How to Extract Seeds from Chaff

Have you ever wondered “How do I separate those tiny seeds from the chaff?” It’s not hard and shouldn’t cost you a dime to remove all those tiny seeds!

  • Take a used plastic container form your recycling bin. I used an old dried Parmesan cheese container. Remove the top.
  • Find a second plastic container that fits the top of the first container. I used an individually portioned applesauce container.
  • Poke holes in the bottom slightly larger than the seeds you want to extract. If you have more than one size of seed you can make different sized holes in different containers to fit the seed. Don’t make the holes too small or the seeds won’t come through. Conversely don’t make the holes too big or you will get too much chaff sneaking out the holes.  A few small bits of chaff will probably come through anyway but can be removed easily with your fingers afterward.
  • Place the seeds, chaff and all, into the first container and shake it up (put the top back on first) to break up the chaff.
  • Place the second container on the first and shake onto a piece of paper.

And there you have extracted seeds ready for saving in a method of your choice!

    Seeds from Salvia farinacea

    One Reply to “How to Extract Seeds from Chaff”

    1. Never never would've thought of this and it is SO timely. Somehow I got roped into being a co-chair on a seed swap for our MG group-it is next Thursday. I have collected so many seeds and between the group I think we'll have more than 45 types available! Some I never would've thought of like bouncing bets and beach vitex. I had been putting the deed off (packing them all in packets and labeling) taking care of them due to the chaff issue. This will help, especially with the smaller seeds. For the larger ones or the ones with large chaff I have a frame with hardware cloth on it that I can place the seeds on and clean them. This works well for love in a mist and cleome. I'll be using a bottle for the smaller ones now too! Saw the kids on FB. They all looked so sweet!

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