Skip to content

How to Save Seeds

Seed Saving Protocol

We want people who borrow seeds to get what was on the label and we want to ensure folks only share healthy plants to minimize the chance of spreading plant diseases. The following is our basic protocol:

  1. Save from healthy plants. Even if a disease does not get passed on through the seed, we do like to have some selection for disease resistance by only saving from healthy, strong plants.
  2. Save from a number of plants so that the seed has some genetic diversity in it. The quantity that is optimum depends on the type of plant, for self pollinating plants a minimum of 6 plants is necessary, for cross pollinating you want to save from much a larger population- see seed saving information sheets.
  3. If the plant cross pollinates you want to make sure you keep it isolated so it stays “true to type.” Check with a seed saving chart or book to get isolation distances.
  4. When you bring seed to share at the Boyne Grows Seed Lending Library please label with as much information as you can.
  5. On occasion, we may save seed from a favorite plant that might not be from a large population of plants or isn’t super healthy, or maybe we like some interesting crosses that happened. You are welcome to bring those seeds in just make sure you clearly write on the label those relevant facts so others know they are participating in your experiment.

Guidelines for Returning Seeds

Other Resources

Seeds of Diversity

Whether you’re an aspiring or experienced seed saver, Seeds of Diversity has a number of resources to help build your skill and confidence including books for purchase and printable seed saving guides.

Seed Savers Exchange

Seed Savers Exchange has been saving and sharing seeds with gardeners since 1975. They educate and connect people through collecting, regenerating, and sharing heirloom seeds, plants, and stories.