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Saving Arugula Seeds

I grew arugula for this time last year. I thought it would be a good addition for our CSA members, but since it was a new thing for me, I didn’t realize it was a cut and come again plant and I only harvested it once before it bolted.

I decided I would try and save the seeds since I wasn’t going to get anything else edible from the plants. And since I had used the entire packet of seeds I’d purchased, it seemed like a good idea to gather enough seeds for next years garden. And it was!

Arugula seeds are remarkably easy to save. Simply let the plant go to seed. The plant will grow long stems that form seed pods. Each seed pod has multiple tiny seeds in it. When the pods turn brown, carefully cut the stems off.

I found the seed pods to be extremely delicate and found it easiest to cut the stem where there was still some green on it. You may want to have a brown paper bag with you when you do this so you can pop the stems right into it and give them a gentle shake. This will be enough to release the seeds into the bottom of the bag.

I didn’t use a paper bag the first time I collected stems. I brought them into the house and tried to break the seed pods into a small bowl. I had arugula seeds EVERYWHERE! So learn from my mistake and just a brown paper bag out the garden with you and shake your seed pods into it.

Once you’ve collected a decent number of seed pods, you can take the paper bag inside, remove and toss the stems, and dump the rest of the contents into a bowl. You’ll need to pick out as many of the seed pod bits as you can, but that is easy too.

Then let the seeds sit out and dry. I had a few seeds that felt moist when I ran my fingers through the bowl. I let them sit about three or four days and then they felt totally dry. If you live in a more humid climate, it might take a little longer.

Once the seeds are dry you can put them in a seed envelop and store until you’re ready to plant them again!

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