Have you ever thought about saving seeds from grocery stores when you’ve brought home something you absolutely loved and thought was beyond beautiful and delicious? Did you wonder if the seeds you were about to send to the compost would reproduce that lovely vegetable or fruit for you?
The answer is… MAYBE!
I love to experiment and I’ll generally try and grow anything that appeals to me. My successes this year are orange and red mini peppers that were wickedly sweet and so beautiful, and a truly divine peach that I couldn’t get enough of. Success in this case is they’ve sprouted and are growing. The next question would be, will they bare fruit?
Once again the answer is…MAYBE!
Obviously the peppers will tell their own story this summer. They’re prolific, I think every seed came up and I need to repot them soon. My guess is that they will bare true because I don’t think they are hybridized (follow this link for a hybrid definition) which is a big no-no if you want the next generation of plants to come true from seed.
The peach tree won’t tell it’s story for four or five years. That’s about how long it will take to bare fruit, but from what I’ve read my odds are quite good that I will have something edible if not the original, juicy beauty.
If you’re going to try your hand at saving seeds from grocery stores, or even farmstands, here are a few tips:
*Make sure the fruit or veggie is not a hybrid.
*Make sure it is fully ripe (bright red and orange for my peppers and tree ripe for the peach – rotting works too).
*Organic is good.
In regard to organic, my son decided a couple years back that he wanted to grow potatoes. We we’re at a point in the growing season where there were no seed potatoes left in the catalogs. I went to our local grocery store and bought packages of an organic, fingerling that worked beautifully. The key to that is that some produce (potatoes, onions and garlic for example) are sprayed with growth inhibitors. That’s what keeps your garlic from sprouting in the fridge. Not a good thing if you’re trying to plant something and not a good thing generally in my opinion.
I hope this inspires you to save some of those seeds from your store and farmstand. You can also try to start tubers, legumes and spices – just make sure they haven’t been lying around at the store for too long.
Happy gardening and enjoy the spring!