When the time comes to harvest your radish crop, you will want to save some of the seeds for next year’s planting. Radish seeds are easy to store and can be kept in a variety of conditions, depending on what works best for you. In this article, we will discuss the best way to harvest and store your radish seeds so that you can have a successful garden season next year!
Where do Radish Seeds Come From
Radish seeds come from the fruit of the radish plant, which is an annual herb that blooms with small white flowers. Once pollinated, these flowers will produce a round pod-like fruit containing many tiny seeds inside. The green pods turn yellow when ripe, and can be harvested for their seeds. It is best to collect them as soon as the pods turn yellow, as the seeds may otherwise scatter when they dry out.
When to Harvest Radish Seeds?
The seeds are fully ready in 65-70 days after radish flowering. Depending on the time and method of planting, the collection of seeds begins in early or late September. The criterion of ripeness is a change in the color of the pods from green to light yellow or light brown.
Shoots with pods are cut, tied in a bundle, and dried for about two weeks in a dry, well-ventilated room.
How to Harvest Radish Seeds
If you pick up and crush a pod that is well-dried and suitable for further processing, it will easily crumble.
Removing seeds from the fruit is easy:
- Cut the pods from the stems with secateurs.
- Place the pods in a container and rub them gently so that the fruits open and the seeds fall out.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes with water. The good seeds will sink to the bottom while the stem and bad seeds will float.
- Throw the garbage on the compost heap. Rinse the leftover seeds with water 2-3 times and spread them out on a plate so they can dry.
Saving Radish Seeds
For longer-term storage, seeds should be dried to a moisture content of 12 percent or less. This will take 2-3 days at room temperature in a well-ventilated location. After the radish seeds have dried, it is important to put them in the freezer for 3 days. This will ensure that any remaining pests or diseases are killed before storage. After the period of freezing, remove the seeds from the freezer and allow them to thaw completely before packaging them for storage. Store the seeds in an airtight container and store them away from direct sunlight or any kind of heat source. The best conditions for storing radish seeds are in a cool, dark and dry place with temperatures below 65°F (18°C )and relative humidity of 60-65% for up to 7 years. It is important to inspect the seeds periodically and discard any that appear abnormal or discolored. Make sure the container is tightly sealed so no moisture can enter.
Below is the data on how the percentage of germination varies with the time of seed storage.
- 1 year – 71%
- 2 years – 57%
- 3 years – 49%
- 4 years – 37%
- 5 years – 12%
- 6 years – 0%