Grow an Endless Garden: Start Saving Seeds Today

Grow an Endless Garden | Start Saving Seeds Today

Grow an Endless Garden | Start Saving Seeds Today

Endless productivity is every gardener’s dream; saving seeds will help you turn your garden into perfect circle, from seed to plant to harvest to more seeds to plant next year.

Have you ever wondered what people did before seed packets?

We take for granted that we can visit the seed racks at nurseries and big box stores and/or scan seed catalogs, both paper and virtual. It’s so easy to fill up a shopping basket with seed packets! Guess what? Saving seeds is not only NOT hard at all – it’s fun!

Let’s start with a spring garden walk-thru, from a seed saving and food preserving perspective. Come on, let’s go!

The garden has been planted for a mere 3 weeks, a perfect time to take a peek. The plants are small in size, but BIG in potential.

In the video I talk about the what and why of seed saving in my homestead garden – in hopes that you will adopt some of these principles and practices.

{ But mostly I hope you fall in love with the romance of seed saving. }

Grandma’s seeds

When I was a young teen, my Norwegian grandma gave me some seeds from her garden: lettuce, hollyhocks, and money plant. She had been growing these seeds since she and Grandpa farmed in North Dakota.

{ I didn’t know anything about saving seeds, so I didn’t do a good job stewarding them. }

But it got me curious and I made it my business to learn.

The Seed Saver’s Exchange

At age 16 I discovered the Seed Saver’s Exchange. It was just a small mention in a Sunset magazine at a doctor’s office and I was immediately excited!

{ I’ve been saving seeds ever since. }

Techniques to learn

  • Distancing crops for pure seed – most plants need space between them and others of their kind to prevent cross-pollination
  • Doable vs ideal or perfect – don’t worry if you can’t provide ideal conditions for perfectly pure seeds; save seeds anyway
  • Growing varieties with preserving in mind – fermenting, canning, dehydrating, storing, and specific recipes
  • Hand pollination of certain crops – special techniques needed to keep some crops pure, such as squash, melons, and cucumbers
  • Growing open pollinated varieties – these will produce offspring like themselves in your next garden
  • Playing with hybrids – hybrids are crosses, you never know what you will get when you save seeds, but with patience you can stabilize a hybrid and turn it into an open pollinated variety
  • Saving seeds from the produce aisle – try saving seeds from grocery store peppers and melons you especially enjoy
  • Storing and organizing your seeds – keep them cool, dry, and dark

Seed saving is a skill worth learning. It anchors your family food supply. Over time, seeds to adapt to your gardening conditions. This equates to stronger plants, better resistance to pests and disease, and bigger harvests.

Saving seeds from your own garden is also fun and intensely satisfying.

Noah’s ark

Be a plant rescuer: save heirloom vegetable, fruit, nut, berry, herb, and grain varieties for future generations of gardeners.

Thank you for joining me on this walk-thru our homestead garden as I explained what we grow, how we use and preserve it, and our reasons for saving our own seeds instead of buying packets of “new and improved” varieties every year.


Be sure to choose veggies your family likes to eat! Plan how you will preserve them and how you will cook with them fresh. Gather recipes and preserving tools ahead of harvest time.

For example, you could can your bean harvest or turn them into Dilly Beans.

Tomatoes lend themselves to many recipes: sauces, crush pack with herbs, and more!

See more a gallery of pictures in Full Circle Tomatoes.


🌼 Seed Saver’s Exchange

🌼 Seed to Seed, Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth

🌼 The Seed Garden, The Art and Practice of Seed Saving, edited by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegel

🌼 Metal tin or plastic container to store seeds

🌼 Photo box card file for seed records

🌼 Make a Garden Tool Basket

🌼 Potted Lemon Grove, Grow Meyer Lemon Trees from Seeds

Start a cardfile

Gather these supplies:

  • 4×6-inch (10×15 cm) photo box or index card file
  • Alphabetical tabs
  • Pack of 4×6-inch (10×15 cm) index cards

Use one card per type of seeds you save. Record the name of the variety, the scientific name, where and when you obtained seeds, and any other info you deem useful. File cards by vegetable type behind (or in front of) the corresponding tab in your cardfile.

Being able to refer to this info the next season is a gift you give your future self.

Happy gardening,



  • nny Sister and I collected seeds for years and enjoyed putting them up the cool fall evenings. The biggest expense many local growers have is seeds. My sister gave many farmers the start up seeds. May Her memory live on through her seeds.

    • What a wonderful thing to do. Blessings to you and to your sister’s memory.


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