Grow Your Own Seeds

Find out how you can be self-reliant when you grow your own seeds for food, including tips on when to harvest seeds, spacing the crop, population size and harvesting seeds.

| October/November 2003

Learn what you need to know to grow your own seeds and save seeds for future crops.

Tips on Saving Seeds

Saving Tomato Seed
Saving Improved Seed From Your Garden

Seed saving has helped humans grow their own food in the face of changing demands and environmental pressures ever since they began planting seeds. Historically, home seed saving was how uniquely adapted crop varieties were handed down from generation to generation for continued selection and adaptation.

Farmers and gardeners routinely saved the seed of their crops until the turn of the 20th century, when commercial agricultural interests planted the false idea among them that only skilled professionals were capable of handling this job.

Today, good reasons remain to continue saving seed of your own best garden vegetables. Open-pollinated pre-1970's vegetable varieties are fast disappearing from the commercial marketplace, pushed out by the "latest and greatest" new hybrids. Saving and sharing seed of such older varieties helps preserve their rich genetic heritage for farmers and gardeners of the future, and allows you to rub shoulders with your ancestors. And if these varieties are to be saved, home gardeners will have to do it; most of the professionals are headed another way.

Many home gardeners feel a sense of empowerment and satisfaction when they rely on their seed-saving abilities — one of the oldest basic human skills — to build up personal seed stocks as they strive for self-sufficiency. And with many seeds now costing $2 or more per packet, saving some of your own also can save you cold hard cash.

6/19/2012 2:30:54 PM

One fun way to excite kids about seeds and gardening is to grow a pet TickleMe Plant from seeds and watch in amazement how the leaves come together and the branches droop when Tickled. Just search pet TickleMe Plant or find it here.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!