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Calling All Seed Savers

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Calling All Seed Savers

Post  shannon1 on 6/19/2011, 3:34 am

Hopefuly all of your gardens are in full swing. We are heading into the blazing days of summer heat, if it has not decended already, and your harvests are abundant. I was wondering if any of you are saving seeds. It is such a great way to keep the cycle of the garden going. It saves money to boot.
I am saving Datil Pepper seeds and if I find Ichaban Eggplant is not a hybred I will save them too. Please share your seed saving ups and downs here. I am looking forward to your stories.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 6/19/2011, 9:15 am

Shannon,
I don't know about Datil Peppers so can't help you with that.

I've researched seed saving well and am saving seeds for tomatoes, peppers, egglant and cucumbers this year. I believe the safest way is to isolate the blossoms with net bags so they can't be cross-pollinated. To that end I've made bags and as soon as a blossom appears, I cover it with the bag.

As you can see here, a couple are already isolated with orange drawstring bags.
This cannot be done on hybrids, but I specifically started over 20 variieties of heirloom and open-pollinated tomatoes so I could save their seeds for next year.

As soon as a green tomato forms within the bag, I can remove it but mark the tomato itself with a piece of yarn so I remember which one to save at the end of the season.

Most of my determinates are in pots and I'm doing the same with them.

I know both toms and peppers are self-pollinating, but an insect CAN cross your variety by spreading pollen on the blossom, so I prevent that by bagging it. I just have to give the plant a few taps when I'm out checking my plants so they can pollinate themselves.

I'm also going to bag Anaheim and Early Jalapeno hots and Antohi Romanian and Bell sweet peppers which are OP (open-pollinated).

My Casper eggplant is OP and all my cukes including Miniature White, Bushy, Homemade Pickling, and Lemon.
I've got to get busy and make more isolation bags. lol! .
I hope to have lots of seeds ready this fall for seed swapping on the forum.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  Kelejan on 6/19/2011, 10:42 am

Seed saving is a great idea and just plain basic gardening sense. That's what our ancestors had to do to survive, and for all I know that time may come again.

One small question. Are we allowed to send seeds to the USA form Canada and vice versa?

I have seen signs when crossing the border that prohibits so many things such as apples and plants, and I wondered if that included seeds.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 6/19/2011, 2:30 pm

I don't know but maybe someone else knows. Let's hear from them.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  jhayford on 6/19/2011, 8:24 pm

I was thinking about this today too. Found a thing called a seedkeeper but good gosh. You could come up with your own thing for what they charge. Anyway I would like some tips in this area too. I was thinking about an idexcard file of somesort to keep them in after they are dry etc. After that I have no clue.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/19/2011, 9:21 pm

quiltbea thank you for sharing about using a net bag over the flower.....i was wondering how i was going to try and save seeds from one of my tomato plants.....

do you tie on the net bag before the flower opens?

hugs
rose....so thankful to have found this forum Very Happy
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  shannon1 on 6/20/2011, 12:56 am

I make my bags out of super light insect barrier and they work great I start with small ones and switch to larger ones to keep bugs off the fruits. It is nice to see you guys are saving seeds I might trying to develop my own hybreds one day. I keep seeds from the nicest looking fruits hopeing to grow the best next year.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 6/20/2011, 8:12 am

Family.....
I slip my drawstring bag over the just-starting-to-show blossoms and close it around the stem of the branch and pull it closed gently. I actually don't have to tie it, just pull the twine so the bag closes around the stem. I don't want to disrupt the flow of growth while we're waiting for the fruit to grow.

The whole new branch of blossoms will be inside the bag since there are several coming at the same time.

I keep it on until a fruit or two appears, at which time I know the fruit is pollinated and can't be compromised by insects. Then I remove the bag so the fruit can grow without restrictions. I just tie a piece of colorful yarn on the stem near the fruit or two so I know which fruit(s) will be used to save seeds.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  busygirl on 7/7/2011, 4:30 pm

I was thinking about my fall plantings, which means I have to think about my existing seed inventory and thought I would share one of my seed keeping techniques.


A lot of stuff we buy (electronic devices, purses, put together
furniture, etc.) comes with little white
desiccant pillows to draw moisture away from the product. When I buy something that comes packaged with
these, I put them in a double layer of freezer bags and keep them to use with
seed packets when storing them for the next year.





I do this for both seeds I save myself and seeds I
purchase. I use quart size freezer bags,
put as many seed packets as I have (or as will fit) in the bag with one or two
desiccant pillows and put it in the freezer until the next time I plant.



I haven't figured out a good system of pre-sorting the seed packets yet, but I think I am going to try sowing/starting date so when I pull a bag out of the freezer, all of the seeds I need for that particular time frame will be in the same one (for example, right now I don't have my tomatoes in the same bag as my spinach, peas, etc, but with the new method I will because I start those inside around the same time I put the others out).


I keep food-safe desiccant packs from commercially produced beef jerky, vitamins and other stuff in a separate set of bags and use them to help preserve my own home made stuff (beef jerky, dehydrated apple rings, etc.).


I am not really sure if there is a difference between the packets that come in a purse and the ones that come in a vitamin bottle, but I keep them separate just in case. I don't mind using the non-food packets with my seeds because those are also inside a seed envelope/packet and so the desiccant pillow doesn't directly touch the seeds.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 7/8/2011, 8:05 am

Busygirl,
Mel states that saving seed in the freezer may cause some dampness (which can shorten their life) each time the packet is removed from the freezer, so its better to save your seeds in the crisper drawers of your fridge instead.
You can check it out in one of his monthly tip videos on this site.

Here's a handy tip: I make my desiccants from powdered milk wrapped in a tissue and stapled shut. That way I can make a fresh supply every 6 months or so as they wear out.

We should have lots of seeds to swap this fall and winter among the members. Good luck.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  busygirl on 7/8/2011, 9:11 am

quiltbea wrote:Busygirl,
Mel states that saving seed in the freezer may cause some dampness (which can shorten their life) each time the packet is removed from the freezer, so its better to save your seeds in the crisper drawers of your fridge instead.
You can check it out in one of his monthly tip videos on this site.

Here's a handy tip: I make my desiccants from powdered milk wrapped in a tissue and stapled shut. That way I can make a fresh supply every 6 months or so as they wear out.

We should have lots of seeds to swap this fall and winter among the members. Good luck.

Bea,

I know what Mel suggests, but I truly do not have room in the fridge (old house only has space for a 18 cu. ft fridge an there are 3 teenage boys and the DH to feed), so I re-use the commercial desiccants and put the seeds in the freezer. I do occasionally put the desiccants in a low oven when I am sterilizing soil or dehydrating tomatoes, so they are "refreshed" and will continue to draw any moisture from taking the seeds in and out of the freezer (I change the desiccant packs each time take the seeds out) . The reason I am re-organizing my "system" based on sow/start dates is to minimize the number of times I have to pull individual bags out.

I don't usually keep seeds more than two or three years, and there isn't any noticeable difference in germination between my saved seeds and any that I purchase new, so I think I have the bases covered for my situation.

I mainly threw the idea out there as a way to reuse those desiccant packs and as a way people can adapt if they are in my situation with a small fridge and a big family.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  busygirl on 7/8/2011, 10:33 am

Does this board have a "timed out" feature? I got distracted at work and didn't get to finish my post any by the time I got back it was posted and not available for editing...

I was ALMOST done, but the post kind of cuts off sharply, so....

Thanks for the suggestions Bea. I think putting all of the info possible out there is what makes this board great so that people can get different ideas for what might work in their situations and how they can adapt what others are doing.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 7/8/2011, 11:23 am

Busy,
I know that lots of folks use the freezer. I personally have more room in my crispers than my freezer so I do the crisper.

As for putting them in categories, that's a great idea.
I tried that this year. I was tired of going thru all the seeds, even though I kept them alphabetically. I put the ones I would need for seed starting in one baggy and cool-season crops in another baggy, then one for greens and one for herbs, etc. I had so many tomatoes I kept them in a glass jar in the crisper so they were easy to get when I needed them.
It sure made it easier to do the sowing by grabbing a baggy instead of going thru the whole drawer.
The other good thing is if you change your plan a bit when you're out in your garden, all the seeds are readily in hand so you can made the switch without having to go back in the house and hunting up another seed packet.
Good idea.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  camprn on 7/8/2011, 12:10 pm

I think there is a 30 minute window for editing a post.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  milaneyjane on 7/9/2011, 6:35 pm

I will do the Kentucky Wonder pole beans again as well as opalka tomato, butternut squash and probably a few others. I did more heirloom seeds this year and just have to see how I like how things grow....we are still "early" in our growing season here in MN.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/17/2012, 10:56 pm

Bea, this is amazing. You see a bud. You bag it (and you use...small lingerie bags designed for laundry? Something you created yourself, being a quilter?)...so how does the flower get fertilized to create a fruit/veggie?

Is there a reason hybridized plants can't be done? Patents? Sterility (designed obsolescence)?

Why do you grow tomatoes in buckets?

You have some great ideas!


quiltbea wrote:Shannon,
I don't know about Datil Peppers so can't help you with that.

I've researched seed saving well and am saving seeds for tomatoes, peppers, egglant and cucumbers this year. I believe the safest way is to isolate the blossoms with net bags so they can't be cross-pollinated. To that end I've made bags and as soon as a blossom appears, I cover it with the bag.

As you can see here, a couple are already isolated with orange drawstring bags.
This cannot be done on hybrids, but I specifically started over 20 variieties of heirloom and open-pollinated tomatoes so I could save their seeds for next year.

As soon as a green tomato forms within the bag, I can remove it but mark the tomato itself with a piece of yarn so I remember which one to save at the end of the season.

Most of my determinates are in pots and I'm doing the same with them.

I know both toms and peppers are self-pollinating, but an insect CAN cross your variety by spreading pollen on the blossom, so I prevent that by bagging it. I just have to give the plant a few taps when I'm out checking my plants so they can pollinate themselves.

I'm also going to bag Anaheim and Early Jalapeno hots and Antohi Romanian and Bell sweet peppers which are OP (open-pollinated).

My Casper eggplant is OP and all my cukes including Miniature White, Bushy, Homemade Pickling, and Lemon.
I've got to get busy and make more isolation bags. lol! .
I hope to have lots of seeds ready this fall for seed swapping on the forum.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/18/2012, 1:03 am

AvaDGardner

snip.....so how does the flower get fertilized to create a fruit/veggie?
Is there a reason hybridized plants can't be done? Patents? Sterility (designed obsolescence)?

Tomatoes and peppers are self pollinating, the wind can move the pollen to flowers in the bags.

Seeds from Hybridized plants will not breed true. They will revert to one or the other of the original parent plants and sometimes take on the worst traits of that parent. See this link HYBRID SEEDS
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  newstart on 2/18/2012, 11:27 am

I hope to save some seed this year. Just feels like a part of gardening to save some and plant again or pass along. Also It saves money not to have to buy seeds every year
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  quiltbea on 2/18/2012, 5:32 pm

Afa....As already mentioned, toms and peppers are self-pollinating so once you bag them you just have to tap the branch daily when you go out in your garden. They will pollinate themselves.
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Re: Calling All Seed Savers

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/20/2012, 8:24 pm

I have my first seedling popping through soil today!

On a whim 10 days ago I threw some seeds I had saved from food (bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, 1 green bean, peas, and edamame) into a large pot that had a most recently had rose in it. Even the dirt was a crazy mix of whatever and a several scoops of espresso grounds.

The edamame won't take. They weren't mature soy beans. (DUH). When the other stuff grows or gives up, they are going into the worm compost.

But the single white bean I put in the middle...it has a tiny green head beginning to break the surface!

This bean (Jack in the Beanstalk variety) was grown 10 years ago, and the seed saved since then with no special care.

I do hope the others take too. If not, I have a lot more of "home saved" seeds to play with.

I definitely am a fan of testing them in paper towels. It works so well. We've done it for art & science projects several times.

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