This post is linked to the Homestead Barnhop #46.
Following on from my post the other day about starting from seeds, here's the next step to cheaper veges, saving your own seeds. The advantage of saving your own seeds isn't just the money you save on seeds, it also allows you to breed plants that are more adapted to your climate and soil conditions.
|drying seeds from spaghetti squash, button squash, roma tomatoes, beans and spring onions,|
I always have lots of little trays in the kitchen waiting for the seeds to dry.
I was never taught how to save seeds, I just started leaving plants that had bolted and seeing what happened. Actually it seems to be quite difficult to find information about seed saving, much easier to just buy seeds, but I find seed saving interesting and usually quite rewarding (I found one good step by step guide here). All my gardening books explain how to grow seeds, but none discuss saving seeds, although I believe you can buy entire books just on the topic of seed saving, I haven't found that necessary so far. From my own trial and error I've found that some veges are more difficult than others, but the more seeds you can save, the more free veges in your garden, so its worth trying if you have the time and space in your garden!
|saving seeds from a giant pickling cucumber|
Anything that forms a seed pod is extremely easy to save. I have successfully saved broccoli, mustard, beans, peas, parsley, basil, marigold and spring oinons. Seeds that are inside of fruit are more difficult to save. I haven't perfected saving tomatoes, but they grow out of the compost anyway! I have saved capsicum and pumpkin seeds. I haven't attempted corn or zucchini so far. I have silverbeet going to seed at the moment and I'm not totally sure what will happen, or when the seed will be ready (after waiting for a couple of months now!), but I am happy to wait and see.
|Broccoli seeds ready to harvest|
|waiting for this pea pod to dry out|
As I mentioned before, I have heaps of spring onion seeds and also now mini capsicum and marigold seeds, so if anyone in Australia would like me to post them some seeds, please email me at eight.acres.liz at gmail dot com. I will also soon have parsley and silver beet seeds and I still have crazy poor man's beans if you're up for the challenge of controlling them!
What seeds do you save? Any tips for keeping them fresh?
|Parsley seeds tied back because they were sprawling all over the place!|
|Spring onion seeds|