Have you considered saving seed from your garden? Saving seed was once an option. Not any more. It is absolutely essential!! With an uncertain economy and a shrinking heirloom seed pool, the time has come to start saving seed. Over 90% of our heirloom seed have been lost to apathy, lack of interest and the advent of hybrids.
I offered a presentation on Planning a Seed Garden during the September Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Fall Festival. I will be sharing this information over the next few days.
- Determine your favorite open pollinated (true to type) vegetables, herbs and flowers.
- Does your current garden have the space necessary for vegetable and seed saving production?
–Make a garden plan to fit the space available.
–Start small, planting a familiar variety that you are comfortable growing.
–What seed crop or crops are worth the space?
- Isolation requirement, pollination method and plant requirement must be considered.
- Will your seed saving choice have time to mature?
–Tomato, winter squash and grains are harvested at maturity.
–Eggplant, cucumber, snap peas and beans need additional time for seed maturity.
–Leaf crops (Oriental greens, lettuce, spinach), stalk crops (celery, celtuce, cardoon, Swiss Chard, asparagus, fennel) and root crops (potato, sweet potato) need additional time for seed maturity.
- Need cold for vernalization requirement.
–Vernalization is a period of chilling before flowering.
- Winter chilling is critical for flower initiation.
- Cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, kale grow foliage the first year.
–Overwintering initiates flowering the following spring, producing seed.
Are there any questions? Please send them!