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Create Your Own Seed Bank

In the beginning of my gardening on this side of the hemisphere, I used to buy small, yet expensive packs of six veggie seedlings, such as tomatoes, kale, salads and herbs until I realised I could essentially do the same thing with buying much less-expensive packets of seeds.

That worked for a couple of years, until I again had a breakthrough of epic proportions - an Eureka moment to be sure - that I could actually grow veggies for basically nothing by saving my own seeds!

Some plants have obvious seed pods, such as snow peas and green beans, which are easy to save, by letting some of the pods remain on the plant to dry, after the rest have been harvested. Once dried, you only have to crack open the pods and squeeze out the dried seeds.

But some plants, such as tomatoes, have a gelatinous sac surrounding the seeds that prevents early germination, and my first attempt to save tomato seeds left me with a clump of moldy goo.

I found out that one must breakdown the mucus-layer first by a process of fermentation. To do this, soak the seeds in water for one or two days, and the gel will slough off the seeds. Rinse and drain the seeds a final time, and allow them to dry on a plate with a bit of absorbent paper before storing away until next year.

Not only can you save your vegetable seeds, to use in your garden next year, but did you know that all those dried seed heads from your lupins, echinacea, grasses etc can be stored or even dispersed in late fall to seed other areas of your garden - for free!

#seedsaving #seeds #tomatoes #veggies #vegetablegarden

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