If you're gardening on a budget, start your home vegetable garden with free seeds.
To really save money by growing your own food, save the garden seeds too. You can save a lot of money just by saving the seeds.
When the veggies in your garden start getting ripe, it's time for you to start thinking about saving seeds from your best plants.
If you don't use all the seeds, share and swap with your neighbors or family members who also have a home vegetable garden. Your community may also have a garden group that you want to join so you can participate in seed swapping. It's the best way to get free seeds for your home vegetable garden.
When saving seeds, remember to only save seeds from open pollinated plants that will produce the same crop next year. Don't save seeds from hybrid plants or you could wind up with something tough and tasteless next year. An open pollinated plant is one that is naturally pollinated by animals or the wind.
To be sure your seeds produce the same next year, don't plant with other species as they are likely to cross-pollinate. If the plant produces a flower with seeds, they are less likely to pollinate.
Tomatoes, beans, peas, lettuce and peppers are good picks if you are saving seeds for the first time and didn't isolate the plants from other varieties.
One lettuce plant can produce hundreds of seeds. If you'll let one head of lettuce go to seed instead of harvesting it, you'll produce a mountain of extra salad by saving the seeds. You don't have to plant it all next year, seeds last for a long time.
You want the seed pod to turn brown. You don't want any green and you want to pick them when they are dry but before they open. After picking, let them dry more.
Put the seeds in a container where they can "breathe" such as a mason jar with holes in the lid.
For your tomato seeds, pick a ripe, firm, juicy tomato and ferment the seeds in the pulp. Place the center of the fruit in a jar and cover with water. Cover the jar with a loose lid (do not tighten) for 3-5 days. The good tomato seeds will be at the bottom. Dry the seeds on a plate or paper towel in the sun before you place in an airtight container for next year. Personally, I prefer a Ziploc bag to store seeds.
May God Bless You in the Home Vegetable Garden with Plenty of Free Seeds!!