Skip to main content

Are you saving seeds?

Maybe this post should start with a warning..... once you start saving seeds its very hard to stop.  I cannot walk past a seed head without wondering if I should save the seeds.  This includes public gardens, and other people's gardens.  At this time of year my garden is full of brassica flowers, which are gradually turning into seed pods, and I know in a few weeks I will be starting to harvest the seeds.  If you want to save seeds, you need to start thinking about it when the flowers start to appear.  Don't rip out your plants right away, you could be missing out on free seeds!  Here's why and how to save and store seeds.

Why save seeds from your garden?

  • Seeds that you save are free, you don't have to buy seeds or seedlings
  • You start to develop strains that are adapted to your climate and conditions
  • You have something to swap with other seed-savers - more free seeds
  • You remain in control of your food supply, not relying on seed companies

eight acres: are you saving seeds?
poor mans beans seeds


How to save seeds?
Every plant is different, but basically, let the plant flower, and wait and see how the seeds formed.  You need to be patient and curious.  Eventually you will see seed pods, and when they are dry you can harvest the seeds.  If they are inside the fruit (like tomatoes or pumpkins) you need to separate the seeds and let them dry out.  If you really want to get technical, you can isolate different varieties from each other, but if you just want to give it a try, just let the seeds form and observe what happens.

eight acres: are you saving seeds?
a bee pollinating a brassica flower


How to store seeds?
I read somewhere that you should save a third of your seeds, give away a third, and put a third straight back on the soil.  I forget where I read that, but I think its good advice.  I let some of the seed fall directly on the garden, where it usually re-appears the next year when the time is right.  I save as much as I can in small jars, and I giveaway seed when I have more than I can use.  I like to share it around and encourage other people to save seed too.


Most of my garden is now self-seeded or grown from saved seeds, that means I don't have to pay for seeds or seedlings, and everything sprouts when its ready, I don't have to figure out the right time to plant.  I didn't take a class or read a book to learn how to save seeds, I just let the flowers develop into seeds and watched nature do the work for me.  Its not difficult, it just takes time.

Do you save seeds?  Any tips to share?

Comments

  1. There are people in the US who want to make sharing seeds illegal without government permission and special testing and packaging. Sounds like the seed companies bought off the right politicians. It is still legal in my state but what am I saying, I would do it anyway. http://green-mom.com/has-seed-sharing-been-made-illegal-in-the-united-states/#.VeR88pclmzk
    I save my seeds in paper or large sealed containers as after all the seed is a living plant and shouldn't be sealed tightly or vacuum packed. Some of my best tomatoes have volunteered in the garden or chicken lot and get moved into the current tomato patch. I had one plant this year that had both round and roma fruit on the same plant, I thought I was seeing things.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love seeing if my plants produce seeds, i throw most of them back into the garden so i get more up next year; i collected seeds from my neighbour in past years & recently found some freesias flowering that were from his seeds, they are of unusual colouring so probably a mix but still very beautiful!
    though i do need to start collecting some seeds, so, like you, i can give some away too. also have some in storage just in case some don't come up. my broccoli from last year all came up too, though they don't have the large compact heads of their parents they are still a joy to find.
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. I’m impressed, I have to say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you. you might have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is something that not sufficient people are speaking intelligently about. I am very joyful that I stumbled across this in my seek for something referring to this.
    kent removals
    adelaide removalists

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've only just got into saving seeds but I love it. Jars of seed everywhere and I'm trying to keep strains pure when I want as well. It's a really fun bit of the hobby I think.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

How to make coconut yoghurt

Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy.  I know, I know, we own two house cows!  But I am trying to heal inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers, so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had better try to cut back.  Its been hard because I eat a LOT of cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making yoghurt).  I had to just give up cheese completely, switch to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut yoghurt.  I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on some fruit here and there because it is expensive!





The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers.  I was making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L.  So I was thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying to get it right....  and then Biome Eco Store sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt Kit to try.  The kit is…