Seed Saving notes – aka lessons learnt
Over the last few months I’ve been pulling together the best information available on seed saving. I’ve put this info together for a couple of reasons -
- as I struggled to learn for myself,
- as a record for myself,
- I said I’d put something together for my allotment association
- and other fellow gardeners new to seed saving.
Much of the info out there either presumes you already have knowledge about the basics of seed saving (and has huge gaps), or is highly technical and uses botanical and scientific terms which to be honest can leave me even more confused.
So I’ve put my own together, based on what I’ve learnt in the last year or so, and articles I’ve found and so must acknowledge that I’ve garnered valuable info from the great guys at Seedy Sunday, RealSeeds, HSL, plus books – Suzanne Ashworth “Seed to Seed” and The Seeds of Kokopelli – “a manual for the production of seeds in the family garden”.
The plan this year is to photograph the start, the middle and the end – something I forgot to do last year!
Firstly I guess I should ask and try and answer the question of why you should save seeds –
- Because we can!
- There are so many precious varieties out there that are, without seed savers, disappearing into the ether
- You can save seeds of varieties that do well for you in your area / garden
- It has to be a very economical way of producing seeds to grow – growing on a small scale individual basis
- Therefore I’m guessing at this bit, it has to be more environmentally positive than negative
- It’s a great way of learning about the plants we grow
- You can share your excess saved seeds with friends/family/other gardeners – spreading a bit of cheer along the way
So to seed saving ….. the best advice, including my lessons learnt (so far) : -
Seed Saving tips, do’s and don’ts
- Only save seed from open pollinated varieties – not F!’s
- Save seed from the best specimens
- Don’t save seed from plants that have bolted (gone to seed / flower early)
- Don’t save seed from specimens that are atypical for the variety, unless of course that is what you want to do!
- Save seeds from plants that haven’t cross pollinated
Sound advice is that when sowing seeds always assume that you will lose some to pests, disease and other factors, so it is best to sow excess.
Easy Seeds to save for beginners – Lettuce, Peas, French Beans and Tomatoes