How to grow seeds in your garden

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Because of a strange heat wave we had in June, I seem to be growing more seeds than vegetables this year.  Now as they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  In that spirit I am planning on increasing the number of plants I will allow to completely go to seed this year.

I have always saved cilantro seeds, the first time it was almost an accident my daughter liked the pretty white flowers and after neglecting my garden at the end of the summer I had perfectly dried cilantro seeds on the plant.  Free and renewable supply of seeds, what could be better.  If I don’t have you convinced here are some more reasons:

Cheap: You really can’t beat free.  With the price of seeds increasing depending on the variety of seeds you grow this could save you a considerable amount of money per year.

Easy: The creation of seeds of seeds is a completely natural process that has been happening for millions of years.  In many cases you can do practically nothing other than harvest the seeds before the birds do.

Natural selection:  With a little attention you can hand select only your best plants to harvest seeds from.  If the plant survived to produce seeds it has to be at least a little disease tolerant and if you intentionally pick plants that bolted early you can also establish your own slow bolting variety.

Limited availability: Even with all the resources on the internet your favorite seed company may not always carry your favorite varieties or in some cases just a few seeds might be hard to come by.  If you play your cards right you may even be able to make a few bucks selling your rare seeds.

Seed Exchange: If you collect seeds you more than likely will get more seeds than you need for the next 2-3 years from a single plant.  This is a great supply to use for local or mail seed exchanges.  Not only are you supplying someone else with seeds they need but also adding seeds to your collection which you can harvest and repeat the process again.

Growing sprouts: If you are paying for seeds growing sprouts for some plant varieties can be pretty expensive…unless your seeds are free.  This is a good healthy way to use up some of those extra seeds you can’t get rid of any other way.

This year I am planning on harvesting spinach, pea, carrot, and radish seeds (along with my previous onions and cilantro) so stay tuned for more details.

4 Responses to “How to grow seeds in your garden”

  1. Cheyenne Says:

    I was just thinking about this as I watched our cilantro bolt. Have you had success with this from purchased plants or just with plants you've already grown from seed? I keep reading about seeds from commercially grown/hybrids not being viable/true to the parent. But I'm always game for an experiment! Thanks for the post as a nudge/encouragement.


  2. Dave Says:

    Our cilantro is going to seed now too. I'm taking a similar strategy to save as many seeds as possible this year to reduce my seed budget next year. I'm converting over to heirloom tomatoes with a few more each year and saving everything I can.


  3. Robj98168 Says:

    Thigs are bolting here as well! I saved som chive seeds. Saved some seeds from a syrian squash that I made Kousa Mahshi from And did you hear- the Flower and Garden show was saved! New buyer came in and bought the show!


  4. Jeremiah Weiland Says:

    Just a little correction, hand selecting the best plants isn’t natural selection, it’s artificial selection. Natural selection occurs when the plant is left to its own natural processes of reproducing.


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