Do you save seeds from your garden?

Canada
August 22, 2009 2:37pm CST
I know this subject could fit in the gardening interest but I'm looking at it more from a frugal perspective today :) I just spent a few minutes gathering seeds from two small planters of "Sparky" marigolds and I already have enough to pretty much fill one of those small brown bank envelopes. Marigold heads generate a ton of seeds so, I imagine once I get done with all the planters, I'll have enough to share with my family and neighbors too LOL! Do you save seeds from certain plants and flowers to keep your gardening expenses low? What are your favorite seeds to collect? Have you ever been part of a seed swap?
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6 responses
@marguicha (102427)
• Chile
22 Aug 09
I have always saved seeds from my garden and have even stolen seeds from the streets and other gardens. I give some to my children or give them seedlings. Marigolds are wonderful at that. And I´m doing an experiment this year (in my country it´s a mild winter now). I planted garlic cloves that had sprouted. I have about 10 plants. A lady told me you could even cook with the leaves and they would give a mild garlic flavour.
• Canada
22 Aug 09
I know some people who do that too, marguicha... they go to public parks and other public areas and collect the seed heads from the flowers. I know you're not supposed to "tamper" with public plantings but it seems like such a waste for them to be allowed to die and be pulled out and the seeds not retained. The garlic sounds wonderful! I remember the first time, when I was a child, that my dad encouraged me to plant potatoes that had sprouted in a forgotten bag. He gave me my own small garden space and when they were ready, he helped me dig them up. He was so proud of me for taking care of them because I was very young
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@playapal (894)
• United States
27 Aug 09
I beg, borrow and steal seeds from friends, neighbors and public places. When I eat fresh fruits and veggies I save the seeds and throw them into my flower beds. So far I have had cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, big boy tomatoes, cantalope, zucchini and more growing and mingling with my flowers. If I am walking down the streets and see really cool flowers that I don't have and there is a seed head, I have been known to pluck it. Of course all of my friends and I swap back and forth, but never anything formally.
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• Canada
28 Aug 09
Wow what a great idea... it's funny that I rarely think about the seeds when I'm actually eating fresh produce. I should be more aware. I also don't see anything wrong with plucking seed heads when they are abundant. My ex sister-in-law started a beautiful plot of oriental poppies that way -- just one seed head from those produces SO many seeds. She picked one from a public garden (felt guilty about it too) but ended up with a good-sized plot of lovely flowers :) Have you ever gotten a specific plant into your garden that you really, really wanted by collecting that way?
@playapal (894)
• United States
28 Aug 09
I've actually gotten a few "treasures" that way. When I lived in the US my grandmother always had hollyhocks in her garden, they were there every year for as long as I can remember. When I moved to Mexico I never saw hollyhocks and always missed them. Then one day I was walking around Cozumel and saw them! They were right at the edge of the yard leaning over towards the sidewalk. I just couldn't resist, I had to grab a seed head and walk away quickly. Now I have beautiful holly hocks in my garden here.
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@peavey (16866)
• United States
28 Aug 09
I save all kinds of seeds: Lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, corn, beans... okra, mustard and I even got to save some onion seed this year. I'm always watching for seeds that mature. Some people think my garden is messy because I don't pull the plants when they quit producing, but wait for seeds to form.
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• Canada
28 Aug 09
I think it's just sensible, peavey. Right now, I have some plants too that are looking less than attractive but I'm doing the same thing - waiting on the seeds. It doesn't make sense to me to keep spending money on the same things each year when I can collect them for free LOL I also make sure to divide my perennials, like hostas and stella d'oro lilies, so that I can have additional beds for only the cost of my own labor :)
@melanie652 (2525)
• United States
23 Aug 09
We've saved seeds from Cantaloupe and honeydew melons. We dried them and put in the deep freeze then planted in the spring. We've gotten some really nice homegrown cantaloupe and honeydew last year and this year. They taste better than what you buy at the store. We also saved squash and zucchini seeds, but they didn't come up this year. We have quite a few marigolds in our flowerbeds. I'll have to be sure to save the seeds for replanting next year. I like having marigolds. They're easy to take care of and I've read they're a natural mosquito repellent. I think they naturally repel other bugs too. I've heard of people planting them in their gardens.
• Canada
23 Aug 09
Oh I love cantaloupe and honeydew. I can't wait until I live somewhere that I have more space to devote to fruits and veggies that spread (like cucumbers, zucchini and other squash too). I lived in the country for a few years and have been back in the suburbs for about 10 years. I'm aching to be back to a rural lifestyle so hopefully it'll be in my future someday :))) As to the marigolds, I use them for flower planters and hanging baskets but I also plant them around all my tomato plants. I read about about their repellent qualities, too, so I try to make it a habit to do that. Plus, it kind of makes the vegetable garden a little more lively since almost everything is green besides the marigolds LOL
@malamar (784)
• Canada
22 Sep 09
I have always saved the seeds from my garden. I use to sell the seeds, but now I take it one step further. Every spring, I plant the seeds in little starter cups, and then I sell the plants to those not willing to pay retail prices. You can make a fair bit of change doing this. For example, the rose of sharon is a beautiful flowering bush-like plant that produces numerous off-shoots. I used to pull these plants out and toss them in the recycle bin until I happened to notice how expensive they are to purchase. The sale of these plants alone pay for my annual gardening expenses each year.
• United States
7 Sep 09
I do save some and I disburse some hoping they'd replant themselves wich many of them do. I just collect all seeds from whatever plants I have and keep them in an envelope. I've never been part of a seed swap, I've never had enough of anyone type to share them.
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