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Book Review: The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds

Updated on September 3, 2011

Are you looking for a way to incorporate sustainable practices into your lifestyle? One way to make progress toward becoming self sufficient is to learn how to save seeds. Saving seeds is about going further than just growing some or all of your family’s produce or cultivating a lovely flower garden.

When you learn how to save seeds, you’ll be able to save seeds from the plans that you grow in a manner that will allow you to plant them with success in the following season. When you incorporate saving seeds into your home gardening practices, you’ll be able to reproduce your growing efforts year after year without having to purchase seeds when it’s time to plant.

If the idea of learning how to save seeds appeals to you, reading The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds is a great place to start. Authors Robert Gough, Ph.D. and Cheryl Moore-Gough, M.S. are widely recognized professionals, educators, writers and broadcasters in the field of horticulture. They have practiced the art of saving seeds for decades and share the benefits of their expertise with readers in The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds .

About The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds

You don’t need to be a professional horticulturist or master gardener to benefit from The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds . The book is written for gardeners of each level and focuses on providing readers with practical information they can use to select, save and cultivate seeds from their favorite plants with the ultimate goal being to produce the most productive garden possible year after year, on an ongoing basis.

When you read The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds , you will have access to all of the information that you know to get started saving your own seeds. The book opens with a brief forward that discusses how and why the old-fashioned practice saving seeds is becoming popular during modern times. The book is organized into two parts: (1) Saving Seeds: The Basics & Beyond and (2) The Handbook: From Vegetables to Nuts.

Part One

Part one contains seven chapters, each one filled with information that gardeners need to know before attempting to save seeds. Chapter titles are:

  1. Seed Biology 101
  2. Growing Plants for Seeds
  3. Harvesting and Cleaning Seeds
  4. Seed Storage Know-How
  5. All About Germination
  6. Sowing Seeds and Raising Transplants
  7. Breeding Your Own Varieties

Part Two

Part two contains four chapters, each one focused on a specific type of seeds. For each of the more than 300 types included, details are provided about flowering, seed selection, seed cleaning, germination and transplanting. Chapter titles are:

  1. Saving Vegetable Seeds
  2. Saving Herb Sees
  3. Saving Flower Seeds
  4. Advanced Seed Saving (fruit, nuts, woody ornamentals)

Additional Information

The book’s appendix contains a comprehensive glossary, a detailed history of seed saving and seed selling in North America and a resources section that includes recommendations for additional reading, contact information for seed saving organizations and more.

Note: Thanks to Storey Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this book. The opinions presented are my own.


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