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Why Fall Is The Ideal Time For Buying Your Seed

Updated on September 18, 2014
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Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

Get A Head Start On Next Years Garden And Save Money

Spring is usually the time everyone starts thinking about their garden, but it pays to think ahead an plan in the fall what you are going to plant in the spring.

Seeds only last for so long, and after one year the failure rate of seeds starts increasing, so at the end of the season seed sellers want to get rid of their unsold seeds, you can capitalize on this buy buying when the prices are low. Often you can buy seed packs at less than a dollar when they would normally be two three or even as high as seven dollars at regular price.

Another way you can save money buy planning ahead in the fall is by seed saving from this seasons garden. Seed saving is simply the act of removing, or allowing some of the vegetables in your garden go to seed, and drying the seeds from the produce you are already harvesting. By doing some seed saving you are ensuring that at least some of your seeds for next years crops are free.

Image courtesy of sxc.hu

High Failure rate?

Does a high failure rate mean you won't get any plants?

Well in theory it is possible to get a packet of seeds that are complete duds, but its unlikely. It simply means that you'll get a higher rate of seeds that won't germinate than you would see from "fresher" seeds. The seeds in year old packs are most likely fine, seeds can be saved for quite a number of years under the right conditions without fear of them going bad.

Storing Seeds For Optimum Results

How you store your seeds can determine how high the failure rate is on older seeds. The best place to store your seeds is in a cool, dark dry area.

Here are some video tutorials to learn how best to store your seeds for long term.

Seed Saving

Seed saving will save you the most amount of money in your garden. While buying seeds in the fall for next season will save you some money, planting your garden with seeds harvested from your own garden is free, it costs only time. Basically the process is to remove the seed, wash and dry them if necessary and store.

Some seeds do better if you use a fermentation process but it is often not really necessary.

When drying seeds you can use one of two methods:

  1. Dry on paper towel:

    Drying on the paper towel will make the seeds stick to the paper towel, but it does dry fast. Don't bother unsticking the seeds from the paper towel just cut out the area around each seed and plant the seed, remaining paper towel and all.

  2. On Glass:

    Place the seeds on a piece of glass and store in cool shaded area and allow to dry, the seeds won't stick to glass and you'll be able to remove the seeds from the glass when dry and store in an envelope.

Read up on more advanced topics regarding seed saving:

Video Tutorials on Seed Saving

Learn how to save your seeds with these excellent online tutorials.

Do You Plan Ahead?

Do you plan your garden in the fall? If so, what method do you use for saving money?

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© 2012 Jeff Johnston

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    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      Excellent advice! Sadly, my fall was filled with woe and frustration, and for the first time in years I'm entering spring without an inspirational seed stash. The silver lining: more seed shopping fun for spring ;)