When and how do I harvest seeds to grow next year?


When and how do I harvest seeds to grow next year?


The late growing season is a good time to collect seeds from vegetables and flowers.  Seed saving allows gardeners to preserve heirloom varieties or their favorite plants from year to year. 

Collect the Seed When Mature

The precise timing of seed harvest will vary from species to species.  Collect seed after it’s been allowed to reach full maturity.  Just as flowers and fruit form at different times on the plant, seed will mature at different rates.  Collect individual pods or fruit that contain seeds throughout the growing season as they mature.  When seeds are in dry husks or pods, leave them on the plant to dry as long as possible.  If conditions become too wet or cold, entire plants can be harvested and hung to allow seeds to fully mature.

Collect Seed from the Best Plants

Harvest seed from the best performing plants in the garden. Save seed from the plants with the best color, tastiest fruit, most-desirable form or growth habit, and that exhibit the fewest disease issues.  This will ensure that future generations will perform well in your garden and produce the most desirable plants, flowers, and fruits.

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024