HARVESTING SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE

Lazy Gardener

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This thread is for folks who want to save seeds from their favorite veggies to use in future gardens. Let's hear what kinds of seeds you save, any seed saver's tips, and your results: both the expected, good, unexpected, and bad!

Here's a good article that explains the wide variation of reproduction methods in your garden!

https://youshouldgrow.com/self-pollinating-plants/

Every year, I let some plants self sow: Dill, lettuce, peas, spinach, cilantro will all mature and drop a crop of seeds in a single season.

I collect seeds at the end of the season:

*Beans. Have been growing Fortex from my own seed for MANY years.

*Many of the flowers that are grown in my yard, as well as seed pods that I gather from afar. (Calendula, nasturtium, pansy, petunia.) I will often buy a 6 pack of flowers with the vision of the seeds they will produce. Priced a pack of flower seeds lately? Crazy prices!!! Especially when you look at the seed count and figure out what a single seed costs... Then consider the germination rate, AND the time invested from seed to bloom!

*Lettuce can be allowed to go to seed. You can allow the seed to spread naturally. You can gather the mature plants and lay them where you want next year's lettuce crop. Or you can gather the seed heads and thresh them. I use an old pillow case for that.

*Biennuals require one year of growth, then they get busy setting seed the second year. Parsley, Kale, and Swiss chard are super easy.

Sorrel is a perennial that will set seed starting in the second year.

*Garlic scapes can be left to mature. The bulbils will self sow, or you can harvest them to plant them where you want them to grow. While it's said, (and I believe it to be true) that a garlic head will grow larger if you do not allow the scapes to mature, those bulbils are valuable. Growing a new variety of garlic, and want to increase your garlic bed? Let those scapes mature. A single head can produce 10 - 50 or more bulbils, depending on variety. Add that to the number of cloves that head produces, and you may realize a 5900% increase in plant material over a single season! HOWEVER... there is a drawback. It takes at least 2 years to produce a head of garlic from a bulbil! And, they are prolific! I also allow some bulbils to mature, then toss them into the chicken run. The girls LOVE those bulbils. I consider them to be a self administered antihelminthic.

*Many flower bulbs also produce viable seed, which will produce the same fantastic increase of plants from one season to the next.

*Tomato: I just fermented and saved a batch of Rutgers and Pink Brandywine. I really don't care if these 2 varieties cross. I'm looking forward to seeing what they produce next year.

*Have been saving my favorite cucumber for years: Suyo Long.
 
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mischief

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I found a really good book- Seed to seed.
The only problem I have with it is that it is northern Hemisphere and gives dates rather than seasons or temperatures, but still, alot of really good info.

I like to make use of what is available to hand and one thing is newspaper. I lay my stalks over one half, fold it up, then tuck the sides inside to make a packet and tie the tops with twine. This then get hung in a tree so it is shaded but still has good airflow. You have to take them inside over night so they dont get wet and when the seeds have dried and dropped, you just need to 'open' one side to pour the dried seeds into a sieve to make sure they are clear of debris.
I never dry my seeds in the sun.

My nana taught me to store my seeds in old envelopes. So now I always open them from one end so there is plenty of room for the seeds and to fold the end over to seal. Just write the name on it and pop into a cool cupboard for next year.
 

Lazy Gardener

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I often weave my lettuce stalks through the CP fence that surrounds my garden. I will also pull the stalks and lay them where I want next summer's crop. My pockets are always full of seeds in the fall.

Your method would likely ensure better germination of the stored seeds.
 

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