I have always liked collecting seeds, buying seeds, and planting them. It is the greatest joy to watch the little seed pop through the soil and grow into large plants. I must admit I am not always successful in growing seeds, but I keep trying. I love the smell of freshly turned soil, getting my hands dirty and just playing in the garden. I did try to teach my daughters how to grow plants but for some reason, despite my best efforts neither of them really are that interested in plants. It amazes me how determined seeds are. They can grow under some of the harshest conditions and survive.
It is not to soon to be thinking about this years seed collection for your garden. Many gardeners have been doing this for years. Not only is this a great idea it also is very sustainable and saves you money. It does not matter if you are a beginner or experienced gardener gardening for years, this is such a good idea.
This is a fabulous activity to do with your children. They will get to learn about where their food comes from, and how to grow it, and about saving seeds. It might even encourage them to grow a few things for themselves and start their own seed library for their future gardens. Maybe even together create the seed envelopes with their art work. You could even go so far as starting a seed sharing group and build your own seed library.
Saving seeds is something that does take a little planning and organizing. In the spring is when you want to think about what seeds to order online and which you want to plant. What seeds you want to save. What kind of container to save them in and so on. So here are a few on my tips for you on saving seeds.
What you want to do if you plan on saving your seeds from year to year is invest in
- Heirloom and open-pollinated (not from hybrid plants)
- Not cross-pollinated
- Fully ripe and from healthy plants
- Seed envelopes
- Or containers such as spice jars
Heirloom seeds will reproduce true to type as long as you did not plant them to close to other varieties. They might cross-pollinate and you really do not want that to happen. If you use hybrid plants to collect seeds you will have an unpredictable out come with the next season of plants. I believe that saving seeds takes your gardening to the next level.
Where to find these seeds you might ask. Some of the local nurseries may carry them but you might have more luck buying your seeds on line to start your garden and then collect your seeds. One source is “Seeds Now“. This is a good place for a beginner learning about seeds and collecting seeds. The website is very informative. You can also buy some heirloom from Burpee Seeds. Some are sold at Home Depot. I am starting my own very large collection of heirlooms.
Now that you have bought your seeds and planted them do not forget to collect the seeds I have done that. Your next question is now what do I do with them until next season.
You will want to save the best looking plants to save seeds from. The process is to make sure you collect enough of each plant. Be sure to wash the seeds to make sure there is nothing on the seeds. Then lay them out on a tray to dry. This can take up to several weeks. You might want to flip them over periodically so they dry completely. You want to make sure that you dry them completely so that they do not rot.
One of my suggestions is to put them into paper envelopes to store them. Be sure to include all the information about the seed on the package. (photos from Pinterest)
Another idea is to put the seed packets in pockets in a notebook. (pictures from Pinterest) Or save them in your old spice jars. Get creative and find what works best for you. Love to see some of your ideas.
(Pictures from Pinterest) The notebook version is a good idea and handy to get to the seeds. I like the idea of using jars also. The jars with the corks on the top can be found at Hobby Lobby. The wooden box can also be found at Hobby Lobby on occasion. You might need to get creative on how to raise them up.
I am fond of this one. You can use the original seed package or one that you print out or make yourself.
Here is another idea to catalog all your beautiful seeds. This truly keep things organized and make planting season so much less stressful.
Again I love jars. These jars are from store bough spices. You many also find them at Hobby Lobby. What ever you choose it will be grand. I know you will be successful.
Another thought is to join a seed exchange group in your local area. If there is none, start one. Have fun, Learn, Share!
Till next time,