Selecting Blueberries for Seeds
The best time to select blueberries for extracting seeds is during blueberry season when the berries are fully ripe. Choose berries that are deep blue, plump and juicy. You can tell if the blueberries are ripe if you press them between your fingers and they feel soft. The more blueberries you pick the better your chances of success. The seeds are tiny, so you want to make sure you have plenty for germination.
Freeze the Blueberries
After picking your blueberries, place them in a sealed plastic bag. Freeze the blueberries for three months. This step is necessary to help the seeds germinate when planted.
Blueberry Seed Extraction
After three months in the freezer, it’s time to thaw out your blueberries and extract the seeds. Use one of the following methods for extracting the seeds:
- Blender – Take three-quarter cup of thawed blueberries and place them in your blender. Add enough water to the blender to fill it three-quarters full. Turn on your blender, running it at high speed for about 15 seconds. After blending, allow the seeds to sink to the bottom. This takes about five minutes. Pour off the pulp and add more water. Let the seeds settle again. Keep repeating this until all the pulp is gone and only the seeds remain. Spread them on a paper towel to dry.
- Grinder – Place three-quarter cup blueberries in your grinder. Grind them up and then place them in a quart jar. Fill the jar with water to about three-quarters full. Shake the jar quickly for a few minutes. Let the seeds settle to the bottom for about five minutes. Follow the same procedure as for the blender.
- Hand mash – If you’d rather extract your seeds by hand, you can mash them in a bowl. Use a pedestal to mash the blueberries. Once it turned into pulp, pour the contents into a quart jar and follow the procedure outlined for the grinder.
Planting Blueberry Seeds
Once your seeds are dry, sow the seeds in a 3-inch deep box filled with moist sphagnum moss. Sprinkle your seeds on top of the moss. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of moss. Place your box indoors in an area with a temperature of 60°F (15.5°C) to 70°F (21.1°C). Mist the moss with water to keep it moist. Cover the box with newspaper. Your seeds will germinate in about one month.