Seed Saving Presentation at the Yard Garden and Patio Show (Feb 16, 2012)
Why Save Seeds?
· Improvement of a variety, adapting it to your climate, soil, and conditions
· Stewardship of seed diversity
· Breeding new varieties
Seed saving for beginners: Use open pollinated and self pollinating seed
· Beans, Peas, Lettuce: almost all garden seed is open pollinated
· Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant: both hybrid and open pollinated seeds are widely available
· Open pollinated and cross-pollinating species which can be isolated from other varieties of the same species.
· Vegetables which reproduce asexually (not truly seeds, of course) garlic, shallots, multiplier onions
Tips for Seed Saving
· Select your saved seed from as many individual plants as you can.
· Select your saved seed from the plants (not the fruit) with the highest quality.
· Save seed from early fruit; don't wait until the end of the season.
· Make sure your seed is thoroughly dry before it is stored.
· Glass jars and paper envelopes are suitable for seed storage.
· Store in a cool, dark place.
· Label your seed! Include the year.
Open-pollinated seeds are a result of either natural or human selection for specific traits which are then reselected in every crop. There are new open pollinated varieties as well as old ones. Seeds from open-pollinated plants will produce offspring like the parents, assuming they are protected from cross-pollination.
Open-pollinated vegetable varieties reproduce themselves in one of two ways: cross-pollination between two plants (via wind, insects or water) or self-pollination (between male and female flower parts contained within the same flower or separate flowers on the same plant). . . . So long as plants of an OP variety are kept isolated from different plants with which they can cross, they will produce seed that will come "true to type." In other words, the plants in the following generation will resemble the parent plants.
“What Is a Hybrid, Anyway?
A hybrid is the result of pollination of one genetically uniform variety with pollen from another specific genetically uniform variety, explained Jim Baggett, professor emeritus of horticulture at OSU. A seed company chooses parent varieties that will produce first generation offspring (F1 hybrids) with the special characteristics they desire. “Hybridization, or crossing, is done in a very controlled manner so that all of the plants grown from the hybrid seed will be the result of the desired cross and will be genetically identical," said Baggett, who has bred dozens of new varieties of vegetables for the Oregon agricultural industry and home gardeners, including several varieties of snap peas, tomatoes and green beans. ‘The pollination is often done by hand, which results in expensive seed.’ ” – Oregon State University web site
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