Garden Update August 21st

Perhaps you have thought of saving your own seeds from some special vegetables you have grown in the past. Now is a great time to start saving your own seeds to replant next year. There are several basic things to know in order to be successful.

First, the seeds you save need to be “open pollinated”. A lot of seeds sold today are “hybrid”, which means the plant you have has 2 different kind of parent varieties and they will not produce off-spring that are like the plant you are trying to reproduce, or “true to kind”. So you will be better off saving seeds from vegetables that have not been hybridized.

Second, some seeds are easier to save than others. Peppers are very easy, just take them out of the pepper and save them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them in thelate winter/early spring. Tomatoes are also easy, just put them on a paper towel and wrap them up and keep them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them. When you are ready to plant, simply tear the paper towel and plant the seeds, paper towel and all. Other seeds that are easy are okra, beans, garlic (simply plant the individual cloves), and potatoes (choose the best tubers and save until spring). More difficult ones because of cross-pollination (nature’s own hybridizing) are corn, melons and squashes.

Third, seed saving is a fun adventure and in doing it you will be playing a big part in keeping crop diversity alive and well.