Experienced organic gardeners have been saving seeds for as long as they have been gardening. It may sound like a tiring exercise, but it offers numerous benefits. For instance, you save money you could have used to purchase the seeds when planting season comes; good quality seeds are passed from one generation to another, and you protect biodiversity. You thrive by growing plants that are in sync with your garden soil and climate. After some years, these seeds grow better and offer better produce in your organic garden because they have adapted.
How to save seeds
You do not just save all plant seeds that you had grown. Choose the best plants. Healthy plants that offered good yields, vegetables and fruits you enjoy eating as well as flowers you cannot stop admiring. Never save hybrid seeds; they have been created artificially and will yield inferior produce. Plants that reproduce through open pollination or cross pollination are the best for seed saving. They are non-hybrid and reliable so long as they do not cross pollinate with other plants from a similar species.
To save seeds, harvest them after the dew has dried and on a sunny day. Remove all pulp and fiber. If you must, wash the slime off in a mild bleach mixture and lay the seeds on paper or towel to dry preferably under the sun. Shake plants like lettuce, dill, and flowers whose seeds scatter quickly over a paper bag daily until you have had enough seeds. Organic seeds for plants like beans, sunflower or pepper can be handpicked. Dry all these seeds under the sun or room temperature as long as possible or until they are completely moisture-free before storing them.
Tomatoes may require more preparation before saving. Slice the tomatoes at the middle and scoop the seeds, goop and all content out. Put the seeds in a container, add a few teaspoons of water and cover with a plastic wrap. Poke a hole in the plastic wrap and place the container in a warm area such as on a windowsill. Stir the mixture daily for 2 to 3 days until it ferments. Fermentation kills diseases and bad seeds. Non-viable seeds float while viable once sink to the bottom. Remove the non-viable seeds and pour the remaining mixture into a sieve. Rinse it with cold water and dry them on paper or towel.
Where to save seeds
When savings seeds, store them in a dry place. Moist areas may cause them to grow mold. Buy desiccant packs, plastic containers, glass jars or paper envelopes that keep seeds dry for long. Remember to label the containers to differentiate the seeds. All seeds should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place until planting season arrives.
Saving organic garden seeds at the end of every growing season not only saves you money but also ensures that you enjoy another delectable harvest. Thus, if you are passionate about organic gardening, you should embrace seed saving. Preserve plants that flourish in your garden and develop strains that adapt to your local climatic conditions.