the seeds may fall and disperse to the ground.  This is the reason that you will sometimes find lots of seedlings coming up in the same spot.


Saving sunflower seeds requires waiting for the seed pods to develop, the black seeds at the centre of the flower should look firm and ripened.  Because sunflower seeds are very attractive to parrots and cockatoos, it is a good idea to cover the dried flowers with a brown paper bag.  This prevents the birds from getting to it before you.


Saving the seeds of lettuces is very rewarding as you can get hundreds of seeds from a few plants. If the plant is left for a long time it will self seed. A stalk emerges from the centre of the plant and this has tiny flowers.  These flowers when they dry appear like small cotton balls.  I usually cut the whole stalk and let it dry inside.  The first seeds to ripen are the best.


It is best to leave the first and healthiest looking eggplant on the plant.  This is the one that I use to save the seeds. When this turns yellow and shrivelled, I bring it inside and again let it sit on the kitchen counter until it is soft.  At this stage I place it in a sieve, open it and squeeze and separate the seeds from the soft pulp.  Discard the pulp and leave the seeds to dry on a plate.


Coriander flowers are produced on the top of branches.  The flowers turn into green pods and then turn brown and hard.  I have found that coriander seeds need to be used in the next couple of years as they do not appear to have a good germination rate after that.

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