How is your garden growing? If yours is anything like mine, you're thinking about saying goodbye to summer and beginning to plan ahead to next year's garden. On the top of my list is saving seeds.
I've had a good run with several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, string beans, peppers, squash, and greens, and I'm already looking forward to starting them again in the spring. So I've been saving seeds.
Let the plants mature, then collect good sized fruits of tomatoes, squash, and peppers. Tomatoes and squash need to be thoroughly rinsed and dried before storing, while pepper seeds can easily be set out on a paper towel to dry.
The pods of string beans will swell up, turn brown, and begin to crack open when they're ready for harvesting. Mustard greens go to flower, then form pods which dry out and release tiny round seeds. The same is true of other greens such as lettuce and arugula.
In just a few minutes over the course of a few days, you will have seeds ready for planting next spring. Imagine how fun it will be to harvest free food all summer!
You can learn more tips on saving seeds from Seed Savers Exchange.