Saving seeds is easy but you need to understand the basics for success.
- Choose one just one type of plant from which to save seeds to get the hang of it. Select a vegetable, fruit or flower you particularly enjoy and want to continue to propagate.
- Get the kids involved! It’s a great way for them to learn the basics of botany, to get interested in cooking and nutrition, and it gives them a project that stretches their attention span to seasons and tunes them into the cycles of nature. Plus, it’ll be one of the few times you won’t mind them getting seriously dirty.
Then read up and follow these steps:
- Seed Saving & Gardening Terms to get you started from Seed Savers Exchange.
- How to Save Seeds is a great three-step-guide from Seed Savers also.
- A Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers goes into every aspect of of seed saving in a beautiful .pdf from Organic Seed Savers Alliance.
(Be sure to give a little donation to these organizations so they can continue to do their great work.)
- If you’re still not finding the information you need, check with a local gardening club and ask to get in touch with one of their master gardeners. The master gardeners in your own neighborhood are probably your best resources because they garden in the same climate and soil conditions as you. They can make helpful suggestions and guide you to getting the most out of your garden.
- When the questions you have just aren’t being answered anywhere, consider taking a horticulture or gardening class at your local community/junior college. Most horticulture departments have a class that specifically addresses seed saving and you can have an open-ended question and answer session that lasts the whole semester.
- When you’ve saved your first batch and you find you have more than enough seeds for next season’s crop, check with your local library and see if they have a seed library where you can donate. If they don’t, suggest they start one. Check with the gardening club and master gardeners and see if they have seed exchange events on the calendar. And if you still have more seeds than you know what to do with, email Seed Savers or Seed Alliance and see if they would like to bank your harvest.
Good luck! Have fun! And thanks for protecting the genetic diversity of plants you love!