Most gardeners have some seeds left over after doing their planting, maybe enough for next year's garden. If stored properly, they will be perfectly good next year. Most garden seeds have a life of less than three years, so save only those purchased this year and stamped for the 1978 season.
The best storage method is to refrigerate them in tightly sealed jars.
Among vegetable seeds, cucumber, endive, melons(both cantaloupe and watermelons), squash, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant and radish usually come through nearly 100 percent. Those of bean, tomato, beets, peppers, celery, lettuce and peas are usually all right if planted a little thicker than normal. Seeds of corn, parsley and parnip should be thrown out and new ones purchased.
Among flowers, most of the common varieties keep well, including those of alyssum, calendula, cosmos, petunia, marigolds, zinnia, pansy and nasturtium. Seeds of china asters, strawflowers and dusty miller will probably be all right if sown heavier than normal. Those of delphinium, candytuft and burning bush (Kochia) should be thrown away.
Saving seeds from your own garden plants is not recommended; if they are hybrids, they won't breed true to variety; and, some diseases, particularly bacterial diseases, can be carried over to another year in the seed.
Very often in the spring, tomato plants in the garden develop blossoms but they drop off without fruit forming. This is usually due either to low nighttime temperatures or to the plants having been given too much nitrogen fertilizer.
Most tomato varieties will not set fruit when temperatures go below 60 for several nights in a row. The pollen grains do not germinate, pollination does not occur and fruits do not form.
Growth regulators sold under such trade names as Blossom-Set and Fruitone can be used to improve fruit set under low temperature conditions. Directions for use are on the label.
Overwatering or too much rainfall also can cause the blossom drop. Hot drying winds during the summer when temperstures exceed 90 will cause blossoms to drop. Growth regulators do not help with these problems.
Usually it does not pay to use the growth regulators. The keeping qualities of the fruit may be lowered. The condition that causes the blossom drop is temporary and will disappear soon. Fruit set will be normal.
If you still have your poinsettia from last Chrismas, the best place to keep it is outdoors in light shade. But first cut back the stems to about 4 inches above the soil and repot. If several plants are in the pot, divide them and plant in individual pots. Outdoors, sink the pot up to the rim in the ground. Rotate the pot occasionally to break off roots that may grow through the drainage hole.
After growth has started, keep the plant well watered and give it a little soluble fertilizer dissolved in water every two weeks during the next two months.