Clarification Saving Seed & Growing

colcol(5a)December 18, 2008

Help! I'm getting lost in info. About saving seeds -- save seeds from heirloom seeds, NOT hybrid, right? And about cross polinating. For example to save seeds so they come true next year; plant ONE variety of gourd, ONE variety of pumpkin; one variety of sunflower, etc. on my farm. And miles away at my parents place plant a different variety, ONE each different thing, and thus, seed saving of at least 2 varities of stuff? Cannot plant seeds from ALL the varieties of gourds I got and save the seeds they eventually make, right? (I do not have time and am not home enough to do the hand polinating thing, which is too complicated for me at this point in brain overload stage).

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Any seed that is not hybrid whether heirloom or not(some plants can be brand new and not a hybrid) can be saved and will come true to type.
Cross pollination depends a lot on the type of plant.
Here's an explanation of of squash that I wrote before:
Cross pollination happens when you grow two squash of the same species. An example is Acorn Squash, Zucchini and the little ornamental gourds(not real gourds like a birdhouse gourd) are all Cucurbita pepo. They will cross. They will not cross with other species. Like a Hubbard squash, Cucurbita maxima, will not cross with a Cucurbita pepo type squash. So when growing squash as long as the second name does not match, you can grow different types without worry of crossing if you wish to save seed.
And squash do not cross with melons or cukes. You only have to worry about cukes crossing with cukes and melons crossing with melons.

So you can grow multiple squash/pumpkin/gourds as long as the latin second names do not match. If the latin second names match, you need 1/2 mile between varieties to keep them pure.
Most things that have a lot of insect visitation, need 1/2 mile or so. For saving for yourself, you can go a bit less and chances are you will still be ok.
I hope I made sense. If not please ask more questions.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Yes, things are beginning to click! Finally! THANK YOU!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hybrid seed can also be saved. Usually it will not produce plants exactly like the parent seed plant, but will however produce something nice (thinking flowers here) anyway.

Example, I have a sedum that was grown from seed saved fro the Hybrid Neon Sedum. While the new sedum is not exactly like the Neon, it is however very nice. It was more vibrant than the mother plant.

It is often not advised to save seed from Hybrid tomatoes, as it is just anyone's guess as to how the plants from the saved seed will perform and produce. With about 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, there are so many really great varieties to try. I did however save seed from a hybrid tomato this year, and will grow them next season, just to see if they are very close to what the hybrid seed produced.
btw...tomatoes only need 50' to assure with a good degree of purity of seed when blooms have not been bagged to prevent cross pollination.


I have also saved seed to hybrid irises. It will be very interesting to see what they produce. I'm hoping for something new and really fantastic, maybe worthy of being registered.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 11:21PM
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