saving seed in a small home garden

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by SquashNut, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

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    I have a small house lot in town. We have about 2000 square feet of veggie garden space. I am becoming more interested in saving my own seeds. I ordered all open polinated seed this year and hope to start cutting my seed bill down over the next 2 years.
    I am sure most everyone saves some seed here, but how much of your seed can a person realistakly save for yourself.
    Is there any types of seed that are just too much trouble for the home seed saver.
    I have read that some types of plants , such as corn need to have over 100 plants for the seeds to be any good.
    any help on this is appreciated.
     
  2. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As long as the corn is not hybrid and the ears are filled out well the seed should be good. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, gourds, peas, beans, radish, beets, lettuce, broccoli, watemelon, cantelope (sp?), all are good candidates for seed saving. Just pick your best plants at the beginning of the season, mark them, and remember to let them produce seeds. Toms, peppers, and curcurbits (squash and melons) are the easiest to save seed from. Just set aside the seeds as you are cleaning the fruits. Label the seeds as you collect them otherwise you'll have dozens of packages of "some kind of tomato" seeds all over.
     

  3. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    From my understanding, it's important to know whether a vegetable is self-fertile or will easily cross-pollinate if you want seeds that will be the same as the parent plant. Heirloom tomatoes (not hybrids), corn, beans and peas are supposed to reliably breed true. Cole crops (broccoli, kale, collards, brussel sprouts) will cross-pollinate. Peppers will cross. Swiss chard can cross with beets. Carrots will cross and can even cross with Queen Anne's Lace. Turnips, rutabegas, and radishes can cross. Cucurbits will cross with others of their species (like zucchini and acorn squash are both c. pepo). you can get around that by making sure that cross-pollinators aren't nearby, or by pollinating flowers yourself and taking only that resulting seed. Of course, letting some things cross could be fun too.