Saving your organic vegetable seed can have a number of advantages. Growing organic vegetables from your own seed will save you money and at the same time you will be contributing to the variety of seeds available for future generations.
As commercial seed supplies become more genetically refined, older or heritage varieties of plants become scarce. The simple truth is that growing more and different types of vegetables means there is less likelihood of disease. In the nineteenth century a potato blight was directly responsible for the Irish potato famine, which led to the death of more than a million people.
Could this happen again?
Gardeners worldwide have become concerned about the loss of diversity in seed production. One solution to the problem has been the establishment of gene banks in various parts of the world, but there’s no guarantee that these seed deposits would survive war, economic depression or natural disasters. buy flower seeds online
Now however, duplicate samples, or ‘spare’ copies, of seeds held in world gene banks have been stored away in an underground cavern on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago. This seed vault now provides insurance against the loss of seeds in gene banks, as well as a refuge for seeds in case of large-scale regional or global crises.
Seed diversity is extremely important and organic gardeners everywhere can play their part in preserving our seed heritage.
Tips for collecting seeds
If you have a variety of plants in your garden it’s a good idea to limit your collecting to the seeds that are most expensive, are collected easily, or are special varieties. No need to waste time picking and storing seeds that are cheap and easy to buy from seed merchants.
Larger seeds such as peas, beans and broad beans are heavy and bulky and cost more to buy, but are definitely the easiest to collect and store. Choose seeds from the best plants rather than grabbing them from plants that go to seed early.
If you do collect peas and beans, allow them to dry on the plant before picking. If the weather is wet, take up the whole plant and hang it somewhere to dry.
Self seeding plants
Plants that produce seedlings without interference from you will be the foundation of your eco garden. When seedlings appear, mulch them to stop the weeds and add fertilizer such as dried chicken manure or liquid manure. When the seedlings are strong enough they can be transplanted to other parts of the garden. Plants that self-sow easily include carrot, spring onion, parsley, parsnip, beetroot and celery.
Your seeds are your insurance and they are best saved and ‘banked’ for your garden’s future.