It’s that time of year again, and in light of a looming pandemic, the time is ripe to start a Victory Garden.
It’s that time of year again, and in light of a looming pandemic, the time is ripe to start a Victory Garden. Even if it’s only a couple tin-cans of green onions and a handful of carrots, it’s a worthy investment towards better nutrition, sustainability, and independency. If you’re reading this after spring has passed, no worries—most seeds, if properly stored, will be viable for many years to come. In certain climates, you can also tend a year-round garden. A possibility to consider is that you might not have the amount of time or land to tend all saved seeds, in that case, we can gift or trade them to others who do. Here is a quick-start introduction to seed-saving:
1. Assuming you’ve run dry on seeds, or petty cash, you can save any ripened rinds and bruised fruits destined for the bin. Organic produce waste is worth the squeeze, as two companies control the bulk of global seed and those private-lab varieties are not likely worth our time. If you’re concerned about cross-pollination in small spaces, you might consider research into “blossom bags”. You can also socially distance some plants such as peas.
2. Extract the seeds from fruit. In a log: record the type of plant & characteristics. Do your research on individual seed extraction from plethora of DIY videos online. Some seeds are protected in a coating, these need to be fermented prior to drying. Place them in jar of water in a well-ventilated and well-lit area for two days. Strain the seeds onto a paper-towel or the like.
3. Some plants such as green onions and yams have special steps. As seen in the photo above, these green onions were cut a little short, yet they are still growing green at the top, so it’s worth the attempt. It’s best to leave at least the bottom third of green onions intact, then place them into a jar of water under a healthy dose of sunlight.
4. Allow several days to dry out seeds completely. Proper ventilation and a warm area is key, as mold can occur later on if not fully dried. A spare cardboard lid may come in handy when drying on counters.
5. Place seeds in labelled small airtight containers. Tiny jars and containers can be saved from recycling food containers like the condiment-containers pictured above. If you don’t have anything on hand, tiny sealable plastic bags can work.
6. Items to set-aside for future planting: tweezers, spray bottles for alcohol or neem oil, any and all plastic containers that were headed for the bin, these can be cleaned with soap and white vinegar, then turned into seed planters. Unless you’ve got a large-scale operation a-foot, there’s no need to break the bank with pottery and bins, better to recycle containers creatively.
If you’re looking for gardening applications to explore (pictured above), these will help you organize your garden on your phone, and identify the best time of month to plant and water specific types of seeds, depending on your location.
Ready to plant the seeds? First, determine where to plant them: