Savin' Seed

Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:23 am

I harvested a bushel of corn from the 1/2 acre of Hickory Cane corn I planted last spring. The coons and deer ravaged it due to the drought.
I am shelling and cleaning it in hope of saving enough seed for next year. We tied the shucks and hung it up at home, but I want to store it in gallon jugs to keep bugs and mice out.
Would it be alright to drop a mothball in the jugs? I wouldn't want to "Kill" the seed.

check out these websites!

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:15 pm

VirginiaMike, you should check out SeedSaversExchange:

for general info, and also (and maybe first) the good, ol', MotherEarthNews site:

both of these sites have a wealth of information regarding seed saving. there are also a ton of other sites on the 'Net, but you can start here. the MotherEarthNews site has an offer for CDs of reprints of their articles, and i'm sure there are good suggestions in there. one of the more recent issues has a great article on corn, and how some folks are working very hard to bring back old varieties such as yours... sorry, can't remember which one, but maybe i'll peruse them sometime soon and let you know.

p.s. i DEFINITELY wouldn't put mothballs in... the real trick is to dry the seed correctly, then store it in (hopefully sealed with wax or whatever at the merger of the "lid" or "top" and "container" or "bottom") air-tight containers, such as the olive-oil containers one can buy on the 'Net.

good luck!

Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:32 pm

Thanks for the links Dave.

Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:54 am

Ifeel like ant ant standing next to an elephant. I only have a 20x35 backyard garden. But I was very fortunate this year to have some exceptional squash, cukes, and tomatoes. I would like to save the seed and plant this stock next year. Unfortunately the squash and tomato seeds are on the counter as we speak. So as you can see time is of the essence. If anyone can give me a 1 paragraph crash course in preserving seed I would really appreciate it. Many thanks Frank

Saving seed

Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:04 pm


The way I do it, and it may be wrong, but it works for me, is to completely dry the seed and put in a zip lock bag, and put it in the deep freezer. Be sure to label the bags. Then, next year when you go to plant, the seed will have a small amoutn of moisture from defrosting, and will help if the ground is a little dry. And some say that the small amount of moisture that will be left in the seed when freezing, will crack the shell of the seed to also help it to come up. Hybred seed cannot be saved. They will come up as one of the parent seed. Some say it will come back true the first year, after that it will come back as one of the parent seed. I don't know about that. I never saved hybred seed. Just my thoughts on the subject.


right: hybrid seed is a no-no for seed savers

Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:15 pm

Billy, and others,

don't try to save seed that's not "heirloom" seed - as others have said, hybrid seeds won't be true to either parent, and often are sterile, which is a sad suprise when you plant'em and nothing comes up! ;^(

another good site is:

this company specializes in all kinds of seeds which will hold true, and you'll get the same fruits year after year. in fact, you can even improve the variety for your own unique circumstances, but i won't get into that, now - it's a whole discussion in-and-of itself! i planted this last year's garden solely to seeds from this company (using the "square-foot gardening method, and i can attest that they are of excellent quality and had great germination rates.

good luck!

Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:59 pm

WELLLLLLL. I thank you both!!! Since my seeds were hybrid I saved myself a little work and a lot of aggravation. The only use I got from this seed was to dry the butternut seed, roast it in the oven for a few minutes, a little salt, and a nice snack. Back to the seed catalog. Frank

Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:32 am

Frank, the butternut seed is probably the one you could have saved. Butternut is not usually hybrid. And besides, you need another snack about as badly as I do!! Ed