I've always picked pods long before they are cracked and dried up, the short growing season doesn't allow me to wait that long. Once the pods go from plump and round to showing the three lobes and figuring they have been growing about 7 - 8 weeks, I start gently pinching them between two fingers. If they give or start to crack I pick them. Later that day/evening I will shell them dumping the seeds from each pod, or multiple pods if it's the same cross, into each section of the egg carton. Then I stack them and they get bagged and labeled the next day, about 24 hours later and placed in the fridge. I stop making crosses mid August, some of these late crosses won't have enough time to grow before we get a hard freeze. In a normal year I do 5000 - 10,000 seeds. The hardest part is deciding which ones get planted. My seedling beds will only hold about 2500 each year...imaging what could be is so much more fun than weeding those dreams!