Planting Seeds from Foods You Eat: Budget Gardening Tip

An inexpensive way to grow fruits and vegetables you know you’ll love is to plant the seeds from your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Seed saving has long been popular for reproducing plants from heirloom seeds, and it can easily be done from fruits and vegetables you purchase at the store or at a local market. First, start with organic produce, such as from farmers’ markets. These are the most likely to be of “heirloom” variety, and not hybrids, which can be first-generation seeds and may not reproduce. Then save the seeds from the fruits and vegetables you like and try planting a few in a small container. Keep them in a sunny windowsill, or plant outdoors once all danger of frost has passed, and water regularly. Soon you will have seedlings sprouting up, and by summer your very own fruits and vegetables. Seeds that work well include: tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and peas.

We recently planted a few beans out of a bagged dry bean soup mix. After just a few days, the seeds sprouted and after a couple of weeks, the plants had blooms. Now, nearly a month later, a few beans have arrived and soon will be large enough to pick. Once they are ready, we’ll be sure to set a few beans aside to dry and plant in the next growing season.

To find out more about seed saving or to purchase heirloom seeds, visit the Seed Savers Exchange.