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The Growing Challenge: So, What Seeds Are You Saving???

The Growing Challenge The Growing Challenge Advanced Edition:  From Seed To Seed


Check In


Welcome!  Come, tell us all what seeds you’ve planted, and what seeds you’re saving!!

If you missed it, here was our last check-in. Oh, and a couple of you hinted at joining last time – I’ve added you here, but if you really don’t want to do it, let me know and I’ll remove you.  Otherwise, think of this as a little friendly push!

Who Are We?

So far there are 148 participants signed up for The Growing Challenge: From Seed To Seed, and we’ve reached 200 participants in The Original Growing Challenge. Congratulations, Mangochild – you’re #200!


Together we’re an awesome support network for learning new things! Welcome, everyone who has recently joined. And if you haven’t already, please join us in taking a new step toward sustainability by growing your own food from seed to seed.  It’s not too late to join.

New participants of The Growing Challenge From Seed to Seed are in orange at the bottom of the following list, and new participants of The Original Growing Challenge are listed below that (the whole group is listed here).  Let’s visit, support, and learn from one another!

  1. Jules, The Garden of Plenty, Melbourne, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  2. Jena, Married To The Farm, Caro, Michigan – zone 5
  3. Amanda, You Reap What You Sow, South Central Pennsylvania – zone 6-7
  4. Jen, Toward Arcadia, Michigan – zone 5-6
  5. Deb G, Bee Creative, Pacific Northwest – zone 7
  6. Greeen Sheeep, Wisconsin – zone 4
  7. Kory, Kicking And Screaming, Central New York – zone 5
  8. Abbie, Farmer’s Daughter, Connecticut – zone 6-7
  9. Margaret, Margaret’s Ramblings, Nottingham, England – zone 8
  10. SusanB, Southern New Jersey – zone 6b-7
  11. Karin, Fleecenik Farm, Central Maine – zone 4
  12. Kelsie, Hobbit’s Feat, Kentucky – zone 7
  13. Monica, Northern Ohio – zone 5-6
  14. Jen, Aaron-N-Jen: Living Life Simply, Iowa – zone 5
  15. Di, Path To Greendom & World of Yardcraft, Southern California – zone 10
  16. TomB, My Simple Home Garden, Central Massachusetts – zone 5b
  17. Judy, My Freezer Is Full, East Central Iowa – zone 5a
  18. Julie, Towards Sustainability, Newcastle, NSW, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  19. Dina, Hip Chick Chronicles, Portland, Oregon – zone 8-9
  20. Alana
  21. Milkweed, Milkweed Diaries, Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina – zone 6-7
  22. Melanie J, Ember’s Lighthouse, Jacksonville, Florida – zone 9a
  23. Risa B, Stony Run Farm, Western Oregon – zone 8
  24. Maureen, Fotos By Meg & Suburban Sharecroppers, Central Valley, California – zone 9
  25. Amy Crump, Crump Family Blog, Chapel Hill, North Carolina – zone 8
  26. Rob, Rob’s World, Burien, Washington – zone 8
  27. The Rachface, This Evolutionary Life, Virginia – zone 8
  28. Janice, Going Off Da Grid Janice, California – zone 8-9
  29. Green Bean, Green Phone Booth, Bay Area, California – zone 9
  30. Daphne, Daphne’s Dandelions, Winchester, Massachusetts – zone 6
  31. Briel
  32. Jimmy Cracked-Corn – zone 5
  33. Lisa, Domestic Accident, Southern Coastal Maine – zone 5-6
  34. Hannah, The Purloined Letter, Takoma Park, Maryland – zone 7
  35. Suzan, Scrub Oak, Rocky Mountain southern foothills (6,700 feet) – zone 4
  36. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener
  37. Onemotherslove, What’s He Up To Now?, North Central Texas – zone 8
  38. Red Icculus, – zone 5
  39. Jocele, Knitting On Call, Idaho – zone 6-7
  40. Matt, Florida – zone 9
  41. Sara, Mama Craft, Canada – zone 3a
  42. Tyra, Tyra’s Garden & The Greenhouse In Tyra’s Garden, Vaxholm, Sweden – zone 6
  43. Inadvertentfarmer, The Inadvertent Farmer, Western Washington – zone 8
  44. Lauren
  45. Melody, Merrie Melody, Utah – zone 6
  46. Melinda, One Green Generation, Seattle, Washington – zone 8
  47. Michelle, Alpaca, Chook, Garden, Travel and…., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  48. Laurel, Nefaeria, North Bay, Ontario, Canada – zone 4a
  49. Mary, Freedom Gardens Journal: Mecar, Crete, Illinois – zone 5
  50. Susan, How Green In My Garden, Southern California – zone 8b
  51. Mary, Cat’s Fiber Adventures, Oregon – zone 8-9
  52. WIlla, Plants And Animals & Yumminess Ensues, S. Central Pennsylvania – zone 6A
  53. Jenn, Attempted Simple Life, Osgoode, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  54. Shibaguyz, Here we go! Life with the Shibaguyz…, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  55. Tina, Bee Content Ranch, California
  56. Cassandra, The Urban Trowel, Southeastern BC, Canada – zone 5
  57. Nico, Self Sufficient Life, North Germany – zone 8
  58. Sadge, Firesign Farm, Carson City, Nevada – zone 6
  59. Leanne, At The Good Life, New Zealand – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  60. Jenny, Studio J
  61. Sarah S, Life At The Ranch, Northern California – zone 9
  62. Sarah Z, Ward Road Garden, Northern California – zone 9
  63. Christy O, Farm Dreams, Georgia – zone 7
  64. Jason L, Vegetable Garden Planner
  65. Annette, Ward House, Hot Springs, Virginia – zone 6
  66. Paige, Clausen In The Hausen & Out In The Garden, Saint Peters, Missouri – zone 5
  67. Rhonda, FarmHouse Style, North Georgia Mountains – zone 7b
  68. Kelly, Taurus Rising, Adelaide Hills, Australia- zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  69. Laura, Mas Du Diable, France – zone 9
  70. Christina, A Thinking Stomach, Altadena, California – zone 9b
  71. Latigoliz, Cowgirl Up, Enumclaw, Washington – zone 8
  72. Lisa, Natural Gardening, Upstate South Carolina – zone 8
  73. Chris, Chattagarden, Chattanooga, Tennessee – zone 7
  74. Mary B, Tampa, Florida – zone 10
  75. Kathy, Birmingham, Alabama – zone 7-8
  76. Kathy and Skippy, Skippy’s Vegetable Garden – zone 6
  77. Katrien, MamaStories, suburb of Boston, Massachusetts – zone 6-7
  78. Maggie, Mama What The
  79. Christa, Lazy Toad Farm, New Hampshire – zone 4-5
  80. Emma, The Berry Patch, Sydney, Australia – zone 10 (Aust. 4)
  81. Jenny, Seeded, Toledo, Ohio – zone 6
  82. Melissa, Rabbit Hill Farm, rural North Carolina – zone 7-8
  83. Jessie Earth Momma, Pacific Northwest – zone 7b
  84. Catherine, Love Living Simply, Texas – zone 8
  85. Ian, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – zone 6b
  86. Christy, Growing Human, Coastal Virginia – zone 7b
  87. Amanda, A Homegrown Life, California – zone 9
  88. Robbie, Going Green Mama – zone 5
  89. Pamela, Suburbancrunch – zone 6-7
  90. Beth, Potager Gardening, Columbus, OH – zone 5
  91. Tammy (+ her 6 cherubs!), Simply Beck’s Bounty, SE Tennessee – zone 7
  92. Ottawa Gardener, The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined, Ottawa, Canada – zone 5a
  93. Laura Chandler
  94. Lisa Cohen, Life Is In The Details
  95. Darlene, Stover Lane, Kansas – zone 5-6
  96. Sherri M, Sherri’s Mad Blabber Blog, Erin, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  97. Chad M, Minnesota – zone 4
  98. Shelby, Eat Local Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM – zone 5-6
  99. Linda, Garden Girl, Chicago, Illinois – zone 5b
  100. Stacy, Canada – zone 5b
  101. Joan, Young Girl, Old Life, Northeastern Missouri – zone 5
  102. Kim & Victoria, Living And Gardening In Idaho, Boise, Idaho – zone 5-6
  103. Sinclair, Nature With Me, Oregon – zone 7
  104. Jenette, Sacramento, CA – zone 9b
  105. Jennifer, Jen & The Bean Stalk, North Idaho – zone 4-5
  106. Laurie and Tim, Golden Gaits Garden, Colorado – zone 5b-6
  107. Phoebe, Cents To Get Debt Free, Southern Missouri – zone 5-6
  108. Megan, Raised On Sunshine, Dallas, TX – zone 8a
  109. Crunchy Chicken, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  110. Jenn, Jenn’s Coop, central valley, CA – zone 10
  111. Veriance, Michigan – zone 5
  112. Sande, Sow This, Sew That, Southeastern Michigan – zone 5
  113. Jenn, Newlyweds!, Texas – zone 9
  114. Carri, Home Of The Petersonclan, South Central Kentucky – zone 6
  115. Amber, Cloud9 Design, Texas – zone 9
  116. Jo, Little House By The Railway Line, England – zone 8
  117. Andrea, Colorado – zone 5-6
  118. Kendra, A Sonoma Garden – zone 9
  119. Stuff, Proactive Bridesmaid – zone 7
  120. LiBBy BuTTons, US – zone 6
  121. Healing Green, Gaylordsville, Connecticut – zone 6
  122. Carpe Diem, British Columbia, Canada – zone 3
  123. Trish, The Promised Land – zone 8-9
  124. Diana, Backyard & Community Gardening, Northern Colorado – zone 4-5
  125. Tricia, Little Eco Footprints, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  126. Juliette, Abielle A Miel, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – zone 8-9
  127. Ciera, Ciera’s Garden, Pittsburg, PA – zone 6a
  128. Kara, Garden of Eatin’, Canada – zone 4
  129. Vickie, In The Acorn, Winnetka, CA – zone 9
  130. Paula, Buckets Of Gardening Ideas, Idaho – zone 4-5
  131. Jennifer, Seeds In The City, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10
  132. Anne-Marie, Cheeseslave, Los Angeles, CA – zone 10-11
  133. Shea, The Lion And The Little Red Birds, Australia – zone 4
  134. Vermontmommy, McKinney, Texas – zone 8
  135. Christina, Closer To Fine, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10
  136. Transition Housewife, Suffolk, UK – zone 8
  137. Lori, Life In Webster Groves, St. Louis, MO – zone 6a
  138. Nature Deva, Colorado – zone 5-6
  139. Bettina, Unterm Walnussbaum, Alsheim, Germany – zone 7
  140. Kelly, Simply Dawson, Columbia, SC – zone 8
  141. Berryvine Farm, NE Georgia – zone 7b-8
  142. Plant Lady, Trillium Grove Farm, Southern Ontario, Canada – zone 5b
  143. Saara, Garden Journal, North Cascades, WA – zone 6b
  144. Melissa, Melissa’s Ramblings, Kansas – zone 6
  145. Cheap Like Me, Denver, CO – zone 6
  146. Maybelline, Maybelline’s Garden, Bakersfield, CA – zone 9
  147. Heather, Heather’s Homemaking, Massachusetts – zone 5-6
  148. Aimee, Project GROrganic, Ohio – zone 6a

I’ve added everyone’s name, blog, location, and hardiness zone. Please check your info to make sure I have it right as I had to guess on some of them.  And if I’ve left you off, be sure to tell me.


New Original Growing Challenge Participants:


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31 comments to The Growing Challenge: So, What Seeds Are You Saving???

  • Currently working on saving: spinach, broccoli raab, lettuce and chard. That’s all that’s going to seed so far.

  • Rob

    Nothing going to seed here yet- Did manage to save some seeds from a borage that wintered over. And most of my tomato’s perished. Oy Vey!
    I have bought some unusual (to me anyways) Varieties of plants at some interesting places- Many different Heirloom tomatoes at a charity sale; spaghetti Squash plants at the farmers Market in Burien, A “Robin” tomato at the same farmers market.
    Hey! I just thought of something- I harvested the garlic I planted- If I don’t eat the three clove heads I got- I could replant it! Probably won’t happen but it’s a thought!Anyway will save the seeds from the tomatoes! And a note on my broccoli- I suspect one of my Brussels sprout plants is a broccoli. Mislabled. Harumph.

  • Right now I’m growing some Super Fantastic tomatoes from seeds I saved last year. The first ones are about to come ripe and I’ll save those seeds. I’m still not positive they bred true so we’ll find out!

    I’m also currently letting a brussel sprout go to seed for harvesting them. Also setting aside some of the scarlet beans and a few others.

  • Jena

    I posted a check-in yesterday on my blog. I’m still in the planting stage for most things, no seeds yet! However, I’ll try to get up a list of seeds I intend to save before too long.

    Good luck growing everyone! :)

  • I have some spinach going to seed right now. I’m going to try and save it. I was feeding it to the chicks until I realized that I could try saving seeds from some of it too.

    Everything in the garden is growing so well, except the onions. I decided to plant shelling beans among them and just see what happens.

  • I don’t have anything going to see here yet. We’re still in the beginning stages of the planting season. This week I planted some more squashes and pumpkins. There were black beauty zucchini, baby blue hubbards, waltham butternuts, sugar baby watermelons, boston pickling cukes and new england sugar pie pumpkins. I’m trying to pick things that were developed to grow in the area. Can you tell I’m in New England?

    Today I’m going to plant out some more tomatoes. I hadn’t planned for these. They were to go to a friend, but that fell through, so I’m squeezing them into my garden. I just can’t bear to toss them! So far everything is looking good. The only problem is the little bunnies have gotten in and eaten some of my green bean plants. So far, not enough to get worried about though.

  • The sorrel and rocket are flowering, so I’ll probably collect seeds from them when the time comes–though I’m tempted to try rocket pesto (if nothing else, that’s just the coolest name ever) and that will probably involve stripping all the leaves I’ve got, so the seed quality won’t be very good on that one. I’ve planted basil three times and got nothing, and finally broke down and bought a couple of plants, so I’ll be saving seed from them later in the year, too.

  • If I can get seed from it before its neighbors come out and I plant the whole area to squash I am including arugula in my list. And since the harvest stage is essentially the same for seed or dry storage, I am including black eyed peas in my list of saved seeds, along with hopefully melons and tomatoes.

    I had carrot and chard that unexpectedly survived winter, so I am hoping to get the seed from those hardy plants in the hopes that they pass on the vigor.

  • monica

    I can’t kill those volunteer tomatoes: I give up! I planted them in pots this year. They are thriving. I also noticed squash/pumpkin/zuchinni (I am taking bets) that sprouted on the compost pile–so they are now in pots also. They are obviously adapted to liking my garden, so I am keeping them!

    I am saving peas, beans, garlic, basil, squash (many varieties started). Sweet potatoes and red potatoes store well and taste oh so good, so I don’t know if we can save any to start for next year. I hope to save enough to plant as much as I currently have growing. If we can keep the house for another year, I would love to expand the garden even more.

  • I’m going to try to save seed from my peas, beans, and tomatoes. Tomatoes don’t really count for the challenge though. I’m currently growing tomato plants from seed I saved last year. I may also do lettuce and Armenian cucumber (really a melon). Then the harder ones that I may do are chili peppers (jalapeno, serrano, cayenne) and several different squashes. The chilies and squash will have to have their flowers isolated since I’m growing different kinds. I’m growing two C. pepo and two C. moschata. I should just be growing one of each and then it would be easy. For the harder plants, how many I save will really depend upon how much time I have to devote to the project in the summer.

  • It has been such a long winter that we haven’t gotten the garden going yet.

    A friend did give us several varieties of white heirloom tomatoes, so those seeds will definately be saved once they begin to fruit.

  • We saved pea seeds and are still collecting lettuce and spinach seeds (all for the first time). I just wish they’d hurry up so I can plant in those areas :) We do have tomatoes growing amongst the flowering lettuce but the spinach is just too dense to plant around.

  • The kale pods are almost ready to gather. We have planted runner beans and green beans from last year’s seed, and potatoes, red and Yukon Gold. Some varieties of tomato; and sugar snap peas. We’re doing a lot of propagating of trees and perennials. But gathering the kale is the only really new thing we’ll try; we’ve avoided collecting squashes and pumpkins, which we’d really like to do, because they interbreed too readily. When we planted seed that came up in our compost, it was vigorous and fruited well but what we got was zukebutterkins!

  • Hello everyone! I’m going to take lots of pictures this weekend, but as an update we planted a few new things and one is doing spectacularly well: favas (broadbeans)! They are just about to harvest and my only complaint is that I wish we had planted more. But I’ll be saving these seeds for next year and hope to plant a larger crop.

    The Scarlet Beans are being eaten. :( We think it’s slugs. Beets are ready to harvest but we had a horrible time with carrots. Interesting discoveries – also, with the very strange spring (rain one week and 100 degree temps the next), our beautiful fruit trees flowered and then – nothing. But they’re growing well. Lots of new lessons to learn.

    And the bees – the bees! They’re being so productive that two months in we had to add another super to their hive!!

  • We’ve been saving tomato seeds for the last three or four years, with success. We’ve also saved scarlet runner beans and sweet pea seeds.

    We tried to save green pea seeds, but they were all eaten. ;)

    I have noticed that our sweet pea seeds that are saved seem to produce less vigorous sweet pea plants than the first year (store-bought) seeds. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • I just harvested my overwintering arugula. Yippee!

    I also have parsley going to seed… And I’m growing basil from seed saved last year.

    I’m pretty much flying by the seat of my pants with the garden this year so we’ll see what else happens!

  • My garden is doing amazing, we are harvesting tons to tomatoes, green beans, squash, eggplant, peppers and corn!! Fun stuff. Here is my most recent garden post.

  • I’m still at the planting stage but have several heirloom tomatoes that I plan to save seeds from for next year. I’ve got a yellow cherry tomato that we planted once years ago and it has been coming back from volunteers for the past 4 years. I also saved and planted radish seeds from last year and they’re great!

  • Wait? You all are at the harvesting the seed stage already? I’ll be thrilled to have anything ready to eat! My luck is not running so well this year…

  • M

    Too early for seeds yet but I know I’ll be saving a couple of varieties of tomatoes which are doing well and also my tomatillos which are growing like gangbusters. Everything else will have to wait and see for a bit. I hope to save a lot

  • I’m hoping to try my hand at saving garlic, chard and peas/beans (as long as they eventually get around to producing). I’ve planted borage from “free cycled” seed, so I should be able to save the seeds from that as well.

  • I have saved seeds from mache (corn salad) so far…first time I’ve saved seeds from this. The flowers lasted for a _very_ long time before the seeds matured!

    Early arugula and spinach have bolted, but I’m not saving seeds from them this year, because I still have an overabundance from seeds saved from last year. I’ll definitely save seeds from tomatoes and peppers (if some of the peppers survive from whatever’s nipping them) and lettuce. Boy, the pests are something this spring! Must be the combination of cold winter, followed by our cool and extremely wet spring. You name it, we’ve got it in the garden. Cutworms and slugs seem to be the worst. I’m optimistic about the cucumbers…getting pretty good germination from seeds that I saved! Now if the seedlings can survive the onslaught of pests, I’ll work on saving some more seeds this year.

  • Here’s what I’ve planted from seed or sets:
    marigolds, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, red onions, brown onions, beets, radishes, carrots, parsley, basil, chives, red potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, peas, and nastersiums.

    I’ll collect the marigold seeds.

    I also take advantage of bareroot stock:
    plum, peach, apple, grape, pear, necterine, apricot, lilac

  • We’ve planted most things from seed this year: tomatoes, corn, radishes, carrots, brussel sprouts, peppers, peas, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, basil.

    What we really want to save this year are tomato seeds because a friend sent her heirloom seeds to us to try. This will be our first attempt at saving seeds from tomatoes.

  • Trish The promised land

    We planted everything from seed this year. We are growing 65 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, we will be saving seeds from all of them. Also, we are growing a bunch of peppers; cherry bomb, mustard habanero, red bell, golden wonder, sheep nose, paprika, purple jalapeno, ghost chili, black hungarian about ten others, all seeds were saved from last year, and also grown from traded seeds. I do plan on saving seeds from all of my new seeds I have acquired this year golden midget melon, tigger melon, moons and stars melons, tonda squash, musqee de provence, butternut squash, striped armenian cucumber, rossa bianca eggplant, a bunch of beans including drying beans, and some lettuces.

    I’m always open to trade some seeds during winters months when I’m dreaming about my summer garden….

  • No seeds saved, yet.
    I do have borage and pennyroyal in bloom now and hope to save seed from them and from most of the veggies in the garden.
    Here’s a link to a post with photos of the garden:


  • Still planting for me (I’m in upstate NY in zone 5). But the seeds I saved from last year that are growing so far~ dill, kentucky blue beans, & chamomille. I have some heirloom tomato seeds saved but I have to harden them off before they get in the ground. No seed saving yet but I hope to be able to save more this year than last!

  • Stacy

    Hi Melinda!

    Hoping to save seeds for lettuce, tomato, peppers, peas and beans.

    Good luck everyone!


  • Everything from seed this year! Hooray! Along with the regular standbys of beans, tomatoes, peppers, melons, and squash, this year we’ve got corn and groundcherries going. What fun!

  • The favas are done, and I’m leaving pods on the vines to ‘turn black’ as recommended for best seed preservation. Everything else is still going strong!

  • [...] you missed it, here was our last check-in (my apologies that it has been so long).  Since we are all over the world, some of us are saving [...]

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