It seems to me that once folks get comfortable with vegetable gardening, they start saving seeds. Or, at least they start thinking about saving seeds. A couple years ago, we were at that thinking stage. Last year, we actually did something about it and this year, I am feeling confident enough to talk about it.
For some reason I always thought of saving seeds as something tricky. An art form of sorts. Something only those super-dedicated old-time gardeners do. Well, it's not that tricky. And, after reading up on it a bit, we tried our hand at it.
I am pleased to say that this year our Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, garlic, sunflowers and green bell peppers grew from seeds (or cloves) we saved. As we came to realize, there are certain fruits and vegetables that are good to start with when you want to save seeds (some are a little more difficult to save than others). All those we saved last year are from this group. The seeds are easy to find and dry, therefore easy to save. Saving seeds is proving to be especially fun when you get your hands on a new variety of something a friend has given you or something you picked up at the farmer's market.
This year, we are also saving the seeds from red bell peppers we got from the farmer's market and some yellow tomatoes a neighbor gifted us (she's been saving the seeds of these tomatoes for years and years).
You can keep them in envelopes you've labeled with the date and variety of seed. Depending on the seed, they may need a cold cycle (in the fridge, check the ISSI site below for specifics). Then, store them in a dry, dark place and next spring, you'll be ready to go.
For more information on saving seeds, check out these great sites...
International Seed Saving Institute This site gives a list of vegetables and the instructions on how to save their seeds.
Mother Earth News Check out this on line article which explains why we all should be saving seeds.
Seed Saver's Exchange This site/catalog is for you if you like the idea of saving seeds, but would prefer to buy them from folks who know what they are doing when it comes to heirloom seeds. Oh, and their catalog is amazing. Try not to drool all over it's pages.
So, do you save seeds? Are you going to try it? Do you want me to stop asking you questions?