A Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Sharing Seeds

Helping to acclimate a free and accessible source of seeds is a wonderful way to contribute to the overall health and vitality of your family and our greater community. Gardening for seed saving takes a little more forethought than gardening strictly for consumption.

If you are new to seed saving, try your hand at growing just one EASY crop for seed saving at a time, and grow other crops simply to enjoy. For urban gardening, where you have less control over what someone else might be growing nearby, space usually precludes some of the distance requirements for difficult crops. We always suggest starting with one of our “Easy” labeled seeds.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Choose only one variety of the crop you are intending to save seed from.
  • Grow multiple plants to give you better chances of successes and choices of seed to collect.
  • Harvest and eat the fruits of your labor, setting aside the very best of your harvest for seed collecting, thus ensuring good genetic qualities will be passed on to the next generation.
  • Don’t save seed from plants with infestations, or weak genetic traits. If the plant didn’t thrive for you, the seeds probably won’t produce future plants that will thrive for others.
  • Keep some seed for your next year’s garden and bring in your extra seeds with a properly filled out donation slip to any Pima County Public Library Branch.

For more information check out these resourcesopens a new window available through Pima County Public Library.

FAQ: How do I donate seeds?