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Posted on Jul 28, 2013 in Seeds | 0 comments

Seed Saving

Seed Saving

Learn how to save seed from plants growing in your own garden.
Plants adapt to differing soil conditions and seeds collected from plants growing in your own garden are usually better adapted to your soil conditions for the following season.

When saving seed, remember:

  • Select from only the strongest plants, removing those showing signs of disease.
  • Always store seeds in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry location. This will extend the life of the seeds.
  • Annuals set seeds in the first year. Biennials only set seeds in their second year.

Seed saving by plant

Instructions and tips on seed saving for individual plants.

Bean & Pea (all types)

  • SIMPLICITY: Easy | Annual
  • POLLINATION: Self pollinating. To ensure purity, grow varieties at least 2m apart.
  • TIPS: Allow strong pods to develop on plant. Pods will mature progressively on the one plant so collect individual pods when they are browning off and the beans inside are full and plump. Allow whole pods to dry in a cool dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. When fully dry, open pods and remove beans.

Beetroot

  • SIMPLICITY: Difficult | Biennial
  • POLLINATION: For purity, plant at least 250m apart from other varieties as seed is wind and insect pollinated.
    Will easily cross with other beetroot, silverbeet, sugarbeet and fodder beets; to ensure purity.
  • TIPS: Roots send up flower heads in the second year.  Seeds will ripen at different times on the one plant. Harvest individually as they ripen or harvest whole stalk and hang to dry in a sheltered, dry, well ventilated ara out of direct sunlight. Use hand to remove seed from branches.

Carrot

  • SIMPLICITY: Moderate | Biennial
  • POLLINATION: Cross pollinating
  • Will cross with other carrot varieties and Queen Ann’s Lace. To ensure purity, grow varieties at least 500m apart.
    TIPS: When seeds are mature with seeds fully formed, cut flower stalks, place into a paper bag and leave to hang in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. When dry, rub together with hands to release seeds.

Cucumber

  • SIMPLICITY: Difficult | Annual
  • POLLINATION: Cross pollinating. Insect pollinated.
    Will cross with other cucumber varieties. To ensure purity, grow varieties at least 500m apart.
  • TIPS: Select only the the best fruit and leave to mature on the vine. Cut fruit in half, scoop out seeds and place into a glass jar. Leave pulp to ferment for a few days until the gel surrounding the seeds has dissolved. Place into a sieve and wash well under running water. Leave to dry on a plate or fine mesh in a cool, dry, well-ventilated aea out of direct sunlight. After 1-2 days use hands to separate and break up seeds. Continue to dry.

Rockmelon

  • SIMPLICITY: Difficult | Annual
  • POLLINATION: Cross pollinating. Insect pollinated.
    Will cross with other varieties of honeydue, rockmelon and Armenian cucumber; to ensure purity, grow varieties at least 400m apart.
  • TIPS: Leave fruit to mature on the vine, then harvest and allow tto sit for an extra few days. Cut fruit in half, scoop out seeds, place into a sieve and wash well under running water. Leave to dry on a plate or fine mesh in a coll, dry, well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. After 1-2 days use hands to separate and break up seeds. Continue to dry.

Watermelon

  • SIMPLICITY: Moderate | Annual
  • POLLINATION: Insect pollinated.
    Will cross with other watermelons, pie melons and citron melons. To ensure purity, grow varieties at least 500m apart.
  • TIPS: Leave fruit to mature on the vine. Fruit is ready to harvest when the tendril next to the melon turns brown and the fruit sounds hollow when tapped. Harvest and allow to sit for an extra few days to continue ripening. Cut fruit in half, scoop out seeds, place into a sieve and wash well under running water. Leave to dry on a plate or fine mesh in a cool, dry, well-ventilated are out of direct sunlight. After 1-2 days use hands to separate and break up seeds. Continue to dry.

Zucchini

  • SIMPLICITY: Moderate | Annual
  • POLLINATION: Cross pollinated. Insect pollinated.
    Will cross with other zucchini, squash and pumpkin. To ensure purity, grow varieties at least 400m apart.
  • TIPS: Leave fruit to mature on the vine. Fruit is ready to harvest when the  fruit sounds hollow when tapped, the skin has hardened and the stem turns brown. Harvest and allow to sit for an extra 3-4 weeks. Cut fruit in half, scoop out seeds, place into a sieve and wash well under running water. Leave to dry on a plate or fine mesh in a cool, dry, well-ventilated are out of direct sunlight.
Seed Saving
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