Review of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Seed Saving and Starting

We are thick in the middle of starting our garden.  We had begun a few of our favorites veggies from seed, and we are now seeing the plants take off.  They are almost ready to be planted outdoors!  But can I do it without causing major trauma to my seedlings?

With the recent publication of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Seed Saving and Starting, however, I'm well-armed with loads of useful information.  Even as a farmer's daughter, I have very little knowledge about the actual processes of starting and transplanting.  The phrase "hardening off" eluded me.  I never considered harvesting my own seeds to use again the following year.

This book has just about everything you need to become a self-taught expert in seeds.  I admit that the chapters  of cross-pollination are a bit over my head, but maybe some day I'll get there.  In the meantime, I enjoyed learning about how to best prepare my seedlings for their big journey outdoors, and it was nice to know that I did everything right by creating a south-facing shelf against my picture window for optimal seed growth.

The book covers topics like greenhouses, mulch, how often to water, and how to make sure that collected seeds don't spoil while you store them.  I would have liked a bit more info on containers for starting seeds, but I realize that this book isn't a comprehensive gardening guide, and they needed to stick to a main topic for the book.

For the very ambitious, this book gets into how to create your own hybrid plants that will be optimized for almost-perfect plants year after year.  I can't wait to see if my plants do well enough this year to start the lengthy journey of saving, storing, and starting again next season!  If you have homeschoolers, I recommend this book as a very simple guide to the pollination process, as well.  (Having kids participate in the garden is the best way I know to learn about plant growth and reproduction.)

If you are concerned about GMO's, want to have complete control over the seed quality of your garden, or just need a better guide to keeping seedling from dying off, this book is well worth the price tag.  You can snag it at Amazon for under $15.

*Sample copy received to review.  Opinions are 100% my own.