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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Saving Seeds

Okay - you're getting your garden plot all ready for the first time and you are planning to purchase seeds for your favorite veggies to plant. What is all this talk about hybrid versus heirloom, organic, open pollinated - what does all this mean?

Well, basically it boils down pretty easy. Heirloom seeds are the only seeds that can be harvested and used to produce another plant exactly like the parent plant. Hybrid seeds are often sterile - even if they do produce a plant it will not be anything like the parent.

If you are purchasing your seeds at the local hardware store or large discount store you are probably purchasing HYBRID seeds. Most heirloom seeds are found in mail-order catalogs or online. I mentioned in my recent gardening post some great references for heirloom seeds (click the link here to see the list: heirloom seed sources).

Avid gardeners and those who practice a self-sufficient lifestyle work hard to keep their heirloom seeds going, year after year. My grandmother always saved her seeds year to year and she didn't have any special equipment or scientific methods for it.

So how do you learn to save seeds so you have them available for your use year after year? Here are some excellent links that will help you learn more about seed saving and get you on your way.

Seed Savers Exchange

Why and How to Save Seeds

International Seed Saving Institute

Kids Gardening - Finding, Gather and Saving Seeds - this is a website with a ton of information and great ideas for projects with your children.

How To Save Heirloom Seeds

1 comment:

Bullseye said...

This is a post that will be very helpful to those new to gardening and veterns alike. Heirloom seeds are by far the best way to start and keep a food supply. Open pollinated seeds can also be saved and replanted with success. Great info TN, keep up the great work.

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