Saving seeds from one season is essential for planting in the following season. The Seed Library encourages all of its users to save the seeds that they grow, whether it is to use them in the same garden next year, or donate back to the Seed Library and restock for all to use! Saving seeds is not always an easy task, but with a little extra research, planning, and care, anyone can save their seeds!
In order to save your seeds, you must determine if your plant is an open-pollinated variety, or heirloom, meaning that they will pass on their distinct traits generation after generation! You should also determine if your plant is annual, biennial, or perennial, in order to know if the plant will produce viable seeds this season. Learning how each plant pollinates can help to determine useful isolation methods before harvesting! Finally, you must know when the seeds of your plant are mature. This may be after the fruit becomes edible, so you might have to leave a few in the garden to fully mature!
When the seeds are finally mature, they can be collected and stored! Seeds of dry fruited crops can generally be handpicked, while wet fruited crops must be cut open to extract seeds from the flesh and pulp. Once the seeds are cleaned and dried, they must be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place for the next growing season!
A lot of growing, harvesting, and seed saving information and techniques are specific to a type of plant. Do your own research to find out how best you can save seeds from your own plants! The resources below include online sources and books from our Sustainability Collection that are available to be checked out!
Click on any book cover below for more information!
Are you looking to save seeds, but don't have the equipment to do it? The Binghamton University Seed Library has a wide range of equipment available for anyone to use! Check out some examples below:
Fill out the form below if you are interested in using any of the Binghamton University Seed Library's seed saving equipment!
If you've harvested, cleaned, and dried your seeds after a successful growing season, you can now donate back to our Seed Library! Please stop by the front desk in the Science Library any time to drop off your donation! You will be provided with a form to fill out information you know about the seeds you are donating. This form is also attached below if you'd like to print it or just take a look before bringing in your donation!