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Time for Seed Saving

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Time for Seed Saving

Post  NHGardener on 10/2/2012, 2:53 pm

This is my first year saving my seeds. The pepper seeds appear to be easy, and there are so many of them. I just scraped them out, put them on a dish, of course someone switched my dishes on me so now I have a combo of orange peppers and cherry peppers in 2 of the dishes... grr... but at any rate, I have a ton of pepper seeds for next year.

The tomatoes I'm learning need to be fermented first, by letting the tomato interior mold before you strain out the seeds. I'd never heard this before. I'm hoping I can save my tomato seeds, but am not sure if they have to be OP or if I can use any tomato for seeds.

Next I need to learn about my cucumber seeds, I have dried onion seed from onion blossoms, and that's as far as I'm getting right now.

Anyone have any thoughts on your seed saving enterprise?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  quiltbea on 10/2/2012, 3:35 pm

First of all, did you isolate the fruits just as they started blossoming? If not, you may have some crossbreeds there. Both peppers and tomato seeds are easy to save by bagging blossoms.
You should only save seeds from OP and Heirloom plants. F1's are crossbred so they won't breed true next year.

If you didn't bag the blossoms, the plants should be no closer than 6' to another variety while growing. Different varieties closeby can crossbreed. Though toms and peps are self-pollinating, a wandering bee or bug can walk across a blossom and take that pollen to another nearby plant.


When the first blossoms appear, cover with a net drawstring bag or a baggy made from light row cover. You want sunlight and rain to penetrate. When the fruits start to form into tiny green balls, you can remove the bag. It can't be crossbred now. Tie a piece of fabric or yarn to the stem so you know which fruits to save in late summer or early fall.

I never fermented my tomato seeds. I think my germination may not be as high, but its high enough I don't worry about it.
Here's my easy method...... I just scrape out the tomato seeds from ripe tomatoes (overripe not necessary either), toss them into a jar of water, put on the cap or use elastic bands to cover them with coffee filters and let them sit on the counter for about 5-7 days. Some mold will form in the jar and on top of the water.






Remove the dead seeds by slowing pouring out the water. The dead seeds will be floating at the top and are easy to pour out first. The good seeds will be at the bottom so don't tip the jar too much.
When the dead ones are gone, pour the rest of the contents thru a strainer into the sink and with your fingers, rub the seeds against the strainer as you keep them under running water to wash away any pulp or mold sticking to the seeds.
I take a piece of waxed paper, lay it on the counter, and empty the strainer of seeds onto the waxed paper. I seperate the seeds a little, fold up some of the paper over them (with the name marked on the paper), and let them sit on a table or counter until they are dry. In the last photo above I am using paper towels but waxed paper is easier. The seeds don't stick to it as much and they are easier to separate later.
When dry in 4-6 days, I separate any seeds stuck together and pour them into labeled tiny zip baggies I get from an office supply store (2" x 3"). Seal tightly and put the bags into the crisper draws of your fridge and they will keep for years.

I've used them the following year with great results.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  NHGardener on 10/2/2012, 3:58 pm

Quiltbea - that's pretty much exactly what the youtube video said to do. By fermenting, he actually meant, like you, letting mold form and then washing them, I guess that's kind of a mini-fermentation.

I know there is cross-pollination, but will a tomato still grow even if it's cross pollinated? Because I don't really care what variety I get, I like them all. I bought transplants so I don't know if they're heirloom or what, a lot of them were beefsteaks, are they always heirloom? Don't know.

I'm not picky about what kind of tomato I get, just that they grow. So can I just prepare any tomato seeds this way? Or is the issue that they won't germinate.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/2/2012, 4:22 pm

I did the fermentation thing with my Supersonic & Sungolds without knowing about this cross pollinating thing. *shrug* Put them on newspaper to dry and it worked out fine. I'd like them to grow true but as long as they are flavorful, I suppose it doesn't matter.

Can a cherry tom cross with the bigger ones?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  rowena___. on 10/2/2012, 4:46 pm

for what it's worth, i don't ferment my tomato seeds.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  southern gardener on 10/2/2012, 4:50 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I did the fermentation thing with my Supersonic & Sungolds without knowing about this cross pollinating thing. *shrug* Put them on newspaper to dry and it worked out fine. I'd like them to grow true but as long as they are flavorful, I suppose it doesn't matter.

Can a cherry tom cross with the bigger ones?

CC


I think maybe they can? I have one plant that has rather large "cherry" tomatoes. They're in large clusters, but they're smaller than a "regular" tomato but bigger than a cherry.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  CharlesB on 10/2/2012, 5:40 pm

@NHGardener wrote:I know there is cross-pollination, but will a tomato still grow even if it's cross pollinated? Because I don't really care what variety I get, I like them all. I bought transplants so I don't know if they're heirloom or what, a lot of them were beefsteaks, are they always heirloom? Don't know.

I'm not picky about what kind of tomato I get, just that they grow. So can I just prepare any tomato seeds this way? Or is the issue that they won't germinate.

They will germinate just fine. Cross-pollination won't hurt anything the problem is if the beefsteaks were hybrids. First generation will be a mixed bag. Nothing is stopping you from growing it out and picking what you like best though. May take a few generations to become more stable.

I don't suggest doing that though. If you want beefsteaks buy a $1 package of hybrid beefsteak tomato seeds and be done with it. If you want to seed save, buy heirlooms and seed save.



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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  plantoid on 10/2/2012, 6:16 pm

A tip for keeping seeds as dry as you can.

Heat up a few scoops of uncooked rice in the oven till it is slightly brown . Let it cool in the oven , then when cool slip it into sealable jar.
Every pack of seeds you make up in a zip lock bag etc add six or seven of these super dried grains to keep the seeds dry & in tip top condition .

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  NHGardener on 10/2/2012, 6:51 pm

Okay, I guess I'll have to try an experiment. I'll have to try to plant some of my saved tomato seeds, as well as get heirloom seeds. I got these tomato plants as transplants so I'm not sure what they are.

It will be interesting to see what they bring. But I'm not risking my whole tomato crop for next year. I'll do purchased seeds too.

Maybe these are heirlooms, but I don't know.

Gardening is almost like having a chemistry set. Smile

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  quiltbea on 10/2/2012, 7:43 pm

If you know the name of your variety, check a few seed catalogs to find out if they are F1's or OP (Open-Pollinated so will breed true) or Heirlooms (which also breed true) if not crossed by a close planting of another variety.

You can save any seeds. The seed you save could grow anything the following year depending on what crosses were in the F1 breeding. But if you don't care what you'll get, try it. You might be surprised what pops up for a crop next year.

If you definitely want a particular variety, then you have to be careful about isolating blossoms on OP and Heirloom varieties so you'll get the same plant the following year.

A proven desiccant is putting a teaspoon of dried milk in the middle of a tissue, roll up the tissue, fold over the ends and staple the ends together (but not thru the part with the milk, just thru the foldovers). Its an easy way to keep seed dry. Put the little pack in a packet or jar with seeds in it.




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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  plantoid on 10/4/2012, 9:41 am

That's neat QB ..
I hadn't thought of putting my dried rice grains in a bag .... Thanks.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/5/2013, 11:30 am


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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  GWN on 5/5/2013, 12:19 pm

WOW what timing Rooster. I just posted a question about sprouting very old seeds from a seed savers collection. I have thus far learned that if you are growing beans for saving seeds, you use the ones closes to the ground and the first ones produced, they will be the most mature.....

So I am on a huge quest this summer with these very very old seeds and if I can get them growing again I will be quite happy to share Smile

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/5/2013, 12:27 pm

@GWN wrote: I have thus far learned that if you are growing beans for saving seeds, you use the ones closes to the ground and the first ones produced, they will be the most mature.....

So I am on a huge quest this summer with these very very old seeds and if I can get them growing again I will be quite happy to share Smile

Great info GWN. I plan on saving lots of bean seed this year, so thanks for the tip

I'm pretty interested in trying out those foil packs I linked above Cool I've come across similar on the web that you can order to size, but you have to have a minimum astronomical (in terms of seed saving) number made.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  GWN on 5/5/2013, 10:31 pm

unless you are saving for a very long time, why would you need to use those items

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/5/2013, 11:04 pm

You never know when you may come across some very old seeds Very Happy

I think I'm a seed hoarder. I'd like a way to keep them for long periods.
And, you never know...Zombie Apocalypse! What a Face

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  jazzycat on 5/5/2013, 11:11 pm

Well Rooster, there must be a way, otherwise we wouldn't have all those seed "storage banks" all over the world, and that really big one in, where is it?, Norway?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/5/2013, 11:22 pm

Guess I'm missing your point jazzy? thinking This thread is about seed saving and I posted a link for long term seed storage foil pouches. Did you miss the link? And yes, I know about seed banks. Colorado has one of the largest around.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  greatgranny on 10/10/2013, 9:02 pm

I have seeds from a heirloom eggplant. Should I ferment those like tomato seeds?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  happycamper on 10/10/2013, 11:58 pm

Yes to the eggplant question.  You can ferment them like tomato seeds.  They will last about 3-5 years if stored properly.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  greatgranny on 10/11/2013, 12:19 am

@happycamper wrote:Yes to the eggplant question.  You can ferment them like tomato seeds.  They will last about 3-5 years if stored properly.
Thanks.

So, about 4 days or so?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  happycamper on 10/11/2013, 9:17 pm

Yes indeed, about 4 days or so.  The good eggplant seeds with settle at the bottom and the plant fibers and bad seeds should float to the top!

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  greatgranny on 10/12/2013, 12:01 am

@happycamper wrote:Yes indeed, about 4 days or so.  The good eggplant seeds with settle at the bottom and the plant fibers and bad seeds should float to the top!
Thanks. Looking forward to saving the seed and planting next season.

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  floyd1440 on 10/12/2013, 4:57 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:You never know when you may come across some very old seeds  Very Happy

I think I'm a seed hoarder. I'd like a way to keep them for long periods.
And, you never know...Zombie Apocalypse!   What a Face
After learning how to save seeds I have been attempting to save them every year and then try to see if they germinate.  Unfortunately my first attempt was with tomatoes and though all I needed to do was let them sit around a couple of days, them rinse and dry. 

Now I understand you have to let them ferment for a couple of days and I ALWAYS plant them to see if I did it correctly.

Now I did do some hot pepper seeds and looking at them they are not white but kinda brown.  Is this normal?

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Re: Time for Seed Saving

Post  camprn on 10/12/2013, 11:51 am

Mine are like that as well, a tan color. I currently have no worries.

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