One of the most important things you can learn to do when trying to become more self-reliant is to learn how to save seeds for next year’s garden. It used to be that farmers naturally saved seeds from their crops to grow more the following season, but many home gardeners have fallen out of the practice of saving seeds, and rely on nursery plants or a new pack of seeds for each new planting.
Learning how to save seeds will save you a ton of money over time. But not all seeds are saved in the same way, and not all seeds can be saved. Once your plants have gone to seed, it’s important that you know exactly the right time to harvest those seeds, whether they need any particular treatment, and how to properly store them.
One of the absolute BEST resources I’ve found on the subject of seed saving is the book Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. It’s extremely thorough, covering practically every vegetable you can think of from A-Z. It is also very scientific, so if you’re the kind of person who wants to know botanical names and very detailed information on specific plant varieties, this is a great book to have. Not only does the author cover how to harvest and save seeds from each type of plant, but she also gives growing recommendations for each region.
- Heirlooms vs. Hybrids
- Avoiding Cross-Pollination
- Seed Cleaning Methods
- Seed Storage Techniques
- Specific information on 160 vegetables
If you are a gardener, large or small, I would HIGHLY recommend that you have a copy of Seed to Seed on your bookshelf. There’s a lot of satisfaction in breaking yourself from having to buy seeds every year. And this is just the resource you need to get started.