How to Dry Vegetable Seeds at home by The Real Seed Catalogue

Real Seeds 'Trail of Tears' Cherokee beans

I am copying and pasting this here into a blog post in case any of you are trying to save home grown vegetable seeds and to get the knowledge out there in my own small way. My bean seeds are still being artistic on the window sill, but I am now going to go and heat up some rice and try and dry them out properly!

I didn’t know this and it makes a lot of sense. Thank you The Real Seed Catalogue for making this document available to share.  I  bought some of their seed last year and I like their ethos very much, encouraging their customers to save and share their own seed. Their seed is pretty good too!

Now to read the new catalogue and dream about what to grow next year ! I am eying up Pink Chard and Aztec Broccoli….

Part 2 of How to Dry Vegetable Seeds (heh)

I thought I had better actually try this so here goes:

1. Tights ? Do I have such a thing? I am an ankle sock sort of woman these days.  I threw open many drawers and eventually found some elderly black stockings, probably my last attempt at being ladylike, circa 1985. Did I mention I hate tights? (pantyhose for my American friends).

2. Snip snip….

3. De shell beans. Inspect beans, throw away little wizened sad ones.

4. Find rice and tray, now what temperature? I think I’d better just guess on this one. Presumably something where it won’t burn… doing well so far, the first lot was not quite enough so I am baking up a bit more.

5. Rubber band? the ones I pick up from where the postperson kindly strews them in his wake outside the front door are all too big and long so I have used the small klippits which are nearly always too small to be useful. That is quite pleasing.

6. The one bit I can manage is an airtight jar! Oh Yes! Result!

Still LIfe with Beans and Black Tights aka oh no I have forgotten to feed the Kombucha again….

7. Attempt to photo for your delight. Camera not keen on photographing black lumps of stuff.

8. Now just waiting for the rice to cool before flinging black stocking feet into jar for the fortnight of dessication.

9. I suppose I could have used that stuff that photographers use to keep their camera kit dry but I would have had to have blagged it from Brian and I think it is expensive….. maybe that is too much information, maybe I should stop talking and take the dogs out… bye!


14 thoughts on “How to Dry Vegetable Seeds at home by The Real Seed Catalogue

  1. hotlyspiced

    I’ve bought seeds before but have had no success so instead have bought seedlings. It’s true there’s a skill to growing things from seeds xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Seedlings are good too, the best lettuce we ever grew was from plugs that came from Riverford and we had perfect rows of unnaturally good looking lettuce. Beans are quite easy though compared to some things. This bit is all experimental as you will see from Part 2 which I have added on in a stream of consciousness not very professional blogging sort of a way just now :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Ta Gill, I have amended the post to show the reality of me following even basic instructions like these ;)

  2. drfugawe

    I think perhaps you don’t know this, Jo, but you are a garden gal – it’s in your soul and it’s leaking out at every opportunity! You need a proper garden. Tell Brian it is time to discuss moving to a property with space enough for a garden. Yes, it’s time for that discussion. OK, there are alternatives as well – does your city sponsor public gardens, space for growing things for those like you who need it? I can’t believe in the land where horticultural was invented that they don’t, but if they do not, you need to consider becoming an activist to bring change.

    I’m very serious – you need the opportunity to give your soul flight – if you do not, it will just eat away at you until there are large empty spaces instead of the hot coals which now lie in wait of fuel – and this is not good.

    Food for thought, garden gal.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Dear Doc, you are right – I love growing – and I wish I had started a little earlier in life when our backs were stronger. Brian’s parents had a little market garden in Cheddar where they grew strawberries, flowers and the like and small crops which they sold locally on the doorstep. He has mixed feelings about gardening though. We have talked about going on the list for an allotment but I don’t think it is going to happen as we are not really fit enough to take one on. One day an orchard and geese maybe, at the moment we have commitments that keep us in the city. My soul is fed by small things growing, I don’t need to have acres. Small is beautiful :)

  3. heidiannie

    I knew this about saving seeds. I know quite a bit about horticulture from growing up in a greenhouse/nursery family. I just don’t have good soil or the strength or money to change up the heavy clay that inhabits the land around me- so I have stunted and sad gardens.
    I love these posts from you- they spark my imagination if not my reality!

    1. Joanna Post author

      You and Brian probably have a lot in common. He knows this stuff too, but he doesn’t tell me, just lets me muddle my way through and straightens out the sides of my holes when I try and dig. My garden efforts are very small scale – though I have to say that we still haven’t got to the end of the apples and tomatoes that we grew this year and that makes me swell with pride a little. I am easily pleased. Did I show you the bags we grew the tomatoes in?. I only had 12 plants or so and we had more than enough fruit from them to keep us going once they started producing for three months, but we are only two people here.

  4. Misky

    I didn’t know any of this!! I didn’t know that my seeds weren’t properly dried, didn’t know that I was suffocating the little dears , didn’t know that I didn’t know anything about drying seeds! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    p.s. – I’m an ankle sock sort of girl myself. Or knee-highs.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Afternoon Ankle Girlfriend! I had no idea either – and I hope it is not too late to dry my bean seed out now as it has been on the windowsill for at least a month already. We will see next year if they germinate.

      1. Misky

        This post has reminded me of something that my mum did. She put all of her collected seeds in a screw-top jar, and then set the jar on top of the fridge. The warmth from the fridge dried them out, and that’s where they sat until she made seed-strips in late winter. (showing off her black ankle socks…)

        1. Joanna Post author

          I will report back in a couple of weeks, though as I don’t have a thingy to measure how dry they are, I won’t know how successful my attempts were till I try and grow the beans. Your Mum sounds great Misky :)

  5. Cas

    Thanks for the timely reminder.

    Another sock girl here :) Tights are for very posh occasions only!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Cas! I am one of these people who collects seedpods from time to time and then I leave them in egg cups and small pots with a bit of paper saying what they are, but somehow the bits of paper get mislaid and then (well you can guess the rest!) I am a mostly trouser person so, as you say, tights for posh and frocks – but I try and avoid.

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