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Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  Unmutual on 8/9/2011, 4:00 pm

F1 hybrids and GMO seeds will not breed true, you'll get something other than the parent plant..assuming it even germinates. I'm sure that will be in the final document, but if any other people are like me, they'll skip that kind of thing and just go straight to saving seeds.

I'll see what hasn't been taken tomorrow and pick something to help this along. Great idea! When I first read this I thought someone was starting a seed exchange, but this is just as good. Self sufficiency at its finest.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  boffer on 8/9/2011, 5:05 pm

@Unmutual wrote: When I first read this I thought someone was starting a seed exchange, but this is just as good. Self sufficiency at its finest.
Looking forward to your contribution.

Are you familiar with the seed exchange database?

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/portal?pid=4

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  Unmutual on 8/10/2011, 1:00 pm

Without further a due, the cucumber!

Step 1: Let the cucumber fully ripen on the vine. The cucumber will turn from a dark green to a yellow color.

Step 2: Slice the cucumber down the middle lengthwise and, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and the jelly-like stuff(the jelly-like stuff inhibits seed germination, this is why you have to soak a lot of different seeds when saving them).

Step 3: Place the seeds and the jelly-stuff into a jar with some water. This should start fermenting, and the mature seeds should sink to the bottom over the next few days.

Step 4: Scoop out the scum and dry off just the seeds that sank to the bottom. Immature seeds will generally float to the top.

Step 5: Store seeds in a cool, dry place and don't forget to label the pack with the date and cultivar!

Notes: I see that some places say that the seed can last for 8-10 years, but the germination rates would drop significantly after the first year or two. All this means is that it may take more seed to start a new planting, but that doesn't matter since you got yours for free.

Also, Seedsaver.org specifies that if other varieties are of the same plant(or sometimes even a close relative) are growing nearby(1/2 mile for cukes), then you have to somehow separate them(maybe with a floating row cover), so they are pollinated by other plants of the same cultivar. And yes, apparently some plants can inbreed which isn't a good thing. If you are doing this professionally, you'll want multiple plantings of the same cultivar and you'd want to keep them from being pollinated by something else. Seedsaver.org suggests 6 plantings, in isolation, for good seed. I'm fairly sure that for personal use, a single cucumber fruit will suffice.

Hand Pollination: Female flowers will have a tiny cucumber between the flower and the vine. This actually is the plants ovary. Male plants will not have this, it will just be a flower on the vine. Pinch off(or cut) a male flower. Carefully remove all the petals without disturbing the center of the flower. The center of the flower is where the pollen is, and any serious disruption can shake off the pollen..be careful. Take the male flower to the female flower and push it(carefully, we don't want to mash them together) inside of the female flower. Turn the male flower a little and it should be pollinated. I'm not sure how many times you can reuse a male flower for this.


Seedsaver.org says:

(All cucumbers except Armenian cucumbers)

PLANT: Separate two different cucumber varieties by at least 1/2 mile to ensure purity. Experienced, home, seed savers can grow more than one variety at a time in a single garden by using hand pollinating techniques. (See page 36.)

FLOWER: Cucumbers are mostly monoecious with separate male and female flowers on each plant. Female flowers can be identified by locating the ovary (a small looking cucumber) at the base of the flower. Cucumber vines will produce the greatest amount of female flowers when day length shortens to approximately 11 hours per day. Fruits will be aborted during dry spells and very hot weather.

INBREEDING DEPRESSION: Although inbreeding depression is not usually noticeable in cucumbers, seeds should be saved from at least 6 cucumbers on 6 different plants.

HARVEST: Cucumbers raised for seed cannot be eaten. They should be left to ripen at least 5 weeks after eating stage until they have turned a golden color. First, light frost of the season will blacken vines and make cucumbers easier to find. Undamaged fruits can be stored in cool, dry place for several weeks to finish ripening.

PROCESS: Slice fruit lengthwise and scrape seeds out with spoon. Allow seeds and jelly-like liquid to sit in jar at room temperature for 3 or 4 days. Fungus will start to form on top. Stir daily. Jelly will dissolve and good seeds will sink to bottom while remaining debris and immature seeds can be rinsed away. Spread seeds on a paper towel or screen until dry.


This from motherearthnews.com

How can I save seeds from cucumbers that I grow?

In order to save seeds from cucumbers, you must let them thoroughly ripen on the vine. They will enlarge and turn yellow. They should stay on the vines until the vines are dead. Bring the cucumbers into the house and let them ripen further on a dry shelf in the pantry (or someplace out of direct sunlight). When the cucumbers begin to turn soft, scoop out the seed mass and put it into a large jar of water. Let the seeds ferment for five days, thenseparate the scum from the good seeds that have sunken to the bottom. Rinse the seeds in a colander, then dry hem on screens for at least three weeks, or until the seed snaps when bent in half. Store the seed in airtight containers, label and date clearly. Store the containers in a cool, dark place free of humidity. Seed processed properly will remain good for at least eight to 10 years.

— William Woys Weaver, contributing editor, MOTHER EARTH NEWS and Gourmet magazines



@boffer wrote:Are you familiar with the seed exchange database?

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/portal?pid=4

I'm so growing heirlooms next year. I'll have to bookmark that page.

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Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  sherryeo on 8/11/2011, 1:14 am


Bean - Phaseolus vulgaris

Choose beans from plants that are strong, prolific, and disease-free. Remember: healthy plants = healthy seeds = healthy plants next year.

Only save those dry beans that are large in size, smooth, and whole. Don't save seeds that are smaller than the others, wrinkly, or broken.

Only save seeds from heirloom, open-pollinated beans. Hybrids won't come true from seed.

Snap bean blossoms self-pollinate before they open, so there's very little chance they'll cross-pollinate. Cross pollination by insects is possible but rare as pollination occurs before the flower opens. Because the anthers are pushed up against the stigma, automatic pollination is assured when the anthers open. Similarly colored varieties should be separated by enough distance to keep the vines from intertwining, to make them easy to distinguish at harvest. (If you have a rare old heirloom strain that you want to be sure of keeping pure, plant it 100 feet away from any other blossoming beans.)

Bean seed matures about six weeks after the pods are good for eating — when it's ripe, you can scarcely dent it with your teeth. Leave the pods alone until the plants are dry, often leafless, stalks rattling in the wind. Don’t allow dried pods to get rained on as the beans may quickly mildew or sprout in their pods. Pull the stalks and stack them in a protected, airy place to dry for another week or two. When this happens, remove the pod from the plant, open it up, and remove the dry beans. If frost threatens, pull entire plant, root first, and hang in cool, dry location until pods are brown.

You can shell small amounts of beans by hand. Thresh larger collections by spreading the pods on a clean sheet and whacking them with a rubber hose, broom or flail (flailing is the process of fracturing or crushing seedpods in order to free the seeds. This can take the form of everything from simply rubbing pods between your hands to driving over bean vines with a car.). By the way, if your seeds ripen slowly and unevenly, your soil may be short on zinc.


Set the beans on a plate or screen for a day or so to be sure that they are completely dry before storing them. Once they're dry, put them into a labeled envelope or container and store them in a cool, dark place.

Lima beans, dry beans and soybeans should be treated like snaps. Bumblebees like lima flowers, so the plants are likely to cross-pollinate with other limas. But they won't cross with snaps, peas, soybeans or other related legumes.


Bean seeds, properly dried and stored, will keep for 4 years.

Sources: International Seed Saving Institute, Mother Earth News, planetgreen.discover.com, howtosaveseeds.com






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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  middlemamma on 8/11/2011, 8:55 pm

This thread is coming along beautifully! Awesome work everyone...let's keep it up.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/11/2011, 10:55 pm

@middlemamma wrote:This thread is coming along beautifully! Awesome work everyone...let's keep it up.



Diiii-toooooe! Nicely done, everyone!cheers

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  conradcpt on 8/12/2011, 2:31 pm

Ok. I'll take Pak Choi... *gets to work*

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  conradcpt on 8/12/2011, 3:13 pm

Pak Choi

This is my first year growing vegetables and I had my first Pak Choi bolting this month. So the below is not from experience, but from research!

It's pretty easy to save Pak Choi seeds. Just make sure it's not growing close to a vegetable of the same family like tatcoi for example in order to prevent it from crossing.

It seems like pak choi usually bolts in the second year, but mine bolted the first year. I guess it is because the winter is warmer here than it is in some parts of the world. If you need to leave it in the ground through the winter while waiting for it to bolt, cover the roots with thick mulch and cover the plant, while still allowing it to breath.

So, let it mature and bolt. Before the seeds get too dry, snip it off and let it finish drying out. Once that's done, empty the head and store the seeds in a cool dry place.

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  middlemamma on 9/1/2011, 1:23 am

Was there anyone else that wanted to contribute to this?

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

Post  madnicmom on 9/1/2011, 9:39 am

I'll take Brussel Sprouts. I'm growing them for the first time,I know nothing about them other than when/how to harvest but I'll give it a shot. Please give me until tomorrow to get it posted.

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How to Save Brussel Sprout seeds.

Post  madnicmom on 9/1/2011, 9:07 pm

Brussel Sprouts aka Brassica olerace , are part of the cabbage family and must be kept at least one mile distance from other family members to avoid crosss pollination. Other family members include: kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards and kale. All other family members will not cross polinate like turnips which are Brassica rapa.

Brussel Sprouts are biennial, meaning grow and mature in the first season, then allow to overwinter to produce seeds.

Brussels Sprouts are insect pollinated and mostly self infertile, seeds should be taken from groupings of at LEAST 10 or more plants. A few sprout heads can be left on each plant to over-winter and flower in the spring. If for some reason, you are unable to keep outdoors during the winter, put in pots in a greenhouse and transplant back into the garden in the spring.Plants left outside - Mulch around base of plant when temps get below freezing , removing in the spring when temps get above 60 and new growth is seen. Resume watering, leave flowers on the plants as you will seed pods develop.

Seeds will not continue to ripen after harvesting so seed pods MUST mature and dry on the plant BEFORE harvesting. The pods open readily once they've dried, however, so don't tarry after seed pods are dry.

Seeds will keep for 4 yrs if properly stored. (cool, dry, etc)

All info gathered here: http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php#cabbagefamily
and
http://www.ehow.com/how_8527459_harvest-brussels-sprout-seeds.html


video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpB6lC6CSRs

Heirloom varieties include:
Long Island
Catskill





FYI: English was never my thing, please forgive any run-ons sentences or grammical errors.
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Last edited by madnicmom on 9/1/2011, 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : tried to correct font size.)

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Re: Member Collaboration: Seed Saving

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