Old Fashioned Seed Saving


| 7/9/2018 8:56:00 AM



Renee headshotHave you ever thought of saving seed from your vegetables or flowers only to get stymied because it seems like a lot of trouble for possible failed returns? I'm here to assure you it isn't as hard as you might think and it's also not as risky. You might read about seed saving from the experts, if you wish, but don't let them intimidate you. They throw around big words like "open pollinated" and things like that, but let me tell you great grandma did not have this science. She just knew that she would let certain plants go to seed and then she'd take them. It wasn't a big deal. I was curious as to when commercially packaged seeds became available. They're ubiquitous now. Almost no one saves their own seed but not too long ago that's all everyone did.

According to Wikipedia, the Watervliet Shakers near Albany, New York are thought to have been the first to package seeds in small, paper envelopes and then sell the seed commercially in 1811. I think it would be very cool if everyone started saving seed again. There's only a few things you really need to know.

This year I am saving seeds from sunflowers, spinach, tomatoes and cilantro. I might also try zucchini and zinnias. These all have "big" seeds that are easy to find. Just for fun I'm also going to go along the road sides and take seeds from the wild sunflowers I find. I want to seed the ditch in front of our house for a nice crop of wild sunflowers next year.

If you grow a garden from store bought seed make sure you get varieties that say "perennial." Here are some of the sunflowers I am growing this year that I'm going to let dry out and get seeds from. I like the idea of sunflowers. The seeds are really big and are almost fool proof.

sunflowers
Look at these beauties!



seed head
A dried up sunflower ready to have seeds removed.