I’ve saved seeds from my garden in the past, but this year I’d like to really focus on this process even more. I hope, on day, to pass on seeds that I’ve carefully selected to future generations in my family. How neat would that be?
I enjoy Starting Seeds Indoors during the later winter months so my plants have a jumpstart on the summer. From Hardening the Plants Off, Transplanting Them into the Garden, and learning to Properly Water Them, there’s so much work that goes into it all!
I have a few particular reasons for wanting to build up my own supply of seeds by saving them from the produce I grow. Let me tell you all about it:
Saving seeds from this years garden so that you can plant them next year is a great way to save money! Continue reading if you’d like to learn about the benefits to saving seeds from this year’s garden. It’s more than just about money! I’ve even included some additional gardening information at the very end of this post. Now let’s get to seed saving!
The Benefits to Saving Seeds for Next Year
A packet of seeds does not cost very much considering just how much you may reap from one plant, let alone 10 or 20! But image purchasing a packet of tomato seeds this year and bringing in the harvest from those same seeds 5 or 10 years later! Now that’s what I call “paying for itself”.
2020 brought many challenges, including seed shortages. We won’t get into all of the particulars of why we could find seeds online or on store shelves, but the point here is that saving our own seeds ensures less concern when shortages happen.
Saving seeds allows a person to take control over their own supply and become at least a little less reliant on others. You can build your own supply and even swap seeds with other gardeners!
Saving seeds from your own produce allows you to control the quality a bit better. You can look at the plants and fruit they produce before deciding which ones to save seeds from.
The traits of your produce are crucial. There’s no point saving seeds if it’s going to leave you with a poor turnout at the end of the day.
Look at traits such as the plants ability to adapt to the environment, size of the fruit it produced, or the plants ability to produce a larger harvest than the rest. Whatever it is, you get to decide what traits you want to carry on into the next season.
Such a practice over many generations will tailor your produce to your requirements, build stronger resistance to pests and overall increase the quality of your final product.
Adaptation to the Environment:
Protecting successive generations of a seed allows it to adjust to the climate and environment in which it grew. This should mean a better crop for you after a few years of growing from the same seeds.
Purchasing seeds from large corporations typically means you’ll receive very generic seeds. Such companies want to sell a few products to a lot of people, so they make sure their seeds are all pretty much the same.
While this can be useful in large scale farming, it does not give the seeds the chance to adapt over generations, which could potentially cause further risks from pests.
Saving your own seeds from heirloom varieties gives you more diverse options and the plants are better able to adapt to your specific climate.
How to Save Seeds for Later
This process looks different for each type of fruit or vegetable
Here’s a basic rundown of saving seeds:
- Choose a produce that appears to have valuable traits (no rotting, good size, healthy plant, just to name a few).
- Harvest the seeds from the plant by scooping them out with a spoon.
- Rinse any gunk off of the seeds.
- Separate the seeds from one another and lay out on a paper towel to dry.
- After they are thoroughly dry (this may take up to 1 week), place in a bag, envelope, or container.
I’ve written a whole blog post on Saving Seeds From a Tomato if you’d like to read more about that process!
More on Gardening
- How to Save Tomato Seeds for Next Year
- A Tour Through my Summer Garden
- How to Properly Watering the Garden
- Managing the Garden with a Schedule
- My Herb Garden
- 10 Garden-Themed Bible Verses