Saving seeds from your favorite vegetables can be more than a fun experiment. Peppers and tomatoes are the easiest, so you can start growing your own today.
Even though most of our supermarket vegetables and fruit are thought to be sterile, that does not mean germinating seeds are not worth a try.
You can’t improve on perfection, and some vegetables are just that. In terms of marketability, freshness, nutrition, and taste – many vegetables are grown and sold in their most natural state.
Although genetically modified or hybrid strains of many fruits and vegetables abound, collecting and sprouting seeds takes such little effort that it is worth trying.
Granted, it depends on where you get your vegetables and if you would have the means to garden them properly. If you don’t have the room or means to garden, then feel free to try getting seeds to grow for an experiment.
If your potatoes are starchy and tasteless, or your peppers went soft in a day – those are not the seeds to collect.
Choose firm and beautiful looking fruits and vegetables that lasted at home for a long time. If they looked irresistible and tasted perfect, these are the ones to try. Good bets are peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and oranges. Certainly, any seed is worth trying just for the sake of experimentation, but these are the ones so many of us grew as children. Why not try it the ‘grown-up’ way and see if you can reap what you sow.
For pepper seeds, just take them out and separate them from the white pith inside the vegetable. Whether you are trying a tiny hot pepper or a big juicy red shepherd pepper, the idea is the same.
Set the seeds aside to dry overnight or longer. Once they are dry, you can plant them in a little soil about ¼” deep. Water lightly so they are not too damp and don’t let them dry out. Within a few days to a month, you will see the sprout develop.
Different strains of vegetables grow differently, and since you don’t have the package, there is no telling what you have or if it will grow.
Tomatoes are a great one, especially the Tiny Tim or cherry varieties. Kids can eat these as snacks and will learn a lot by growing them for themselves. Simply save the seeds when you are preparing a tomato you particularly enjoy.
Afterward, rinse some of the gel and pith from the seeds as gently as possible in a strainer. Place the seeds on a paper towel and leave them in a dry place. On top of the refrigerator or on a high shelf will work as it will be warmer, dryer, and out of reach of pets.
After a few days, the remaining gel will have dried. The seeds can then be planted or stored until the next growing season. Follow the same method as the peppers to grow them indoors.
Information on growing any type of plant is at your fingertips online or as close as the nearest library. With as little as a small pot and some soil, you can experiment with your favorite foods straight out of your grocery bag.