Why Use Isolation Techniques for Saving Seed?
- Goal – produce true to type seeds
- Prevent unwanted cross pollination by isolation
- Seeds are collected from a number of plants of the same variety, protecting the variety’s genetic diversity (prevents the loss of a variety’s unique characteristics – i.e. form, color and taste)
- Seeds collected from a number of plants of the same variety, is essential to the health and performance of the variety.
- Seeds collected in your garden are unique to the changing conditions of your area.
- These seeds are now a one of kind variety for your special use.
- Isolation – the use of spatial distance or physical barriers to prevent pollination by wind, vibration, insects or mechanical means.
- Isolation techniques:
- Blossom bagging – netting material that is a physical barrier to insects that are drawn to the flowers of vegetables, herbs and flowers that you intend for seed saving.
- Caging – a physical barrier made of a frame and screen/row cover to prevent cross pollination of insect pollinated plants.
- Self pollinated vegetables suitable for caging include eggplant, pepper and tomato.
- Floating Row Cover material/very fine screening may be purchased online from horticultural suppliers or high end garden centers.
Here are two excellent publications for more in-depth information regarding seed saving!
Please contact me for any question or observation you have regarding seed saving!