November 19, 2009

2009 Saved Seeds

My small but precious stash of seeds saved for next year's garden.These seeds are a real gift because I never planned on having seeds to save from my garden this year. In fact, a year ago I didn't know I would have a garden this summer. Just hoping. I bought quite a few seeds on faith and somehow managed to get quite a few heirlooms. Happily, I have been able to save several:

  • Clemson Spineless Okra
  • National Pickling Cucumber
  • Casaba Melon (from a seed saving neighbor)
  • Waltham Butternut Squash
  • Small Sugar Pumpkin
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans
  • Mammoth Gray Sunflowers

I also have one Table Queen Acorn Squash in the pantry which I will save the seeds from. I hope to be able to save seeds from my fall garden as well.

The dates on the envelopes (hard to read, I know) are planting dates. The first is for spring, the second for a fall planting. I'm thinking that if I file them by date rather than alphabetically, I'll have a better chance of getting everything in on time.

My plan is that 2010 will be the last year I purchase vegetable seeds, barring unforeseen circumstances or an impulse to grow something I don't already have. My herb gardens will be a work in progress for several years, so I assume I'll still be buying seeds for that.

As much as I love the prospect of being a self-sustaining gardener, I will miss pouring over seed catalogues in the early spring. Still, to grow all my own saved seeds will be worth it.

2009 Saved Seeds photos & text copyright November 2009 


Woolly Bits said...

I always store my seeds according to sowing time, otherwise I'd forget half of them... though I don't manage to keep all my own varieties, mostly due to the very wet autumn weather:(( but sometimes with herbs I don't find it worthwhile to buy a packet of seeds, where I might end up with dozens of plants - and only need one or two. it's not the price of the seed packet, but all the work involved in getting a nice big plant. examples are lovage, wormwood etc. where one plant will be plenty for normal needs. I just wish basil etc. would grow like wormwood and co.:))

Julie said...

You are one amazing women!!!

Renee Nefe said...

oh goodie! Can't wait to see next year's did an awesome job with this year's.

Soon your grocer will wonder where you went. ;)

Leigh said...

Bettina, you bring up a point that I'm pondering, i.e. whether to buy seeds for some herbs or just get plants. It's certainly cheaper to just get seeds, but as you say, there's a lot of extra work that goes with it.

Julie, thanks! I'm just doing what I love. :)

Renee, *LOL. I certainly hope so!

Nina said...

We really only have one growing season which is fairly short at that. All our plants are planted in the spring. If they are frost hardy like some lettuces, peas etc, they can go in before May 24-June 1st. If they are tender, then they go in after, though it does depend somewhat on the weather. It really does suck when you plant your tomatoes and then you get a late bit of snow!
Sometimes it pays off here to start herbs from seed. A cool, gloomy summer can mean you really might need several plants to get a good harvest.

Marie said...

I agree with Julie, ONE amazing woman. how great!!!

Dorothy said...

My Mum saved her purple runner bean seeds for many years, until she found she had accidentally selected out the genes that made them special and had green beens only!

We save a lot of seed but also belong to seed swap groups and the Heritage Seed Library.

Re. herb plants, I grew lots from seed 20 years ago, and have several plants that have moved house several times over the years.

I find plants (and shrubs and trees) grown from seed are much better adapted to local climate conditions, and much hardier plants.

The secret for getting basil to germinate is it needs a period of at least 18 degrees plus sunlight to germinate, so we surface sow in a pot that will fit on a windowsill when the weather is warm and sunny, potting on as soon as the seedings have their first true leaves.

Theresa said...

You are woman of amazing industry Leigh. If I ever get a garden going, I know just who to tap for some help!

Leigh said...

Nina, it sounds as though it would be a challenge to live in your growing season, not impossible, just a challenge. It would make every day a precious one. I would probably be tempted to get a greenhouse.

Marie and Theresa, I don't know about amazing, but I sure am busy!

Dot, thank you for that tidbit on basil! Very helpful. I've had success with basil from seed some years, some years not. That is probably the reason.

I think seed exchanges are are an excellent way of getting new seeds. I will have to see if I can find one as well.