Seed saving has been around for ages. It began way back when our forefathers started growing organic heirloom varieties and decided to save the seeds so they can keep the consistency and distinct qualities of the crops.
Although seed saving was more popular back then, it is starting to make a comeback among home gardeners nowadays!
More and more organic gardeners now realize the benefits of saving seeds and are getting involved in the practice. If you’re curious about this wonderful hobby and what it can do for you, then go ahead and read these 7 practical reasons below.
Hopefully by the end of the article, you’ll also be convinced to start saving your own seeds at home!
Saving Seeds: 7 Reasons Why
1. Money Savings. Every time you buy a seed variety, you invest in your future. For example, I just bought some expensive ‘Midori Giant’ soybean seed, and I feel better about the high price tag because I know I’ll have the variety as long as I continue saving seeds from my plants.
2. Seed Security. Hundreds of excellent plant varieties have been discontinued as big corporations have consolidated the seed industry and focused on more profitable hybrids. If you save your own seed, however, you control the supply. I save seed for ‘Miragreen’ and ‘Blizzard’ peas, ‘Lutz Green Leaf’ beets, and ‘Scarlet Keeper’ carrots because these varieties all grow well here in Maine but have become difficult to find in seed catalogs.
3. Regional Adaptation. This is where saving vegetable seeds can get exciting. Most commercially available seed has been selected because it performs fairly well across the entire country if given synthetic fertilizers. (Several companies now offer seeds selected specifically to perform well in organic conditions — but this isn’t the norm.) When you save seed from the best-performing plants grown on your own land and with your unique cultural conditions, you gradually develop varieties that are better adapted to your soil, climate and growing practices.
4. Consistent Quality. To keep their prices competitive when producing open-pollinated (OP) seed crops, large seed suppliers rarely “rogue” the fields to pull out inferior or off-type plants. This means the OP seed they sell to retail seed companies may have a lot of off-types in it. For gardeners and market farmers, that translates to loss of production per foot of row. To avoid this loss, either save your own seed, or pay more for premium seed produced by small, organic producers whose seeds cost more because they properly select for uniformity and rogue out any plants that aren’t true to type.
5. The Joy of Learning. Some people are drawn to the science of seed saving because they want to take their gardening experience to a higher level. The more seeds you save, the more you inevitably learn about botany and the plant kingdom.
6. Explore Heirloom Varieties. Some folks like to grow heirloom varieties because doing so gives them a connection to our garden heritage. Others choose non-hybrid seeds because they don’t want to support the industrial agriculture system that increasingly controls our food supply. Plus, some older, open-pollinated varieties produce more nutritious crops than do modern hybrids bred mostly for high yields and long shelf life.
7. Influence Crop Traits. Gene pools are incredibly elastic. By carefully observing your plants, you can save seed from those plants that best meet your needs for germination, ripening time, yield, specific fruit shape, flavor, storage qualities, less seediness, better disease resistance, bloom color, or other unique traits within the variety. With time, most of the plants you grow will have your desired traits.
Article Source: Mother Earth News