Do you remember the musical “Sound of Music. There was a song called, “Do Re Me”-I thought of this song when trying to explain how to start an immunity garden….in the song Marie sings to the children….
Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with – A – B – C
When you sing you begin with DO – RE – MI….
When you start an immunity garden
You begin with S-O-I-L
Here is a great article about building soil...(read more here)
Once my soil is ready
You begin with S-E-E-D
In Palm Rae Potager, I start at the very beginning since it is a superb place to start. Once I have built the S-O-I-L. I start with quality S-E-E-D. I usually start with “organically certified seed” for I grow organically + that means no synthetic fertilizers,pesticides or growth hormones in the life of my plants. I only purchase seed from organic growers or local farmers that save seed in the USA, where I live. If you reside in another country, try to support your local seed farmers for they are growing food right where you are living. The seed will be acclimated to your growing area and perform much better. Hopefully, they will be organic growers. If they are not, you can start with “non-organic” seed + grow organically and save your seed. Then you will have the beginning of seed grown organically in your area to share.
You need to consider if you want to save seed yourself, you need “open-pollinated seed” which means it will grow back true-to-type. I wrote a blog post last year on saving seed in urban areas and isolation problems-(read more here).Once you purchase quality seed, you have finished the most significant step; BUT…there is a big BUT here, I must add an important detail,from my experience. I have found over the years that sometimes you have to grow out seed from several sources, for you never know if the seed is good quality until you grow it out! You can’t take the word of the site you find on-line/seed saved by others. I am not saying others are dishonest, BUT sometimes seed companies, have others saving their seed + may be unaware their seed crossed due to “isolation distance”for seed saving. I have ordered seed and found out that it was not what it said it was, and there was no way, I could start back to the beginning. It was the middle of summer, a bit too late to start my plants again. On the positive side, I have enjoyed some of these mistakes! This past year, I had quite a few errors from seed sources, but they were lovely surprises so I did not mind.
If you have an organic garden, you will want to purchase “organic certified seeds”, but sometimes, these seeds can be rather expensive.I always try to search for organic open-pollinated seed grown locally. Open-pollinated seed will adapt to your local growing conditions and climate year after year.
There are some seeds,for example, flower seed that are often not grown organically. I also have a few vegetables that I enjoy growing every year + have not been able to find an organic seed source. If I can’t find an organic seed source, then I grow out my seed and save it from my own organically grown plants.
I have found Seed Savers Exchange to have an excellent resource for seed saving-read more here.
I have grown two Plants from the Same Family for several years + I find their seed very different from one another. I grow Lavatara trimestris for pollinators + it looks beautiful growing in the vegetable garden. I grow Hibiscus Sunset for its beauty and also for the edible leaves which are rich in protein.
Other names: Aibika, Sweet Hibiscus, Edible Hibiscus, Palmate-leaved Hibiscus, Sunset Muskmallow, Sunset Hibiscus
A great resource ( I use often) for seed saving when trying to figure out Latin names is-Dave’s Garden (do visit this site for it is an excellent resource)
Seed Saving will expose you to the wonders of nature…what a great system for it works every time, year after year. Isn’t it amazing?
Cultivar: Pink Blush
Things you need to know when saving seed are Family, Genus, Species + Cultivar. At Dave’s Garden there is a great article titled, Genus, Species, and Cultiavars, Oh My? written by Susanne Talbert:….”The last three classifiers of botanical taxonomy are genus, species and cultivar. These are the most important and arguably all you need in any plant search, classification, or reference. Even if each individual generic (genus) or specific epithet (species name) is confusing and hard to pronounce, their function is not” (to read the entire article)….
Different people have different views on isolation so I suggest you try saving and see what happens! Here is a great site for seed saving + gives you an excellent chart for plant isolation-(read more here)
The past few years, I have been growing a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers together in our urban potager to decide which ones work best in our zone 5, USA growing area. I save seed from different ones, but due to growing in the city, I am dependent on seed growers, for certain plants due to I can’t isolate plants at a great distance. Farmers in rural areas can isolate different plants that require a larger distance for seed saving. I purchase all my seed from local farmers( USA) + I try to avoid the Big Seed Companies. Next growing season, attempt to save some of your seed + share with others. The more we share, the better the world will be!