I recently ordered a copy of Ken Druse’s Making More Plants. I wasn’t 10 pages into reading this beautiful book when I experienced serious pains. It was gardener’s guilt.

How many years have I gardened and failed to over-winter plants, start new plants from the ones I have, save seeds or pass along plant cuttings to my gardening friends? Druse makes it all seem so…so…natural. And worthwhile. And beautiful.

scarlet runner beans and pods

So this week during my fall garden cleanup, I made a particular effort to make a deposit into my ever-growing seed vault.

This is a scarlet runner bean, beautiful as much for its lovely vines and flowers as for its long bean pods. In fact, truth be told, I never ate the first bean because they became intricately intertwined with the malabar spinach that re-seeded itself and grows like kudzu in my garden.

But I did save the pods and now have seeds for next year. I easily have four times as many seeds as there were in the stingy seed packed I purchased last year. My plan is to try growing the vines up the clothesline poles and perhaps on a section of my white picket garden fence.


With all the news stories on Americans saving more, I must ask: Are you saving your seeds?

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  • I wish I had saved a few seeds from the Bell Pepper. The boy has just informed me that he wants to try to grow a pepper from seed. Too bad he didn’t realize that a few months ago.
    .-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..A Gardener’s Wish List =-.

  • Cindy, MCOK says:

    I’m a compulsive seed saver. I hate the thought of all those potential plants never making it to life! I have baskets and tubs and boxes and bags overflowing with envelopes and smaller bags and jars of seeds. I need to host a giveaway!

  • joene says:

    Making More Plants is a great resource – one I reach for often. As far as my seed saving goes, I’m really good at the easy stuff, like making sure most of the perennial sweet pea and morning glory seeds left on the vines in the fall make it to the ground where they can sprout next spring.
    .-= joene´s last blog ..A Veggie-wrap, please. =-.

  • I save some and some I just sprinkle throughout the garden like some mad garden fairy.~~dee
    .-= Dee/reddirtramblings´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, colorful November =-.

  • Leslie says:

    I am much more a “shake the seeds around now that they’re ready just before I deadhead” kind of gardener. I did just that with the garlic chive seedheads yesterday.
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..GBBD November 2009 =-.

  • Beautiful! Love it!


  • Robin says:

    I saved some and would have saved more. The cooler wet weather prevented the annuals from blooming as much as usual, so there were fewer seeds to be had.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Let Me Introduce You To Lestoil =-.

  • Carol says:

    I go through spells where I save seeds like crazy and other times I just buy what I need. I always want to do better of course…

  • admin says:

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you, seed savers, for visiting. I see there are some hoarders, some fairy sprinklers and some very efficient spread-them-while-I’m there gardeners. I tend to hoard a bit. So much so that I’ve been thinking I need to investigate participating in one of the seed exchanges.

    Thanks for your comments!


  • I do like Dee & Leslie and direct sow as I clean up around the garden. Not the neatest results if you are an anal formal-look gardener, but I like to find surprises popping willy-nilly the next spring.
    Hope many of you in the DC-area can join us for the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange at the last Saturday of January to share your seeds! We’ve had it declared National Seed Swap Day – so even if you are not in DC-region, feel free to join us in spirit by hosting your own local Seed Swap that day.

  • I share your guilt, Robin. I’ve saved some poppy seeds this year and that’s about it. SEems I ran out of time, enthusiasm and decent weather. But there’s always next year….

  • eliz says:

    I am torn on this. Our season is relatively short and I am impatient. I want my flowers. But I do overwinter a lot of tropicals and near-tropicals. Seeds? I have had too many failures. But I always try a few.

  • Shannon says:

    Hi Robin! I just got a chance to catch up on reading your recent posts. That sounds like a good book, I should pick that up. I have not really put any effort into saving seeds, I have felt so overwhelmed at times with other garden chores, it seemed like a big other project and I put it off this year, but perhaps next year I can get started. I did save some cantelope seeds in 08 though and planted them in 09, and they came up, but my fruits were all much smaller than the year before. I’m not sure if it was environmental or if it had to do with the seeds….

    I loved the story about the pups. I make my own cookies too, for my own four cookie monsters!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Organic Envy =-.

  • Gail says:

    More this year then ever before Robin! In the past I’ve seeded them about the garden and I always leave the seedheads up for visiting critters. I am trying to save them and hope to have a bit for the seed exchange that several bloggers sponsor. gail
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..There’s Something Strange In The Neighborhood! =-.

  • admin says:

    Kathy – I’ll be looking for details on the seed exchange. Sounds like a great idea.

    Jodi – You can Eliz both garden in colder climates than I do. I can understand wanting to make the most of it by taking shortcuts.

    Shannon! Good to see you here.

    Hi Gail – Are you surprised I didn’t have a chicken post?

    Thanks for visiting.


  • Jean says:

    I used to never save seeds but now that I’m into more frugal gardening, I’m trying. Even just buying seeds versus plants is new for me. We’ll see how successful I’ll be though. 🙂
    .-= Jean´s last blog ..Non-native and Invasive =-.

  • This is my first year to making an effort saving seeds. It seems like in years past, I’ve taking them for granted. Oh sure, I was happy to take any seed anyone gave me, but to do it myself, I somehow fell short. This year I have succeeded yea! H.
    .-= Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence´s last blog ..The Book of Six © Six End of Season To-dos =-.

  • Happy Thanksgiving Robin!
    .-= Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence´s last blog ..The Book of Six© Six Things to be Thankful For =-.