Saving seeds for gardens from year to year

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blissful

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Back in 2020 my kale came back the second year and then went to seed. It took all season but it produced these long pointy pods with seeds. The pods look like the leaves but they are round like beans. At the end of the season I collected the seeds. I've been planting that kale now for 3 years. Lots of seeds.
This is what the left side of the lettuce garden looked like when it was making those pods.
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This year 2023 in the same area, in the back left side the parsley are starting to go to seed. All those tall plants.
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Then by the next month those tall fronds have grown taller and longer and fall over the entire left side of the garden. The seeds are on the tips of the branches in an umbel or umbral (like an umbrella).

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I cut the seeds off into a bucket. Then I need to move them around daily or else if moist spots stay moist, mold will grow and I don't want that. Once they are dry they fall into the bottom of the bucket.
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I collect them in a container and let them air dry a couple weeks. I put them in clear bags and label what it is and the year.
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These are winter keeper bulbing onions, long day, gone to seed. We collect them every year to plant the next year since onion seeds are mostly only viable for one year. They grow on long stems and we stake them to hold them up.

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I cut those into a container. Once they dry completely, we break the white balls that hold little black seeds for onions.
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Are you saving seeds? It doesn't have to be a lot of seed to make a difference. I collected plantain seeds, since they are edible. I collected sweet william flower seed when those were spent. We'll have 3 different types of sunflowers and I'll collect some seeds form those for next year. Each time we save some seed we save ourselves a $3 seed packet. Our peppers and tomato seeds last up to 10 years. We collect pole and bush beans for seed for the next year.
If you aren't sure how to save seed just google it or youtube the question and the information is free.
There are seed viability charts so you'll know how many years your seed will be viable for. https://joegardener.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Seed-Longevity-Chart.pdf

Another way to get seeds is to ask friends for them and trade what you have with them. Don't forget flowers! Gotta feed the bees. It's fun.
 
We dry and keep some seeds to grow following year.
Chillies pumpkin and coriander/cilantro.

Russ
I don't usually grow a lot of squash but THIS YEAR we've got all kinds. I'd be worried about them crossing if I was saving those seeds. Do you grow just one type or many types? Any crossing happen? It's hard to know since you never know until the next year.
 
My mate grows them and he gave us 1 a few years ago. We saved about 40 seeds and grow from that. Dont know much about cross pollination as our neighbour doesn't have a garden. We only have 1 neighbour. Ones we grow are so yummy.

Russ
 
I'm reminded of a woman who quit growing from her own seeds. She had saved either chard or beet seeds. Well, what she got was a cross between the two. For some reason, she was grossed out by the plants that grew. They had leaves like chard and little beets at the bottom. So, she never wanted to save seeds again. Me, I would have been delighted.
 
I'm reminded of a woman who quit growing from her own seeds. She had saved either chard or beet seeds. Well, what she got was a cross between the two. For some reason, she was grossed out by the plants that grew. They had leaves like chard and little beets at the bottom. So, she never wanted to save seeds again. Me, I would have been delighted.
I didn't even know they were kissing cousins. Cool.
A friend sent me some gray squash and some blue squash seeds. And then I planted some carnival squash, and some buttercup. And God only knows what the white squashes I'm growing are. I have no recollection of white pumpkin seeds, so I'm not sure. Once the leaves die back I'll be able to figure out what we have. It's an adventure! An adventure that we'll eat. :ROFLMAO:
 
I save some seeds, but not that many, because many do cross easily, like peppers and brassicas. Some don't cross easily, but still known to cross, like tomatoes. So anything where crossing is known to happen, I bag a stem with the blossoms, before they open, and wait for them to open, help them self pollinate, with that vibrator thing, then wait for the fruit to set, then open the bag, and tag the stem, to show which fruits I can save.

Some things I save because there is nothing else similar (and no-one nearby with a garden!), and I have one much better plant, so I save seeds from something on that. I had a Kajari melon plant like that this year. Some things I save that supposedly don't cross are beans - usually odd varieties, and one (Thai Long Red) that I can't find anymore, so I have to save it! And a leaf lettuce I got in a Mesclun Mix years ago, that turned out to be the latest leaf lettuce to bolt that I had ever grown! So I saved seeds, and kept trying similar looking leaf lettuce varieties, but nothing ever lasted as long as that. I still have two out there now that grew all summer, one finally sending a seed stalk up now - about when that first one years ago did. Also one I grow many months hydroponically, without bolting. So be careful about buying seed mixes - sounds good, so you don't have everything ready to harvest at the same time, but if you find something that you have to keep growing, you'll have to save the seeds! :LOL:

I do a lot of seed trading with people on gardening forums I'm on all the time. A lot of us are getting sick of these rising prices, and lower numbers of seeds in the packets! So I guess a lot more are saving.
 
Here is that "unknown" leaf lettuce, that I save seeds from, since it lasts longer than any other variety I have ever grown, one that is just starting to bolt, and the other not even started yet! I'm thinking of watching to see if that takes even longer, then save the seeds from that one - the most heat resistant of any, so far.
One of the two unknown leaf lettuce plants, going to seed at the end of August, after living since early spring. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The second unknown leaf lettuce, living since early spring, w/o bolting. That yellow is just green, but it's sunny, and reflecting. by pepperhead212, on Flickr
 
Saving seeds from your garden is an amazing way to save money (which is why many garden in the first place) on growing veg. You have to be very careful about saving seeds that easily cross. Zuchinni crosses very easy with other squash family fruits like pumpkins for example. Almost all my zuchinni were zuchumkims this year after a stray shoot snuck into my zuch patch.
 
I found out I planted long island cheese pumpkins, that is the white-tan pumpkin. I am getting a gray blue squash but I don't know if it is a hope grey squash or a blue hubbard! I planted both kinds but only have 2 or 3 of them and when I look at google pictures of them both they look like the same squash. Is that possible that they are the same squash?
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I dont have familiarity with that variety but the shape, color and texture seem to he different which leads me to believe its crossed. Do you have other squash family plants in your garden or close neighbors?
 
I dont have familiarity with that variety but the shape, color and texture seem to he different which leads me to believe its crossed. Do you have other squash family plants in your garden or close neighbors?
If a squash shows up, and any cross happened, it would have happened the year before when the previous squash was grown. I got my seeds from a friend, so if it is a cross, it crossed in her garden. Same is true if you buy seeds from a seed seller.

My neighbors don't grow anything, thank God, lol. There is no way I'd trust my seeds from squash or cucumbers to be true. (too many types of squash and cucumbers) So if it is important to have a type of squash, then I wouldn't trust mine. However, as long as I get a squash of any color or type, I'm usually pretty happy.
 
I plant from seed from previous year. Pumpkin and chillies. Tomato as well. Dried in paper towels then put away until use. I just propagated a heap this arvo. 24 deg c here In nz.

Russ
 
@Rascal I save my pepper seeds and tomato seeds. Bean seeds, both pole and bush types. Herbs/flowers/kale/lettuce/parsley/keeper long day onions/sunflowers.
With the tomato seeds, I ferment them 3-5 days to get the gel off the seeds, then I strain and wash and air dry them. Those last 8-10 years.
 
The last couple of days I saved some seeds from 2 types of bitter melons - one called simply "White", and one called #1 Green (though it is also almost entirely white, with a hint of green in some - I think those are in the sun more). I was over at a friend's place a couple of days ago (whose bitter melons did much better than mine from the same types of seedlings, and found a ripe one, I think the #1 green, and brought it home, to save the seeds. A ripe one from my garden was the White, and the slimy red pods that develop with the seeds in them are much larger, and the seeds are a little larger. The slimy covering has to be rubbed and washed off in a strainer, then the seeds are dried on a plate.
One of the over-ripe bitter melons from my friend's garden, which I brought home to save seeds from. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The larger slime coated seeds from my ripening bitter melons, I think the white ones. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Seeds saved from my friend's bitter melon. The 4 on the right are a different variety. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The 4 larger, slightly lighter colored seeds on the R I just put on to compare - I have about the same number of both varieties.

I'm not sure if these varieties will cross, but it seems they should be less prone to it than others, as it looks like the fruits set almost before the flowers appear, and they don't open for long, and aren't covered with pollinators all the time, like some flowering vegetables. And I'll have so many seeds I'll be able to experiment with some methods to help it germinate - they are notoriously slow to germinate, sometimes.
 
I found out I planted long island cheese pumpkins, that is the white-tan pumpkin. I am getting a gray blue squash but I don't know if it is a hope grey squash or a blue hubbard! I planted both kinds but only have 2 or 3 of them and when I look at google pictures of them both they look like the same squash. Is that possible that they are the same squash?
tomatoes-024.jpg


tomatoes-027.jpg
I've lived on Long Island most my life ( except for the few years I went to school in Philly), and I never knew we had our own squash. Not sure how I let this one get past me. Learn something new every day.
 
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