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I've been seriously thinking about this lately..I spend lots of money each year on buying vegetable plants instead of trying to grow ALL my plants myself from seed that literally cost pennies and if I can save the (non gmo) seed it will not cost me anything...

I have a grow light and a good sized heat mat to give the seeds a good chance to germinate plus I have a GreenHouse but that is unheated for now anyway..

My boy's and I have been talking about investing in hydroponics and having it in our basement so we can grow fresh food during the winter months..(yes, spirtdeer I was thinking about a buying a few aerogardens to..lol

I don't have books on how to save seeds as I never really thought much about it until now..I have saved seeds from my green beans and pole beans plant but no others.

I'm going to buy some heirloom seeds and learn to propagate my already established food forest.

So does anyone have knowledge of seed saving and any tips you could give me?

I think Desire (raiquee) knows how to propagate plants?

Would love to hear anyone with knowledge on this subject.
 

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My Dgram did that. She taught me about cubing potatoes w/ 1-2 eyes and drying them so the edges cured for bugs
We used to dry seeds in the sun on a paper towel to plant or eat. Some people store the seeds in the freezer but I have never done that.
Gram knew which bulbs to pull and store upside down and how to root African violet stems in water.
So much of that stuff is lost.
 

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Hey Brenda!

I do know a bit or so of saving seeds. I will try and divvy plants up into categories for you!

Perfect flowers- tomatoes, peppers. beans, peas, legumes really. This means the flower is self pollinating. It also tends to pollinate before it even opens. Which is awesome. Then you can save seed and not really worry about crossing isolation. Do they cross? Yes it can happen but not often. To save seed for all you just harvest the fruit and scoop out seeds and let dry! Tomatoes have a way of fermenting them to get the gel off- a quick youtube search and you will see examples. Peppers have to be really ripe- no picking early or the seed won't be viable.

Inperfect flowers- these are your squash, melons, cukes, zukes- things like that. They require pollination to be viable. They will cross like no ones business as they are relying on insects. You need to tape a female and male flower shut in the evening and then the following morning pollinate it yourself, then bag the bloom so insects can't get at it until the fruit takes. These also need to be harvested when they are really ripe. Cukes and zukes need to change color and become yellow for best seed.

Biannuals- onions, carrots- require overwintering to seed. They will cross as well and need pollination from insects. This I haven't saved seed from as our cold winters kill the veggie so I would have to store in basement in damp sand and replant in spring. haven't tried yet. The biggest worry with carrots is cross pollination by queen annes lace.

Brenda I highly highly recommend the book seed to seed by Suzanne ashworth. AWESOME book. That is my bible come flowering time.

I sucked at seeds this year. The most notable thing you need is TIME because in the case of melons/cukes timing is everything.
 

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The great thing though is if you save one cucumber to go to seed you are going to have seed for plenty of years unless you sell. Same with most crops. Legumes (peas and beans) are really the only crop that I feel the seed-veggie ratio isn't that good. But it's my favorite one to teach my kids with. I show them a pea pod with 5 peas in it and tell them "Now this one seed will grow into one plant that will give us XX amount of pea pods which all have this many seeds in it!" It's a great one for teaching. They are so careful too when saving seed from legumes because they know each seed is a plant and each plant will feed us.
 
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The great thing though is if you save one cucumber to go to seed you are going to have seed for plenty of years unless you sell. Same with most crops. Legumes (peas and beans) are really the only crop that I feel the seed-veggie ratio isn't that good. But it's my favorite one to teach my kids with. I show them a pea pod with 5 peas in it and tell them "Now this one seed will grow into one plant that will give us XX amount of pea pods which all have this many seeds in it!" It's a great one for teaching. They are so careful too when saving seed from legumes because they know each seed is a plant and each plant will feed us.
Thank honey..I do have a cucumber that I let go to seed but I left it in the garden..I wonder if it's still okay after many frost that we have had?

Funny you should mention about the bean & pea seed because my oldest son's best friend over our home to visit yesterday as I was planting some free plants I got dug up from my mil's yard..anyway, this kid (he is 22yrs old) likes to garden so I gave him some of my volunteer perennial plants and then asked him if he wanted some pole green bean seed he said yes so as I was pulling the dried pods off their vines I said it's crazy how much stores charge for their green bean seed when each pod has like 6 seeds or more that each seed will grow a new plant..so basically 5- dried green beans equals a $1.50 package at the store I buy my seed from..

I'm glad you are teaching your little fella's about gardening.. I think every child should be taught while they are young to absorb the information and then give them the seed to plant their own little garden that way they will develop the skills later on in their life.
 

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Hey Brenda!

I do know a bit or so of saving seeds. I will try and divvy plants up into categories for you!

Perfect flowers- tomatoes, peppers. beans, peas, legumes really. This means the flower is self pollinating. It also tends to pollinate before it even opens. Which is awesome. Then you can save seed and not really worry about crossing isolation. Do they cross? Yes it can happen but not often. To save seed for all you just harvest the fruit and scoop out seeds and let dry! Tomatoes have a way of fermenting them to get the gel off- a quick youtube search and you will see examples. Peppers have to be really ripe- no picking early or the seed won't be viable.

Inperfect flowers- these are your squash, melons, cukes, zukes- things like that. They require pollination to be viable. They will cross like no ones business as they are relying on insects. You need to tape a female and male flower shut in the evening and then the following morning pollinate it yourself, then bag the bloom so insects can't get at it until the fruit takes. These also need to be harvested when they are really ripe. Cukes and zukes need to change color and become yellow for best seed.

Biannuals- onions, carrots- require overwintering to seed. They will cross as well and need pollination from insects. This I haven't saved seed from as our cold winters kill the veggie so I would have to store in basement in damp sand and replant in spring. haven't tried yet. The biggest worry with carrots is cross pollination by queen annes lace.

Brenda I highly highly recommend the book seed to seed by Suzanne ashworth. AWESOME book. That is my bible come flowering time.

I sucked at seeds this year. The most notable thing you need is TIME because in the case of melons/cukes timing is everything.
Thanks so much! I will be buy the book you recommended.
 

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Brenda re-reading your first post- I have great success from seed. I only purchased I believe 5 clearance pepper plants to plant in my big garden. Everything else was started in doors or direct sowed. That's a lot of plants!! I also bought my potatoes, which I will do next year as well.

I pulled in some radish seed ( which is crossed), dill seed, cilantro seed, quinoa seed, pinto seed, calypso bean seed, northern bean seed. I also have a moon n stars watermelon and a cucumber I could grab for seed, but it's probably crossed with other melons or even the cukes as well. I don't want to waste a season growing mystery seed. I will grow the radish, because it only crosses with other radishes.
 
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