A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

heirloomgal

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I need some help. I fermented, cleaned and set out to dry my cantaloupe seeds. They have been drying on the lid of my bucket, on top of my porch 7 cu ft freezer, in the sun in the morning for several days. LAST year I thought that I had dried out pumpkin seeds, only to see them spoil in a jar bc they weren't really dry.
What do you suggest?
What I do with all my seeds @ducks4you is put them in those ecomony white stationary envelopes (or brown paper lunch bags for the higher volumes of peas and beans). I tuck the seeds in there, label it, and leave it for a while before putting in jars. The paper wil wick anything left in the seeds. Sealing up seeds before fully dry is a really common way that seeds spoil (I've done it), and it's hard to tell sometimes when they are fully dry. Some give seeds a smash/shatter test. I stick the envelopes in a closet or cool dark place for a month or two, then transfer all of them into jars at the same time. Better safe than sorry.

I'm not sure why, maybe there's some scientific reason for it or just folklore, but seeds are usually recommended to be dried out of the sun. This year I have a lot of pumpkin seeds so I am scooping, rinsing and then laying them across parchment, and placing in an unused space somewhere indoors. They slide off parchment really easy and you can fold up & reuse the parchment for something else.

Your seeds look really excellent quality! Nice and filled out, great colour. 🍈🏅
 
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Zeedman

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For those of us with HVAC, drying seeds to the proper moisture content for storage can be as simple as leaving them out until the indoor humidity drops in early Winter. My rule of thumb has been to leave seeds on cross-stacked trays until "sweater lightning" reaches about 1/4". :rolleyes: Unscientific perhaps, but quite effective - and they pass the "break and/or shatter" test. All of the seeds dried this way have thus far remained viable for longer than the standard storage life. The cucumber seed planted this year was from 2009 (and plenty of seed saved for the next 10 years).
 

jbosmith

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For those of us with HVAC, drying seeds to the proper moisture content for storage can be as simple as leaving them out until the indoor humidity drops in early Winter. My rule of thumb has been to leave seeds on cross-stacked trays until "sweater lightning" reaches about 1/4". :rolleyes: Unscientific perhaps, but quite effective - and they pass the "break and/or shatter" test. All of the seeds dried this way have thus far remained viable for longer than the standard storage life. The cucumber seed planted this year was from 2009 (and plenty of seed saved for the next 10 years).
First of all, I love "sweater lightning". My own super scientific method is to leave seeds out until a long cold snap where the heat runs nearly constantly and my skin feels like it's going to crumble off at any moment. My cheapo little humidity monitor says that that happens around 15%. Also when I start pressure canning beans just to add moisture to the air. ;-)
 

flowerbug

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as long as i catch the moldy beans that have bits of mold on them to start with i usually do not see problems in my longer term storage containers, but i don't put things in those and seal those up until at least another month.

i never put bean seeds out in the sun to dry after they are shelled out (the sun will change the color). perhaps the old-wives tale was true though as some UV light would provide some anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, etc. effect. IMO though we'd be risking some predation from chipmunks if i were to do that.

leaving things cross-stacked inside in the box flats has worked very well even if i have to sometimes move things around because they are in the way of something else i need to get to. :)

for the melon seeds, i wait until they are fully dried and then do a final sort by dropping and listening or noticing which seeds make a lighter sound or fall further to the side or stick to my hand or some other thing which tells me that seed is empty. i'll also pick out seeds that look odd or are broken or whatever sets them apart from the rest. using a thin plastic tray will also help give a different sound when the seed falls on it if it is different. you could probably also use a thin piece of cardboard.

i really don't like plastic, but i have some old medical supply trays a friend gave us a long time ago so i use them for various tasks. they are now reaching the end of their second use as they are starting to crack and break when i use them so then they get put into the recycle bin and off they go.
 

heirloomgal

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Last of the tomato seeds to go into envelopes for this year.
Seems so strange to have such a small number! But I am happy to have a break from the 🦨 .
20211019_171258_resized.jpg


Putting these seeds away like this, for a bit, before their final home in jars.
20211019_170709_resized.jpg
 

Zeedman

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What is 'sweater lightning'?
What? You live in Canada and have never experienced that snapping & crackling when pulling off a sweater in December? I suppose you'll tell me you never shuffled your feet on carpet in Winter to "zap" someone either.;) I zap myself frequently, when I've built up a static charge & accidentally touch one of the screws near a light switch.
 

flowerbug

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What? You live in Canada and have never experienced that snapping & crackling when pulling off a sweater in December? I suppose you'll tell me you never shuffled your feet on carpet in Winter to "zap" someone either.;) I zap myself frequently, when I've built up a static charge & accidentally touch one of the screws near a light switch.

for those of us with more desktop computer type systems it is always a good idea to ground yourself in the winter months before touching the keyboard or power switch to avoid shocking your computer into it's second life as a recycleable object.
 

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