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Old 04-10-2010, 11:32 PM   #1
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Saving Seeds

My family and I moved from a duplex into our own home recently and we have a yard for a garden! I am so excited because I haven't had a garden in years.

The kids and I are going to be growing tomatoes, zuccinni, cilantro and sunflowers. For tomatoes I have chosen romas and heirloom rainbow tomatoes.

I am going to be experimenting with the upside down idea of growing tomatoes as well as the old fashioned way. Anyone think this upside down idea is actually a better idea than growing them out of the ground? I am assuming it's a good alternative to those that have no yard and no I am not buying the topsy turvey I am doing something of my own. Just to try.

The soil where the ideal spot for the garden is seems to be very sandy and less than desirable for growing so...we have been making compost to mix into the ground along with some new fresh soil that would be better suited for growing!

We aren't doing this because we have nothing to do, but because we love to cook and eat vegetables. Besides, I am kind of sad to see things like gardening and doing things in the real three dimensional world have become pretty rare. I want my kids to see for themselves how to grow things.

All of this to say that I am wondering how to save seeds for the following year. For tomatoes particularly. I know nothing about saving seeds. Any advice?

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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Okra, peas, corn, beans etc....The seeds are fairly simple to save...let them mature and dry mostly on the plant...Some additional drying may be necessary. ~~ Melons, squash, etc the fruit needs to be mature...seeds fully developed....Then dried ~~~ I've never tried to save tomato seed....If I were to try I would choose large. disease free specimens...take the seed out...and just dry them on a kitchen counter or work bench etc ~~~ HTH..

Luck!
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:50 AM   #3
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Wow, you're going to have fun with all those veggies. I use a simple method for seed saving. I take seeds from the best specimen, wash them off a bit, place them on a paper plate with the name of the variety written on it and let them dry out of the sun. When they are good and dry I store them in regular envelopes ( also labeled). I feel that plastic could encourage molding if any of the seeds are not completely dry. The tomato seeds tend to stick to the plate but come off with a sharp knife or a pair of tweezers. I also do this with flowers and spices. I dry the entire flower portion and when dry the seeds will shake out into a paper bag. I actually bought an organically grow red pepper once because it was so big and beautiful and saved the seeds. Some seeds can be saved for years! Baker Creek Seeds has wonderful information on seed saving. Google, seed saving, and see what comes up. Have fun.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:52 AM   #4
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Plants grown from the seeds of hybrid plants care often quite different than the parent. Hence the attractiveness of heirloom seeds.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:41 AM   #5
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Tomato seeds never work for me. I buy seedlings as they work well here. I've not had much luck with the upside down plant thing either. I do have great luck with hanging cherry tomatoes though. They love it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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Thank you SO MUCH for the advice. I like to ask for advice from you guys because I can find out what actually works and more of the pros and cons. I feel with general internet searches it can be even more hit and miss.

I really appreciate your help.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Be sure you are planting heirloom or open pollinated seeds, not hybrids as justplainbill said above.

If you plant more than one variety of tomatoes, the seeds will "come true" to the parent plant as long as there is a bit of room between the different varieties. Let a tomato get ripe, mash it a little and put it into a cup with a small amount of water. The tomato will get moldy and stinky--that is fine. After the tomato ferments for a week or so, dump it into a strainer and rinse the seeds clean. Dry on a paper towel and store in a dark, dry place.

If you grow the upside down tomatoes, one problem you will have is lack of water. I saw a new upside down planter that had a plastic container on the top with a couple of holes in it, so you filled the container and the water trickled thru the planter. You could do that with a milk jug or margarine container, too.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:52 PM   #8
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I save my tomato seeds by drying them on a paper towel ( similar to the paper plate method above). The seeds will dry and stick to the paper towel. I dont even attempt to remove them. The following year I just tear off the piece of paper towel with the seed on it and plant it. I still have seeds from a tomato i grew 10 years ago. It was the best tomato ive ever eaten. I label and date the paper towels.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I did the upside down tomato thing. It worked and was a unique idea, but i found the plants to be kinda 'stressed out' . Trying to grow upwards, and the production wasnt nearly as good as those grown the usual way. But, it was fun to try.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #10
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sparrowgrass & larry_stewart thanks for the input on the upside down. It reminds me of the saying "if it aint broke don't fix it!" hahaha.

And on the seed saving. This really helps.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #11
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I would still give the upside down thing a shot. The kids get a kick out of it ( and so did i). If you use a pole to suspend the upside down tomato basket, you can grow pole beans up the pole, therefore, not a total loss
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:03 PM   #12
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I haven't tried that method. If it will work, then I will do it also. Please update us on the
progress of your plants. :)
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #13
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i did the topsy turvy thing l didn't get many tomatoes. i planted two kinds of tomatoes. and planted several others in very large pots. they were just about even in production. i remember the days when my dad has so many tomatoes, my mom canned a lot of them for use in winter.

once i had a tomato grow in some sludge we hauled in for the yard. delicious and very big. guess if it survived the human that ate it, it was really hardy.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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Shortly after I started this thread, I was very disheartened to see that I had a small amount of seedlings. So few I could count them on my hands. :(

Being curious I checked out my tomato seeds and I discovered they had not even budged from their little seeds. I dug them out and put a very very small amount of dirt over the non-growers and guess what...at last count I have 179 tomato starts. That's one-seven-nine.

The first ones are almost big enough to pot! I have basil growing and my poppy flowers are sprouting too although still small. It has been so cold and rainey here that we don't get much sun but I am greatly pleased with the progress. :) I have compost all ready to use in the dirt!

I planted zuccini since then and strawberries. Unfortunately, my large not-smart dog licked out some of the seeds and ate the dirt. So I am not sure how many strawberry plants I will be getting at this point. But I will have plenny tomatoes!
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:23 PM   #15
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One thing about seed-saving .... peppers. I learned the interesting way that peppers cross-polinate very, very easily! One year we had two different kinds of peppers, in containers, on opposite sides of the (very large) veranda. One was an upright yellow, somewhat hot pepper we called the papal peppers (a friend had picked the peppers from a terrace in the Vatican and gave us one, we saved and planted the seeds). The other was a cayenne; that is to say downward hanging, long red.. We only saved the papal pepper seeds (the cayenne were readily available) and in the subsequent years we harvested weird variations of peppers from different plants (only using seeds from the papal peppers). You can actually create your own varieties of peppers by doing this. An interesting lesson for kids!
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I save my tomato seeds by drying them on a paper towel ( similar to the paper plate method above). The seeds will dry and stick to the paper towel. I dont even attempt to remove them. The following year I just tear off the piece of paper towel with the seed on it and plant it. I still have seeds from a tomato i grew 10 years ago. It was the best tomato ive ever eaten. I label and date the paper towels.
great idea!!!! And a great thread with a lot of help!
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:30 AM   #17
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@shannon: it is indeed a very informative thread! :D I agree with you on that.
I haven't thought of saving some seeds. I guess I should start saving some in the future! :D
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
One thing about seed-saving .... peppers. I learned the interesting way that peppers cross-polinate very, very easily! One year we had two different kinds of peppers, in containers, on opposite sides of the (very large) veranda. One was an upright yellow, somewhat hot pepper we called the papal peppers (a friend had picked the peppers from a terrace in the Vatican and gave us one, we saved and planted the seeds). The other was a cayenne; that is to say downward hanging, long red.. We only saved the papal pepper seeds (the cayenne were readily available) and in the subsequent years we harvested weird variations of peppers from different plants (only using seeds from the papal peppers). You can actually create your own varieties of peppers by doing this. An interesting lesson for kids!
Many peppers start out as hybrids (as are many seeds these days), so their seeds will produce plants that are the same as the original AND that are like their parents. Add is cross polination and the varities are endless.
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