If you’re a gardener, it is an easy next step to learn to save your own seeds. And it’s a step toward personal freedom too. No longer will you have to be dependent on corporations and other businesses for your seeds. And the feeling of self-sufficiency is so gratifying!
Seed saving is occasionally a little complicated, but luckily there are many varieties of herbs, flowers and vegetables that are simple to save seed from.
Best Varieties for Beginners to Save Seed
Some of the best varieties to start with include annuals like peas, beans, lettuce, pumpkins and squash, poppies, calendula, sweet peas, cosmos, nigella, snapdragons, sunflowers, morning glory, chives, dill, fennel, borage to name just a few.
Annuals are a little simpler because they go to seed within one growing season. Once you’ve saved a few annuals, you can go on to tackle biennials and perennials. Ensure the plants you save seed from are open-pollinated, not hybrids (find out what these definitions mean in What’s an Heirloom Plant?).
Supplies for Seed Saving
You only need a little knowledge and a few supplies, all of them easy to find around the house or purchased inexpensively. Here’s a list to get you started on some simple seed-saving projects.
PRO TIP: It’s so important to be a good record-keeper. Be sure to label your envelopes and jars with the plant type, species name, variety name, and when you harvested the seeds. You should also add the name of the place or person where you got the original seeds or plants from.
Seed Saving Resources
Here are some recommended resources to go more in-depth on your seed-saving journey.
Seed to Seed – by Suzanne Ashworth
From Seed to Bloom – by Eileen Powell
Seeds of Diversity – How to Save Your Own Seeds booklet
West Coast Seeds – Seed Saving Techniques
Dan Jason, Salt Spring Seeds – How to Save Seeds