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Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

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Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  NHGardener on 3/3/2011, 8:06 am

And does that work? I just made my victoryseeds.com order, but I'm wondering whether I can save the seeds I grow from my veggies this year and plant them next year (reliably).

Actually, I'd like to know whether I can use my leftover seeds next year (I doubt I'm going to plant the full packets this year) and then use what I've grown for next year's seeds too.

Any success with either of these methods?

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Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 3/3/2011, 8:30 am

@NHGardener wrote:Actually, I'd like to know whether I can use my leftover seeds next year (I doubt I'm going to plant the full packets this year) and then use what I've grown for next year's seeds too.

Any success with either of these methods?

I have to admit that I NEVER throw away my old seeds! If I like a type of veggie (or flower) and don't use the whole packet, I save it for the next year, and the next, and the next. If I plant and it doesn't come up, I scatter what is left of the packet in the roughed up soil next to my compost bin and I have had some nice volunteers come up - flowers and veggies - in this spot. Different types of seeds remain viable for different lengths of time. What can it hurt to try? It's only seeds!

I have read about pre-germinating on a damp paper towel to see if the seeds are still viable - I have not tried it yet but I am going to this year.

TC

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  NHGardener on 3/3/2011, 8:34 am

Pre-germinating on a wet paper towel sounds like a really good idea. I wouldn't want to waste precious growing time on seeing whether or not my seeds are too old. Smile

Glad to know that you've had success w/re-using your seeds the next season. It will take me awhile to recoup what I spent on seeds!

And about the saving-your-own-seeds? I'm sure it's in the SFG book. I have to leaf thru. But wondered what the success rate might be on that.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/3/2011, 8:47 am

We save our own, and have a pretty good success rate. I wait until the end of the season, let some fruit get real ripe on the plant, pick it, scoop out the seeds, let them dry, and package and label.

Thanks for the tip on how to properly dispose of seeds you are not sure of Goosegirl!!!

We definitely save our seeds for our southern peas. I heard this year around here purple hull peas will be up too $28 a bushel, I guess I know what hubby will be planting in his rows out there. We have people stop all the time and ask if we sell or let people pick. I tell them to stop by in September when I have what my family needs, they never come back, until next year. As for pick it themselves, that may sound like a great idea, but I just don't want someone picking peas or some of the other things in my garden, or hubbies, cuz then I get to listen to him complain.....

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/3/2011, 8:58 am

I plan to. I plan on putting mine in the freezer after all my spring staggering is done.

And, I have traded some seeds here on the forum with decent results. You may have to plant a few more than 1-2 per hole, but they still come up.

Keeps you from having to buy a packet each year.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/3/2011, 9:17 am

@ BYBgardener... have you frozen seed before? That seems extreme for some seeds but if it works it works. I keep mine in a bag in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. A few things, like artichokes are only good for a year, others for as many as three to five years if they are stored in a happy place.

Deborah....who is waiting for the book, "Seed to Seed" to come out of cyberspace and into my hands.


Seed to Seed

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  staf74 on 3/3/2011, 9:47 am

The only seeds I saved from last year were Basil. Hundreds of them. The pods dry out nicely and it was fun to sift and separate the chaff. They've been in the freezer all winter. Will plant in a few weeks and will see if they kept well.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  NHGardener on 3/3/2011, 9:48 am

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:Keeps you from having to buy a packet each year.

I ended up spending $57 on seeds this year. If I can recoup some of that, I will feel a little more sane. Smile

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  jumiclads on 3/3/2011, 10:13 am

I will be saving my seed as much as possible. The reason I am doing it is because after a few seasons the plants will acclimatise and be use to your own way of growing them and produce better and better each year.

I will test most of my saved seeds by the method I found and posted on the following thread:

Pre_Germinating Seeds

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2011, 11:54 am

I saved some of my tomato seed last year and will be trying it this year.

I save my purchased seed packets year to year in the crisper drawer of my fridge. Mel tells us not to feeze seed. They can get freezer burn like anything else.

I have posted some articles on my garden blog below about saving the seed packets and also there's a Seed Life chart I posted Jan 30th if anyone cares to find out more. It'll be easier for you to go there than me writing it all in this post.

I hope to do much more of that this year when I make my net bags to fit over the blossoms so they can't be cross-pollinated. Its a great way not to have to buy more seed the following years.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Weedless_ on 3/3/2011, 11:57 am

I am reusing seeds from last year. They've been sitting in my fridge in a plastic bag. My friend uses super old seeds (we are talking 5/7 year old), and they are still doing great. She stored them in a regular box in a garage.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  NHGardener on 3/3/2011, 1:08 pm

quiltbea - I'm looking thru your blog (which I LOVE) but I can't find your post about seeds. Was that in a certain month that I can look up? (I do see your Seed Life chart from 1/30) (which is super cool)

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 3/3/2011, 1:13 pm

I keep mine in the fridge crisper, and they have germinated at 4 years old with the exception of Spinach. These don't keep very well for some reason. I had about 10% that came up, so I have new seed this year.

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RE: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 3/3/2011, 2:13 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:I just don't want someone picking peas or some of the other things in my garden, or hubbies, cuz then I get to listen to him complain.....

Personally, I PLAN on making hubby pick some veggies, particularly the salad fixin's I am planting for him. He thinks I am absolutely NUTS cyclops for wanting to play outside in the heat, dirt, wind, etc. BUT, when he picks his own cukes, pea pods, spinach, lettuce, carrots (okay, I'll get the carrots so he doesn't actually have to get dirt on his fingers affraid) and makes his salad, maybe he will think this garden stuff is pretty cool!

TC


Last edited by Goosegirl on 3/3/2011, 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ID 10 T Error)

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/3/2011, 2:21 pm

Oh, he will be picking his own patch, since he tilled it with the tractor and rowed it himself. I meant other people coming by and asking if they can pick their own, they tend to pull up entire plants with the purple hull peas if they do not know what they are doing. You bet your sweet behind he will be picking his own, I'm done with rows, and if he gets busy at work again, and sleeps till 8 AM, the rows will rot, I'm done!!!!

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 3/3/2011, 4:14 pm

I have been saving commercially packaged seeds for several years now. My seeds just live in the kitchen in a pretty photo box. They work great. Mel's book lists how long seed is good. I have only had a problem when I forgot to check the list. Now I check how old my seeds are, before I place an order. I have also started to save my own seeds. That is fun and not much work. Last years project was to learn how to save seeds and trade them on the internet. So far, so good. This summer I think I will enlarge the number of types of seed I save.

Somebody on the forum mentioned a seed garden. After more question were asked I think I misunderstood the concept. In any event I think it makes a lot of sence to have a box dedicated to seeds, instead of random squares throughout my garden. I also have a copy of the seed to seed book. It is a good one.

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Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  happycamper on 3/3/2011, 4:35 pm

Yes, you can save the seeds from your home grown veggies! Make sure that the veggie in question is fully ripe so that the seeds get a chance to mature.

As long as you dry and store your seeds properly many of them last from year to year. May I suggest envelopes or there are lots of websites that have free downloadable seed packet designs that you can print and tailor to your specific needs.

I have saved seed from squash, beans, peas and spinach and a few others for years. I don't think I have purchased Kentucky Wonder green beans in over 12 years.

There are lots of gardeners here that save seeds and would be more than happy to provide different suggestions on how to "seed save" when you are ready.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  NHGardener on 3/3/2011, 4:43 pm

Ooh. Besides being a vegetable farmer, I am now going to add "seed farmer" to my title.

Well, after my first growing season anyway, and assuming I even get any veggies. Very Happy

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speakin of savin seeds

Post  boog1 on 3/3/2011, 6:30 pm

2 years ago my other half planted a ton of cosmos a couple of days ago i found the plastic container in the basement with 2- 1 gallon ziplock bags full of cosmos seeds affraid plus a half doz. other flowers all in ziplocks bags some still in the heads some not Shocked allso found green bean,squash seeds from two years ago anyhoo how heres something odd to plunder a couple years ago we had 6 tomato plants all lined up next to the concrete pad next to the garage had weed cloth down summer went by and other half picked what she wanted and left the rest some fell on the ground so when i pulled the cages and dead vines up in the fall the next year lo an behold up pops 3 tomato plants in three of the holes that a rotting tomato had been in.

boog

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2011, 7:35 pm

NHGardener.
I was referring to my article of Feb 17th just below Brussels sprouts,
Save Seeds From Your Seed Packets, including a recipe for desiccant to keep them moisture-free so they are viable longer.

There are several seed-saving methods for different crops which can be looked up on Google. Too much info for a short article in my blog, but informative, depending on what seeds you want to save. There are distances to consider and those that self-pollinate, etc.

If you want to save certain ones in your garden, I'd look them up specifically and be sure to plant them so you can save their seeds.

Good luck everyone with your choices this year.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/3/2011, 11:18 pm

I have seed from 2007 (commercial packages) that is still germinating just fine; several heirloom tomatoes, some peppers, radishes, carrots, white turnips, broccoli, possibly some others.

I just start a few extra so that if they don't all come along I still have enough. I ended up with enough seedlings to fill my gardens and those of several friends from work last year. I am sure this will happen again!

I saved seeds from my favourite tomato vine 2 years ago. It grew fine last year and I have a few seeds left to try again this year. Only one kind of tomato did well that year, so I didn't worry about cross-pollination. The fruit the first year is true to the parent but if cross-pollination occurs and the seed is grown a following year the fruit may not be like the parent anymore.

There have been several folks showing off their strange mystery squash and melons on the forum. I am sure some of these were the results of cross pollination!

If you want your seed to be true, a separate seed garden makes sense or only using one kind of each vegetable. Watch out as some melons, cucumbers, and squash can cross-pollinate even though they seem different!

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/4/2011, 10:15 am

My grandfather used to keep seeds in perscription pill containers in the freezer, and never had problems. He didn't keep them for 5 years, though, either.

I never saw in Mel's book where he says specifically not to freeze seed. I remember he keeps his in the back of the fridge, but never saw him say to avoid the freezer. If someone knows where he said that off the top of the their head, I would appreciate pointing me to the spot. (I have lent my book to a neighbor across the street.) Thanks.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/4/2011, 10:30 am

In the new book, it's on page 118, How to Store Seeds.

He says he prefers putting the packets in a jar, with powdered milk, because the ziploc bags don't always get airtight and seeds can still get moisture to them.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/4/2011, 11:33 am

My MIL grew up a huge family, who farmed, and that was how they got food on the table most years. They saved seeds constantly to save money. They put all their seeds in baggies in the freezer and never had a problem the next year. She still has corn in her freezer from a strain of corn you can't find anymore. It's quite quite quite old. She was able to try a few last year to see if they would still sprout, and they did. She did move them to a jar years ago though, I do agree that air tight is much better than a baggie that can rip or not seal.

Just my .03 that I learned from someone with experience.


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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

Post  quiltbea on 3/4/2011, 1:06 pm

I saw the freezer burn tip from Mel in a video within the last 2 weeks. I thought it was on one of the SFG member blogs but it might have been on a YouTube video. I can't find it right now. If I find it, I'll give more info.
I know I didn't dream it up.

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Re: Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

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