Definition - What does Seed Saving mean?
In gardening and agriculture, seed saving refers to the practice of saving various types of reproductive material and seeds from plants such as flowers, herbs, grains, vegetables, and tubers for future use.
Seed saving was the traditional way that gardens and farms were maintained centuries ago. While commercial farmers rarely practice seed saving nowadays, it is still a common practice among home gardeners, especially for economical reasons.
MaximumYield explains Seed Saving
Open-pollinated seeds are the easiest to save, provided that they don’t cross-pollinate with other plant varieties, even if they happen to be of the same species.
Seed saving has been known to preserve genetic diversity, which is why the practice is often used to preserve plants that are on the verge of extinction, as well as heirlooms. Additionally, seed saving has also been shown to have a positive ecological impact since these plants provide food to beetles, butterflies, and bees.
Peppers are the easiest seeds to harvest since their seeds can simply be scraped out and allowed to dry in a shady and non-humid area. Gardeners should occasionally test the seeds to ensure that they’re ready for saving; seeds that bend require a bit more time, while seeds that instantly snap in half are considered ready.
Tomato and squash seeds can also be saved easily, they simply require washing and drying. There are complete guides on seed saving available that outline specific steps involved, including the washing, drying, storing, and labeling of seeds. The greater care taken during the seed saving process, the better chance of germination down the road.