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Homesteader reveals why she leaves her garden ‘a mess’ over winter season: ‘It’s a great problem to have’

“Plant for [the] rest of your life.”

"Plant for [the] rest of your life."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Feeling guilty about hibernating in your house and neglecting your plants all winter? You shouldn’t, because one gardening TikToker revealed that leaving your garden alone during the colder months can have a major payoff.

Amber (@yarnandthyme), a self-proclaimed “witchy hippie homesteader” who makes gardening and canning videos, shared why letting Mother Nature do her thing can help you prepare for next year’s harvest. 

The scoop

Even though many plants die during winter, you can still save the seeds for the next growing season. If you grow beans or peas, simply go around your garden with a bucket or basket and collect all the dried pods. 

According to Better Homes & Gardens, you’ll want to let the pods dry for two weeks before shelling and storing them in an airtight container until it’s time to plant the seeds. You can also do this with other ripe fruits and vegetables like melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

In Amber’s case, she was picking dried okra seed pods from her garden to save for the future.

@yarnandthyme Its a great problem to have though. ✌🏻 #gardentips #gardeninghacks #naturalgardening #backyardhomestead #gardentok ♬ Gz and Hustlas – Snoop Dogg

“I leave our gardens a mess over winter, letting the plants die back and seed pods dry over the months,” Amber said in the video. “Then I always have too many seeds for the next year.” 

“It’s a great problem to have though,” she captioned the clip. 

How it’s helping

Saving seeds from your garden ensures they won’t disperse all over your yard and go to waste. You won’t have to buy new seeds for the next growing season, helping you save time and money on gardening supplies. While seeds aren’t typically expensive — for example, you can get 250 okra seeds for just $4.95 from the seed company Burpee — it can get pricey depending on what you grow. 

In addition to helping you put food on the table, gardening can also improve your mood and lower stress levels. Plus, it’s a great way to reconnect with nature, increase your fiber intake, and get your body moving. 

Growing your own food benefits the planet as well since you won’t have to buy as much store-bought produce, which needs to be transported from farms. The transportation of fruits and veggies accounts for 36% of pollution generated by the global food transportation system, according to the European Commission

Finally, gardening reduces waste from single-use plastic food packaging, 85% of which ends up littering the environment or clogging landfills, as per the U.N. Environment Programme

What everyone’s saying

Commenters loved the idea of saving seeds, and some suggested sharing nature’s bounty with others.

“Save okra seed once. Plant for [the] rest of your life,” one person said. 

“‘Too many’ seeds is impossible! If you have a community garden or local library I’m sure they’ll love some of your extras,” another suggested. 

“We don’t sadly! I have suggested it to our local library. I keep extras for swaps and gifts! If I find out a friend wants to garden they get seeds,” the OP replied.

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