Saving seed

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Odsox
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Saving seed

Post: #282811 Odsox
Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:39 am

I have always sort of halfheartedly saved some seed, mainly peas, beans and tomatoes, but the recent threat from the EU to restrict what we can and cannot grow has prompted me to rethink my strategy a bit.
This year I'm saving the more normal easy ones, melons, squash, early peas, maincrop peas, broad beans, French beans and some tomatoes, but also as a first for me, sweetcorn and beetroot.
Beetroot should be dead easy, as every year there are always one or two that bolt. This year was no exception and so I left them to get on with it, then stripped some seed off (only a few as there are literally thousands) and dried them indoors. I have just done a germination test and have 75% sprouted at the moment, and the sweetcorn I tested earlier was 100%

The plan is to expand the list a bit more, but I don't think I'll bother with the biennial ones at the moment, that would be just too much bother and take up too much valuable growing space. Onions might be next though as there always seem to be the odd one of those that bolt early.

Anyone else saving or planning to save more of you own seed ?
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282812 Green Aura
Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:34 am

We're on about our 4th year saving Cherokee Trail of Tears beans. I'm hoping that saving the best of the bunch they'll start to get a bit more prolific.

We're still working on tomatoes that we like well enough that are short season - thus far they're not very tasty, but we've got some more to try next year. Of course, when we find some they're bound to be F1s so I'm waiting on your experiments to see how saving seeds from those go. I'd like to buy some heirloom varieties though, probably from the US, as they seem to have a huge selection and take note of season length.

Other than that it's only mooli, nasturtiums and calendula at the moment. But I agree, it needs to increase.

Maybe we could start our own Ish Seed Bank.
Maggie

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282814 diggernotdreamer
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:28 pm

I do save lots of seeds, including flowers. I am in the process of acquiring more permaculture type plants, such as potato onions, babbingtons leek and Daubentons kale that you propagate from cuttings (it's delicious Tony). I don't always select the best, I do a sort of mixture, because I once saw a programme about the Colmans mustard and how they saved the best and lost the flavour. I would be happy to send you some seeds I have been growing here Maggie, I am assuming that like us, you have very short days in the winter, but extremely long ones in the summer but a bit cooler than people in the South

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282816 Green Aura
Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:26 pm

That would be fantastic. We'll sort something out.

It mat not be as cold as you think though. We get the gulf stream which makes us quite balmy most of the year - and yes I did spell that right. :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282822 doofaloofa
Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:36 pm

I grew ToT beans this year Green Aura (about 20m of row in the tunnel)

and have saved seed for next year

i found them most proliffic. plenty of green beans and plenty of dried

I have also collected 200 sweet chestnuts for growing (bumper year)

Mind you dont need closed pollination for the squash and beets Tony

http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282829 Odsox
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks for the link Doofa, but looking at the very first page of that "book" tells me that ALL beans are self fertile, which patently isn't true. Try growing conventional runner beans or broad beans without pollinating insects.
All my squash are hand pollinated and as I only grow one variety of beet I don't think cross pollination is a problem. That is a problem and the reason why I don't save brassica seeds. I grow sprouts, PSB and winter cabbage all together, and they all flower at the same time, so cross pollination would be an issue, although I have saved Russian Kale seeds grown with other brassicas and the seeds have grown true.
Tony

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282830 doofaloofa
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:30 am

Your on the coast Tony, so you could feasably get cross polination from wild beta vulgaris/sea beet

Are you growing chard or spianch beet?

Should be fun finding out anyway
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282831 Odsox
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:36 am

doofaloofa wrote:Are you growing chard or spianch beet?

White beetroot, in the tunnel. :iconbiggrin:
Tony

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282832 doofaloofa
Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:58 am

White? What's the taste like?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282833 Odsox
Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:29 am

Sweeter than red, otherwise the same beet taste, but it doesn't turn your plate red when you eat it.
It's probably one that will disappear if the EU get their way as it's not a "proper" (red) beetroot.
Tony

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282836 John Headstrong
Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:26 am

I am saving more seeds than ever these days.

I also have "Cherokee Trail of Tears beans" and chard. I have a small forest of "Daubentons kale" which I call 'pippandy kale' because I got my first plant from my friends Pippa and Andy well over 10 years ago, they got it from a seed swap in Ireland in 1998, I only found out it was called Daubentons kale at last years Permaculture Scotland weekend.

An Ishers seed bank would be handy.

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Re: Saving seed

Post: #282838 doofaloofa
Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:45 pm

Have you read Jitterbug Perfume Tony?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitterbug_Perfume

Beets and beet pollen are central to the story
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln


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