Seed saving is a frugal and empowering way to garden.
You plant a seed, care for it, watch it grow, enjoy your bounty and in the end, you are presented with more seeds, to start all over again.
You hold in your hands the circle of life!
For the price of one packet of seeds, you can continue growing that variety for years to come, just by collecting and saving the seeds. After the first year, I consider the seeds for each following year to be free because of the money I saved growing that veggie and not having to buy it in the store. Between saved seeds, free seeds and seeds I find on sale, my veggie garden costs me next to nothing every year. Plus, I can grow way more plants than I could afford to buy.
I have been saving peas and beans for years. The peas and beans are eaten by us and put into my homemade dog food recipe Doggy Stew, so those free seeds are paying big dividends.
You may also have friends, family or neighbors who grow outstanding varieties you might like to try. Trading seeds is an even cheaper way to garden!
Seed saving can also be done with flowers, of course. I grow a TON of Zinnias every year from saved seeds. I enjoy the bright, cheerful Zinnias and they attract lots of bees, that in turn, pollinate my veggies! I also grow Geraniums and Petunias from seed.
Some seeds need to be started indoors, prior to planting outside. Starting seedlings is a bit of trial and error, as anyone who has ever tried it, will know. In spite of a few failures and disappointments, it is the most amazing feeling to collect tomatoes from a tomato plant that reaches up to your chin, and know that you started it from a tiny seed! That feeling is worth a million bucks!
Speaking of tomato plants; they can be really expensive too. I saved big money this year by starting mine from seed , plus I had extra plants to give away and sell. So, I’m not just saving money, I’m also making money!
There are many good websites explaining how to collect various seeds, so I won’t go into that, but if you are excited to try, start with something easy like Zinnias, beans or peas. Beans and peas are easy to collect seeds from; just let them dry on the plant. When they are dry, crack open the pods and keep the seeds. Zinnias are easy too. Just cut the heads off the plant after they have lost their brightness and start to turn brown. If they feel a little moist, lay them on a screen (like in the photo below) until they feel dry. I keep mine in paper bags over the winter and come Spring, I break the heads apart and collect the seeds!
Take note: Hybrid plants are a cross of two different varieties. The seeds will not grow true to the parent. Save Heirloom or standard seeds to get the same variety you started with.
I hope I’ve convinced you to try some seed saving. I go a bit overboard with it, myself. I find it hard to throw dead plants when I know there are seeds there, free for the taking. I think to myself, “I can’t throw these, they will grow!”
- Saving lots of money
- Learning a valuable skill
- Creating varieties that grow the best in your area
- Sharing seeds with others
- Sharing plants you grow from your seeds
MONEY SAVED ANNUALLY:
3 thoughts on “Seed Saving and Frugal Gardening”
While I’ve only saved tomato seeds for $$ savings in the past, my husband has gotten big into seed saving!! We’ve got a bunch of old prescription and other bottles/jars getting filled up and labeled for all the flowers he likes in our (and sometimes others’) gardens 🙂
That’s fantastic! I’ve been known to pick a few seeds from gardens, too 😉
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I love this. It is something I am just starting to get into. I did buy my first seeds, but am thinking of local seed swaps (although I would have no seeds to swap, so would that be awful?). Tips like yours help! 🙂