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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A general question, and we could be talking about any veggie..tomatoes, potatoes, corn, etc.

As someone interested in supporting the conservation of heirloom strains of veggies, and say that I am interested in planting several varieties of a given veggie, how do I collect seeds from my own produce for the next season and have assurance that the strain has not become muddied by cross-pollination from the other varieties of that veggie in my garden? I guess the same question applies to how do the seed producers maintain the "breed" integrity of their seeds? How do we know we're not just planting a bunch of hybrid mutts :D? I'm not sure if I'm asking this in an understandable way. Let me know if this is confusing, and I'll try again, lol!
 

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I agree that it takes a book or there may be a website that will do it and if you find one.. please post it and share.

You will need to get the distances required to insure no cross-pollination.
And it takes some super duper garden planning.. plant an early corn and a late corn.. or stagger your squashes (though squashes are easy to bag and hand pollinate)
get your distances right or only plant one strain a year and hope the wind doesn't blow from your neighbors.
This will be my first year of attempting to keep strains pure.
I have visions of little swatches of plants all over my little three acres to try to keep it all straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ahhh, good advice! Thank you! And I'm glad to see that there really is a "following" of people wanting to prevent the strains from becoming muddied. I'll look for that book, and if I run into anything else helpful, I'll post it as well.
 

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I have always been told that the minimum distance between plants shhould be 15 feet. I do not know if that's true but I have never had any problems with any of my peppers or beans. I only grow 1 kind of tomato every year to ensure that I don't get a cross. I would like to find out a little more as well. Good discussion topic.
 

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There is one minor problem with Ashworth's "Seed to Seed" inasmuch as tomatoes are concerned. No isolation distances are given. Recommended distances by others are anywhere from 10' to 25'. Peppers, on the other hand, require 500' for absolute purity.

Martin
 

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Wow, 500 feet for peppers. I did not know that one. I gues that I have been very lucky because I have always went by the 15 feet rule and always do 2-3 kinds of peppers. Thank you for that info.
 

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Wow, 500 feet for peppers. I did not know that one. I gues that I have been very lucky because I have always went by the 15 feet rule and always do 2-3 kinds of peppers. Thank you for that info.
500' for peppers also seems like overkill to me but I know that 50-75 feet sometimes isn't enough. I lost the original Peter Pepper strain when they crossed with Jalapeño and they were not in direct sight of each other. That was with a house and several trees in between. Bumblebees are the main culprits as honeybees aren't interested in the blossoms. I grow a lot of peppers but don't try to save many seeds because of the inability to give them enough space.

Martin
 

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You can also grow different varieties in isolation cages. Heritage Farm (SSE) has lots of these. its like bagging blossoms for a small bed. I guess you take off the cage and hand pollinate, then re-cage until enough fruit set has happened. . . .?
 
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