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Keeping Flower And Vegetable Seeds From Your Garden

Author : Wesley Mccormick


For several gardeners, the garden actually begins in January when the very first seed catalog arrives inside the mailbox. Although the cold wind howls outside, we retire to a cozy chair and leaf through the catalog, carefully notating which varieties of lettuce and tomatoes to try and wishing we had the space to plant each and every and every flower so artfully displayed on its pages.

But have you ever wondered exactly where your great-grandparents acquired the seeds for their gardens, just before there were seed catalogs and fancy garden centers?

They saved seeds for the next year from their very own gardens!

Saving seeds from your own flowers or vegetables can be a great method to completely encounter the cycle of plant growth. It's also much less expensive than purchasing seeds every spring, and seeds saved from your plants will likely be nicely suited to the peculiarities of your own garden's developing circumstances.

Conserve seeds only from vigorous, healthful plants. Some plant illnesses might be harbored inside the seed where it'll then be passed on towards the subsequent generation of plants. So don't conserve seeds from a plant that is obviously diseased or has struggled all season. Gather seeds from the plants that have the characteristics you want, like height, hardiness, early or late ripening, flavor or vigor.

Plants which are not hybrids are known as open pollinated. Numerous seed catalogs will determine which of their seeds are hybrids or open pollinated. In the event you intend to conserve your personal seed, always commence with open pollinated seeds. Some of these may also be identified as heirloom seeds. These heirloom varieties happen to be passed down for generations, often saved inside one particular family for several years before becoming accessible for the general public.

It is not advised to save seeds from hybrid plants. Hybrids are the result of crossing two genetically various parent plants, both of which happen to be severely inbred to concentrate the desirable characteristics. The initial generation, known as an F1 hybrid, is superior towards the parents. But succeeding generations of plants grown from seed saved from an F1 plant have a tendency to randomly revert for the characteristics from the original inbred ancestor plants.

Cross pollination is an additional concern for the seed-saving gardener. Cross pollination frequently final results in seeds which possess a different genetic makeup than that from the parent plant. Pumpkins, squash and little gourds might cross pollinate with one another, resulting in seeds that will develop to generate rather picturesque fruit. Sweet corn will cross pollinate with field corn or popcorn, and your 6-inch marigolds will cross along with your neighbor's 18-inch pompon marigolds. Nonetheless, crossing will only occur within a species. Cucumbers will not cross with squash, and cosmos won't cross with pansies.

To prevent cross pollination, maintain two varieties of the identical species separated by as much space as you possibly can. Some species, such as corn, are wind-pollinated as well as the pollen can travel great distances. These plants should be pollinated by hand and kept isolated from other varieties of their species. This can be carried out with corn, as an example, by tying a little paper bag above chosen ears before the silk emerges, then when the silk has appeared it really is hand pollinated with pollen from the same plant or its healthy neighbors.

Seeds should be collected on a dry, sunny day. Frost does not harm most seed as long as the seed remains dry. Vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes should be permitted to turn out to be slightly overripe before their seeds are collected. Flower seeds and vegetable seed such as lettuce needs to be collected right after the seedheads have become dry, but don't wait too extended, as several will shatter, which means they'll be dropped from the seedpod or seedhead if they continue to be on the plant also lengthy.

Cucumber, squash and tomato seeds want an further step before they're prepared for storage. Very first the seeds need to be separated from the pulp, then dried. Scoop the seeds from these vegetables, pulp and all. Spot the entire mess in a container of water and give it an excellent stir, then let it settle a bit. The pulp will rise to the best although the seeds will sink to the bottom. Meticulously pour off the pulp, and repeat the method until finally most of the pulp has been poured off. Then strain out the seeds and set them on newspapers to dry.

Seeds really should go into storage as dry as you possibly can. Give all seed a post-harvest drying period of a minimum of per week, just to be sure they're dry. Spread them out on a paper plate or newspapers inside a warm area out with the sun while they dry.

It is really important to maintain the seed dry in the course of storage. Retailer your dry seeds in tightly sealed jars, metal film containers, or old vitamin bottles. To save space, smaller quantities of numerous varieties of seeds may be stored in separate envelopes inside a jar. A cool, but never freezing, garage, closed-off spare space or cool basement can all be great locations for storing seeds. Or just preserve your sealed jars of seeds within the refrigerator. Temperatures among 32 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect.

Try saving some vegetable or flower seeds from your garden this year and develop them next season. This limitless cycle can allow you to realize the limitless joy of gardening by means of all of the seasons and all the stages of a plant's life.

Be sure to label your jars and envelopes so when spring comes around again you'll know which flower seeds and vegetable seeds you are planting, and contain the date the seeds had been collected. Some seeds will stay viable for numerous years, but most will develop best if planted right away the following spring.


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Tags:   vegetable seed, herb seed, vegetable seeds, herb seeds

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Submitted : 2011-07-12    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 482