At one time or another you are going to consider that you may want to save your own seeds to plant & pot with next season. The feeling of growing beautiful & healthy plants from seeds that you have collected from your own collection of plants. And, watching a seed germinate, become a seedling, and then mature give you such joy & satisfication. It's literally witnessing in the miracle of life!
After a few seasons you will find that many of the potted plants you have with self-seed, even when you would prefer they not. The two types of seed are open pollinated and hybrids. Hybrid seed is created by cross pollinating two varieties. The advantages include uniformity of size and longer life. The pollinated seeds have better germination rates and resistance to pests.
By saving your own seeds you will save a ton of money. Especially if you are growing fruits & vegetables. Whatever you decide make sure you leave the harvesting of seeds until they are absolutely mature. The best time to harvest is mid morning before the sun becomes hot. Collect the seeds and make sure they are completely dry. You can hang larger seeds in panty hose and let them air dry. The best way to store them is using paper bags. Be sure to label the variety and when you collected them. Store in cool dark place.
When you are ready to propagate the seeds for planting in your garden planters try these steps. Things to consider are moisture, warmth, air and light. Smaller seeds can be sowed in small containers. Shallow trays, mini clay pots, empty egg shells, and good potting mix. Cover and water lightly or mist spray. Keep moist till germinate. Water till plants become stronger and can be transplanted. Don't give up some seeds take longer than others. Larger seeds can be planted directly into your selected garden containers.
All in all, growing your own food in containers by saving the seed yourself is very rewarding. It's inexpensive and healthy. Follow the directions above and enjoy the process. Isn't that what this is all about anyway?