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Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

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Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  middlemamma on 8/4/2011, 3:04 pm

Since the buzz on the forum the past few days has been seeds and seed saving, some of the members have discussed a member collaboration on saving all the different kinds of seeds. It's a great idea...I am hoping we get the participation needed to make it happen.

The object would be to compile specific seed saving information for all different kinds of seeds and then they will be organized in some fashion in to a thread that is stickied.

Quiltbea has been so kinds to have provided us with the special soaking directions to prepare tomato seeds for drying. What other special care is taken with other seeds? How many seeds should you collect of a certain plant? How long will they keep? All this information would be a really wonderful resource as gardeners here on the forum begin to contemplate seed saving.

This will take the efforts of many members...a little research project for each willing to participate.

What vegetable would you like to submit seed saving directions for?

Jennie
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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/4/2011, 3:07 pm

Great idea! I'll take carrots.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/4/2011, 9:35 pm

Looking forward to this topic...I'm a newbie to it all so this will be very helpful info.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/4/2011, 9:44 pm

So pick a veggie and make a contribution okay

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/4/2011, 10:01 pm

Funny boffer...HA-HA Suppose I'll just do that now. tongue

I'm going to choose cucumber b/c I'm growing it right now for the first time. lol!

So let me see if I get this right...Am I to research all there is to know about cucumber seed saving/storing now and post here after I know???

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/4/2011, 10:26 pm

Yeppers, then middlemamma will figure out a way to get all of our posts organized. It's less work and more fun for everyone to spread the work around. Look out Google, here I come!

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 8/4/2011, 11:08 pm

Dang...I can't edit my previous post....I decided to choose Okra instead. Very Happy

Okra is my favorite vegetable...really love okra. I'm growing it for the first time too!! As I research, I'm learning a lot about okra tonight instead of cucumber. Sooo I apoligize, but Okra will be my project (K). This should be fun. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Saved a few links-will cont to read tmr. and then combine what I learned.

See you guys tmr. Smile

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/5/2011, 12:15 am

Can I choose Oak trees? I'll have a God's Plenty of acorns in another couple months. And, the squirrels and blue jays do all my saving for me. And, you can eat them in pancakes. Oh, and oak trees are planted one per 16 squares.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  middlemamma on 8/5/2011, 4:53 am

BBG you need a spanking.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/5/2011, 10:58 am

That would only encourage him!

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/5/2011, 10:58 am

All About Saving Carrot Seeds

Carrots are biennials: they grow their root the first year and grow flowers with seeds the second year. There are two options for overwintering roots.

1. Leave them in the ground to overwinter. Carrots can handle some freezing; piling some mulch on top helps keep them warmer.
2. Pull the roots out of the ground, twist off the greens, then pack the roots in damp sand, without touching each other, place the box where temps are below 40-45 degrees with little danger of freezing. Replant roots when soil is workable in the spring.

The second year, the plant will put up a stalk 3-4 feet tall with flowers. Mid to late summer, the flowers will begin to wilt and dry right on the stem. That's when it's time to cut them off, take them inside, let them finish drying, brush the seeds off and then store them using typical seed storage techniques (keep cool, dry, etc). The seeds might have some 'fuzz' on them that the commercial seed producers clean off for packaging purposes; it's OK to leave the fuzz on.

Typical viable storage time is 3 years.

Be careful that you don't try to save F1 Hybrid varieties. There's a good chance that the seeds will be sterile.

The flowers are insect pollinated; it's possible for your carrots to get crossed with wild carrots such as Queen Anne Lace. Such a mix creates a white inedible root. It's recommended to try it and see what happens before taking extraordinary measures to control the pollination process.

Carrot seeds are tiny: 3,000 seeds to a teaspoon!

Occasionally, a first year carrot will send up a flower stalk. Somehow, some combination of weather fooled that plant into thinking that it was year two. It is recommended that the flower stalk be broken off and discarded, as the seed viability will be erratic.

A Nantes flower:


Some carrots I let overwinter in the ground. LOL I guess they got taller than 3-4 feet!


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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/5/2011, 1:12 pm

@middlemamma wrote:BBG you need a spanking.



Beavis and Butthead are laughing inside my brain right now. I couldn't resist. I'll let the thread get back on track now.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  genes on 8/5/2011, 3:23 pm

I like this idea. Anyone can contribute, yes?

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  middlemamma on 8/5/2011, 4:12 pm

Yes!! Anyone can contribute. Smile

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/5/2011, 4:13 pm

Yes, genes. Pick a veggie and go for it. It's a chance for all members to contribute a little something to the forum.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  littlesapphire on 8/5/2011, 4:14 pm

I'd love to contribute! But I have no personal experience. Can I just do a lot of research and post what I find?

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/5/2011, 4:27 pm

I've never saved a seed in my life. But I bet could save a carrot seed, now that I"ve read about it and put the ideas into my own words.

It's a mini-educational exercise that can give us all a little more confidence in the long run, that we have, or can do, or can learn to do what it takes to take some responsibility for providing for ourselves in the worst of times.

Or, it's just something we can do to save a little money. Very Happy

Pick a veggie you're comfortable with, or even one that seems foreign to you, read up on it, then try to tell me what I need to do to save its seeds. Then try following your own advice when the weather cycle makes it possible to grow the veggie you picked. There's no telling what we all might learn in the long run!


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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  genes on 8/5/2011, 4:30 pm

OK boofer I want to do beets. I'm growing them now in my very first sfg box.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  littlesapphire on 8/5/2011, 4:32 pm

M'kay, then I think I'll work on peppers Smile

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  littlesapphire on 8/6/2011, 5:50 pm

How to save pepper seeds

Peppers are probably one of the easiest plants to save seeds from, and a great place to start for beginners. Since peppers are self pollinating, there is little chance for cross pollination. However, it can happen, and if you're trying to save bell peppers and your neighbor is growing habanero peppers, you may end up with some unexpectedly spicy peppers next year!

To prevent cross pollination, create a small bag made from tulle or another type of fine mesh material, and tie around unopened blossoms. Once blossoms open, make sure to gently tap them to ensure proper pollination. After the blossoms fall off and small peppers appear, you can remove the bags and tie a string around the fruit to remind yourself of which pepper you want to save for seeds.

Peppers must be fully mature for seed harvesting. For a lot of varieties, this means they must be red; of course, each variety is a different color so make sure to check your original seed package to know what color the fruit should be. If you know a frost is coming but the pepper hasn't finished maturing, you can pull the entire plant out of the ground, and hang it up in a cool dark location until the peppers have matured.

To harvest the seeds, simply slice open the pepper, either along the side or the bottom, and scoop them out. Lay them out on paper in a cool dark place until they're completely dry, or until the seeds break when you bend them in half.

ALWAYS wash your hands after handling hot peppers!

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  genes on 8/6/2011, 7:22 pm

I'm still working on mine Embarassed

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/6/2011, 8:10 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:ALWAYS wash your hands after handling hot peppers!
You just can't say that enough. This spring our favorite Peruvian Restaurant Owner gave us one fresh Aji Amarillo pepper that had been imported from Peru. We had told him we wanted to grow the peppers ourselves.

Trying to help me, my husband removed the seeds from the pepper and spread them out on paper towels to dry. He removed the seeds by hand, no gloves.

Even after washing his hands several times, he was outside working, became sweaty and wiped his eyes

Evil or Very Mad FIRE

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  Goosegirl on 8/6/2011, 8:57 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:
@littlesapphire wrote:ALWAYS wash your hands after handling hot peppers!
You just can't say that enough. .........


Even after washing his hands several times, he was outside working, became sweaty and wiped his eyes

Evil or Very Mad FIRE



Been there, done that! affraid

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Mammoth Melting Snow Peas

Post  Squat_Johnson on 8/8/2011, 12:47 pm

OK, I am picking peas. That would make me a “pea picker”.

(Had to look that up, I remember seeing Tennessee Ernie Ford from "Hee Haw" as a kid, Wikipedia tells me that “Pea Picker” was a derogatory term, describing the poor migrant workers in the Great Depression.) ok, already off track…

Anyway, I had an incredible experience this spring with Mammoth Melting Snow Peas. This is now my favorite food from the garden. I ate them in salads, stir fried anything, raw in the garden, and even put a gallon or so in the freezer (just blanched for a minute, and put in an ice bath).

I planted these with snow on the ground on Feb 28th. They were very early to sprout, and did great. At the end of their spring season, I saved all the pods that had gotten tough, brown and leathery. I let the pods dry out a bit, and then shelled them and put them on the hearth for a week to get really dry. They are in the crisper of the fridge, and I have enough to share/trade with a bunch of people. I am going to plant some in the coming days for a fall crop attempt.


So, now after saving seeds,( and later researching how to do it properly) It seems that I did it right. Peas self-pollinate, and there is not a great risk of cross-fertilization. They need to be thoroughly dried, and stored as any other seed at a cool temp, preferably in a refrigerator. From what I have read, they don’t keep as long as some other seeds.


Last edited by Squat_Johnson on 8/8/2011, 12:52 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : format)

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beets

Post  genes on 8/8/2011, 10:03 pm

okay boofer here it is

Beets are a biennial. To save seed from beets you'll have to plant 20 to 30 plants (2 squares at 16 per) to leave in the ground to over-winter. You can harvest tasty beet greens for the first part of the season, and you can crowd the plants a bit. You don't have to pamper them with lots of room, water and fertilizers to get plenty of seeds in the spring—just make sure they're big enough to get through the winter and re-sprout. (If you have a square or two that didn't bulb properly, and don't need the space, you could try over-wintering them.)

Beets are wind pollinated and have very light pollen; they need to be isolated from the same species (Swiss chard is the most common similar species) 3-5 miles to be safe. The other safe option is to bag the 20-30 beet plants together so they can pollinate each other. The bag should be windproof to prevent windblown pollen from entering. Having 20-30 plants bagged together typically allows a female:male ratio of 2:1.

Allow beet seeds to fully mature and become dry on the plants before harvesting. After final drying, the seeds can be easily rubbed off the stems. Beet seeds will last for up to 5 years if properly stored.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

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