How to Save Vegetable Seeds for Next Year?

Your garden's vegetables produce seeds. Follow these tips to harvest your seeds for a bumper crop the following year.

Tomatoes

Scrape the seeds gently into labeled paper envelopes. Keep them dry and at a cool, consistent temperature.

Lettuce

Remove the lettuce head from the stem and rub the dried flower heads between your fingers on a paper plate. The seeds will immediately pop out and fall onto the paper plate.

Peppers

Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place with temperatures ranging from 35 to 50 degrees F. (1-10 C). Refrigerate them in airtight plastic bags within a Tupperware container.

carrots

Allow the seed heads to fully develop on the plant before saving carrot seeds during the second flowering year. When the flower heads begin to brown and dry, carefully cut them and store them in a little paper bag, leaving them alone until the drying process is complete.

Beets 

When the seed spikes on the plant have dried up (they will turn a brown/tan color), clip them and place them in a paper bag to dry for another two weeks.

Basil

Because basil seeds are so minute, extracting them from the minuscule blossom takes time and care.

Beans

Remove the seeds from the dry pods and store them in an envelope in a dark, dry, cold place.

Eggplant

Using a sieve ladle or large spoon, remove the pulp and sift the seeds into a sieve. Scoop up the seeds and spread them out on newspaper to dry in an area where they won't blow away in the breeze.

Peas

Hand-pick the peas (seeds) from the pod. Allow them to dry more and discard any that are damaged or discolored. Keep it in a cold, dry location. Pea seeds can be stored for at least three years.