The Difference Between Harvesting Wet and Dry Heirloom Seeds

The Difference Between Harvesting Wet and Dry Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are unique and passed down through generations. Here is the difference between harvesting wet and dry heirloom seeds.

Indulging in heirloom seeds has many benefits. For one, heirloom seeds always have exciting stories and colorful pasts associated with them. Two, heirloom vegetables have delicious flavors, are time-tested, and thrive exceptionally well in heat and humidity. Plus, heirloom plants are disease-resistant. Since these seeds are unique and passed down from generation to generation, they require special care. Here is the difference between harvesting wet and dry heirloom seeds. 

Harvesting Dry Heirloom Seeds

If you are harvesting dry heirloom seeds, you can pick pods and husks and let them dry after, but it’s better to let the seeds dry on the plant. Next, harvest the seeds and store them in a dry place until the husks and pods easily crumble apart. 

Pick out the largest pieces by hand to sort the seeds from the pod and husk pieces. You can separate the rest of the chaff by sifting or winnowing. You filter the seeds by having two different-sized screens where one screen will be large enough for them but not big enough for the larger chaff to fall through the screen. The other screen should be small enough to catch the seeds but nothing else. 

On the other hand, winnowing involves air blowing away the chaff while leaving the heavier seeds behind. You can accomplish this by putting the seeds and chaff into an inclined bowl and blowing across it to remove the chaff. 

Another option is dropping the seeds and chaff into a bucket and placing it in front of a fan. Depending on the fan’s speed and size, you’ll have to adjust to find the proper airflow to blow away the chaff but allow the denser seeds to fall through to the bucket below. 

Collecting Wet Seeds

Allow the fruits to mature fully to collect wet seeds by letting them grow far past the eating stage. Remove the seeds, clean them in a water bowl, and gingerly separate them from the pulp. Most pulp and dead seeds will hover at the top of the water bowl, where you can pour them off slowly. 

Next, drain the seeds of excess moisture and spread them on a ceramic plate or cookie sheet. It’s best to keep seeds from drying on paper or porous materials because they will stick. 

Do you not have a green thumb? If not, Baywater Farms is here to make your life easier. We provide heirloom field crops, shoulder season crops, and hydroponic vegetables to ensure that you have fresh and healthy produce to bring to your farmers’ market or restaurants. 


Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We are capable of meeting the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm. When you work with Baywater Farms, you work with an experienced, ethical, and local farm dedicated to providing the highest-quality heirloom produce.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 18th, 2022 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.