from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Save a Seed or Two

I’m finally getting around to tidying up some of my flower gardens, and one of the benefits of my tardiness is that there are plenty of seedpods filled with ripe seeds. In a matter of minutes I collected hundreds of seeds for replanting. Saving seeds is one of gardening’s best-kept secrets. When else in life can you get something for nothing?

Some seeds, like these from a columbine seedpod, are especially small.

I’m finally getting around to tidying up some of my flower gardens, and one of the benefits of my tardiness is that there are plenty of seedpods filled with ripe seeds. In a matter of minutes I collected hundreds of seeds for replanting. Saving seeds is one of gardening’s best-kept secrets. When else in life can you get something for nothing?

The most obvious reason to save seeds is to save money. Buying a packet of zinnia or calendula seeds will set you back a few dollars and it may contain as few as a dozen seeds. A single flower will usually yield that many, or more.

There are other rewards to saving seeds.

  • There’s something satisfying about the process of nurturing a plant from seed to seed and completing that circle of plant life.
  • By repeatedly saving seeds from plants with traits you desire, over time you can develop strains of plants that are uniquely adapted to your growing conditions.
  • Since the dawn of agriculture people have collected seeds for replanting. So, when you save seeds, you become a part of this legacy.

Saving seeds is pretty straightforward, but if you’re new to seed-saving, it pays to have a little background information. Learn how it’s done in my new article: A Garden in Your Hand.

More Information

Suzanne DeJohn
Gardener’s Supply

3 Comments

  1. Ana Lucy
    December 6, 2011    

    I agree completely. I also leave the seeds on the stems because birds love to come around and eat them. The ones that I “squash” and cover with mulch, the chipmunks and other small critters eat during the winter when snow completely covers my garden.

    Ana Lucy

  2. P Mathews
    December 14, 2011    

    A curse on the tidy gardener. Those seeds are food for birds and small critters, and as noted in the article, a way for your garden to become self sustaining. Old leaves and stems become shelter from the winter weather and then decay, adding new organic material to your soil. A garden that provides food and shelter for year round birds is healthy and vibrant. Why would you want anything else?

  3. October 25, 2012    

    I agree :)

    The plant you intend collecting seed from needs to be organic/ heirloom.

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