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seed saving
seed saving methods
bag drying seed heads
If you are saving seed using The Dry Method it's a good idea to dry your seed heads in a bag before separating the seeds and packaging them.  This page explains the how and why of this process. 

The benefits of bag drying seed heads
Seed heads never mature all on the same day.  If you wait for all of them to mature then some of the heads may have already shed their seeds.  

If you harvest all the heads as the first one's mature and place them in a bag to further dry off you will be able to save more seeds. It also allows you to package them at your leisure, instead of being forced to harvest and process them during a narrow window of opportunity.  I sometimes leave seed heads drying off in bags for several weeks until I get time to process them.


How to bag dry seed heads
Photo of seeds haning up to dry in newspaper bags.
Seeds hanging up to dry in newspaper bags.
Get a sturdy bag, cut the stalk or stalks below the seed heads and place the heads in the bag.  Then hang it up in a dry shaded place for a couple of weeks.  An ideal place for this is under a veranda or in a garage.  Don't put them in a cupboard or cellar as to dry properly they need a bit of a draft.

Then process the seeds as described under the Separating The Seeds from the Seed Heads section on the Saving Lettuce Seeds webpage.

It does pay to write the name of the seed heads you are collecting on the side of the bag so you don't get the seed varieties mixed up.


different types of bags that can be used
The ideal bag is a large, strong paper bag. I have also used hessian bags, especially for large seeds like broad beans.  Probably the best bag is a paper grocery bag, but as I find this type of bag difficult to get hold off I usually store my seed heads in home made newspaper bags.

Plastic bags are no good as they do not breath and paper lunch bags are simply too small and light weight.

 
How to make a newspaper bag
Get two sheets of folded newspaper, fold two or three centimetres of the edge over at each end and put three or four staples along the length of each fold.  To make it stronger use extra sheets of paper, but the more layers of newspaper there is the harder it is for the paper to breath and the seeds to dry out.
Photo of stapling the edge of sheets of newspaper
Stapling the folded edges of
two sheets of newspaper.

Photo of finished newspaper bag.
Completed newspaper bag.  Note how wide the opening is, which is ideal for inserting dried seed heads and their stalks.