Gardening can be a very rewarding activity, especially when you reap home grown vegetables, or have a lush landscape right in your own backyard. Now, has this got you thinking of a nice garden for yourself?
Did You Know?
The biggest seed is the Coco-de-mer, or Lodoicea maldivica. It is also known as the double coconut, which weighs up to 30 kilos (66 lb). On the other hand, the smallest seeds in the world are the Epiphytic orchid seeds. Roughly, a billion of these seeds weigh just around one gram.
First things first! For those of you interested in gardening with seeds need to know some basics. Seed plants fall into two main groups; angiosperms and gymnosperms.
Gymnosperms do not have flowers. Their seeds are carried away from the parent plant by animals, birds, insects, water, and wind.
Angiosperms are flowering plants. Their seeds are formed and developed inside a female reproductive part of the flower, which usually ripens into a fruit. But don't worry, you can have seeds of almost any plant you desire.
Not to state the obvious, but when you talk to people with similar interests, people have a tendency to surprise you. Use your social networking contacts too for this purpose. They may even be living in the same area as you.
Or better yet, the next time you visit the local market, ask a few farmers for some seeds. Asking never hurts. You might find someone who may generously share some of his seeds with you, or at least point you towards someone else who may have some.
Use the power of technology. You could join groups on Facebook and other social networks which would help procure seeds for free. You will find many like-minded people on Internet, though you need to be a bit careful who you deal with. There are also a few organizations that give out seeds for free, depending on the purpose and end result of the project.
Seed libraries are small groups of people who lend and share seeds. It works on an honor system; you can take seeds for free with the understanding that you need to return them at the end of the season.
Often, small communities of gardeners get together and swap seeds that they have saved from their garden the year before. They bring in their saved seeds, or seeds that they had purchased, and swap them with those that they are interested in growing. To participate in a seed swap, you will have to take seeds to exchange.
Some seed swaps may also be set up to encourage new gardeners. Gardening is even more fun if you have people to share your experiences with. Join communities and make new friends. This will help you grow and flourish along with your garden.
If you are one of those who doesn't like asking for seeds, there is another option for you. Like many, you too buy vegetables from the market.
Why not save the seeds from the vegetables that you have already paid for? So, the next time you cut your vegetables, scoop those seeds out from your favorite vegetables and save them to grow later.
Tomatoes and Cucumbers
The seeds of tomatoes and cucumbers are enveloped by a gel-like quoting, to enable them to germinate and prevent them from rotting, and to give them a better shelf-life so that they can last a little longer.
➤ Carefully scoop out the seeds into a container. ➤ Add enough water and place the container in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight. ➤ Stir the contents once a day. ➤ Carefully change the water everyday. Let the floating debris wash way.
➤ Wait for a few more days for the good seeds to drop, and then rinse away the top, clearing it of any debris. ➤ In a couple of days, you will have some seeds at the bottom. ➤ Spread the seeds on a non-stick surface and allow them to dry for a few days.
➤ Place this in a warm, dry place, until the seeds are fully dry. ➤ To store the seeds, choose an airtight container and a cool, dark place, like your refrigerator. This will simulate a winter climate. But remember not place the seeds in the freezer.
➤ When you wish to use them, simply place some cotton in egg containers. Place a few seeds in each and water them drop by drop, till they begin to germinate. Place the egg containers in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Then shift them to smaller containers, and as the plant grows, find a better and permanent place for them to fruit.
➤ Cut open a pepper, exposing the seeds. ➤ Be careful not to touch the seeds with your bare hands. It can cause itching and burning.
➤ Brush the seeds off the stem. ➤ Keep the seeds aside to dry. ➤ You can store them in air-tight container, in a cool and dry area.
➤ Choose a well-ripened squash, break it open, and remove the seeds. ➤ Hold the seeds in running water, and rub them to remove debris. ➤ Then lay them out to dry. ➤ Store them in airtight container in a cool and dry area.
In cantaloupe and muskmelon, the seeds will have a membrane attached to them.
➤ Wash off the membrane, and lightly rub the seeds to remove any debris.
➤ For watermelons, simply rinse the seeds under running water to remove all traces of flesh. ➤ Then lay them out to dry. ➤ Store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry area.
Peas and Beans
➤ Pick only the brown pods from the vines, and remove the peas and beans from their pods. ➤ Place them in a dish and leave them out to dry. ➤ Move them around at least once a day. ➤ Bean, can be stored in cardboard canisters.
Radish and Lettuce
Radishes and lettuce also produce seeds in pods. This happens after the plant has flowered. With these vegetables, it would be best to let the pods dry on the plant. The dry ones are prone to bursting and spreading their seeds around.
➤ It is best advised to put a paper bag on the seed heads and tie it to the base. ➤ Or you could just pick the dry pods off the ground. ➤ Store the seeds in airtight containers in a cool and dry area.
Now you know a few great ways how to get vegetable seeds for free. Remember, making deals online does carry a risk of fraud. So, be wise and careful while dealing with random offers.