Why buy seeds when you can grow your own?
Many gardeners buy their seeds from shops, nurseries or recognised seed companies for one or more reason: either they are unsure how to go about saving their own or they forget and leave it too late, or more likely they will simply buy afresh for next season.
Save seeds – save money
The fact is that most packets of seeds are expensive so you can certainly save money by creating your own as opposed to buying them from shops or online seed companies every year, and you will at least know that you have fresh ones to use the following season.
Saving seeds at the end of the season from plants you have grown is, for the keen gardener, quite an exciting time because he/she knows that all things being equal they will have a similar crop next year to the one which has just passed. Canny gardeners also understand that the more land/garden they have, the more they can save by creating their own seed bank.
Is it viable to create your own seeds?
That really depends on the plants in question and what they cost in the shops. We would probably hesitate to save carrot seeds when a new packet costs circa £2 for 1,000, but plants like runner beans are a different matter. Runner bean seeds cost between £2.25 and £3.50 for between 30 and 50 seeds, so just by leaving some good, big seed pods on the plant at the end of the season will ensure a good saving.
Your own Chilli seeds can save you an enormous amount of money as some such as the Carolina Reaper (mega hot) cost between £3.99 to £4.50 for between 6 and 10 seeds, depending on the source. Also, chillies can be difficult to grow in anything but the right conditions so the seeds you wish to grow need to be inexpensive as only one or two of that 6 or 10 may germinate.
How to save your seeds
Having picked out and noted your best plants you can then take the pods from the plant and dry them in the house or greenhouse. Don’t rush this process but just leave them to dry naturally, and when that has happened you can take them from the pods and store them in packets. We advocate that you label them to save confusion next season.
Flower seeds are slightly different in that lots of varieties don’t cost a fortune and some like the Trilliums have to be used the next year to be any good. On the other hand, others such as the Scabious will store for several seasons, so it is best checking out what is most suitable for your garden.
Exchanging seeds is ever popular amongst keen gardeners, but are their seeds disease free? If you're not sure, best to buy guaranteed germ free ones from a nursery or seed company the first year and save from what you grow.