Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 Toplef10Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 I22gcj10Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 14dhcg10

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Is anyone using saved seeds this year?

+13
boog1
happycamper
Patty from Yorktown
Squat_Johnson
Weedless_
quiltbea
jumiclads
staf74
Lavender Debs
BackyardBirdGardner
FarmerValerie
Goosegirl
NHGardener
17 posters

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Post  Patty from Yorktown 3/3/2011, 4:14 pm

I have been saving commercially packaged seeds for several years now. My seeds just live in the kitchen in a pretty photo box. They work great. Mel's book lists how long seed is good. I have only had a problem when I forgot to check the list. Now I check how old my seeds are, before I place an order. I have also started to save my own seeds. That is fun and not much work. Last years project was to learn how to save seeds and trade them on the internet. So far, so good. This summer I think I will enlarge the number of types of seed I save.

Somebody on the forum mentioned a seed garden. After more question were asked I think I misunderstood the concept. In any event I think it makes a lot of sence to have a box dedicated to seeds, instead of random squares throughout my garden. I also have a copy of the seed to seed book. It is a good one.

Patty in Yorktown
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Post  happycamper 3/3/2011, 4:35 pm

Yes, you can save the seeds from your home grown veggies! Make sure that the veggie in question is fully ripe so that the seeds get a chance to mature.

As long as you dry and store your seeds properly many of them last from year to year. May I suggest envelopes or there are lots of websites that have free downloadable seed packet designs that you can print and tailor to your specific needs.

I have saved seed from squash, beans, peas and spinach and a few others for years. I don't think I have purchased Kentucky Wonder green beans in over 12 years.

There are lots of gardeners here that save seeds and would be more than happy to provide different suggestions on how to "seed save" when you are ready.
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Post  NHGardener 3/3/2011, 4:43 pm

Ooh. Besides being a vegetable farmer, I am now going to add "seed farmer" to my title.

Well, after my first growing season anyway, and assuming I even get any veggies. Very Happy
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Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 Empty speakin of savin seeds

Post  boog1 3/3/2011, 6:30 pm

2 years ago my other half planted a ton of cosmos a couple of days ago i found the plastic container in the basement with 2- 1 gallon ziplock bags full of cosmos seeds affraid plus a half doz. other flowers all in ziplocks bags some still in the heads some not Shocked allso found green bean,squash seeds from two years Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 601593 ago anyhoo how heres something odd to plunder a couple years ago we had 6 tomato plants all lined up next to the concrete pad next to the garage had weed cloth down summer went by and other half picked what she wanted and left the rest some fell on the ground so when i pulled the cages and dead vines up in the fall the next year lo an behold up pops 3 tomato plants in three of the holes that a rotting tomato had been in.

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Post  quiltbea 3/3/2011, 7:35 pm

NHGardener.
I was referring to my article of Feb 17th just below Brussels sprouts,
Save Seeds From Your Seed Packets, including a recipe for desiccant to keep them moisture-free so they are viable longer.

There are several seed-saving methods for different crops which can be looked up on Google. Too much info for a short article in my blog, but informative, depending on what seeds you want to save. There are distances to consider and those that self-pollinate, etc.

If you want to save certain ones in your garden, I'd look them up specifically and be sure to plant them so you can save their seeds.

Good luck everyone with your choices this year.
quiltbea
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Post  bullfrogbabe 3/3/2011, 11:18 pm

I have seed from 2007 (commercial packages) that is still germinating just fine; several heirloom tomatoes, some peppers, radishes, carrots, white turnips, broccoli, possibly some others.

I just start a few extra so that if they don't all come along I still have enough. I ended up with enough seedlings to fill my gardens and those of several friends from work last year. I am sure this will happen again!

I saved seeds from my favourite tomato vine 2 years ago. It grew fine last year and I have a few seeds left to try again this year. Only one kind of tomato did well that year, so I didn't worry about cross-pollination. The fruit the first year is true to the parent but if cross-pollination occurs and the seed is grown a following year the fruit may not be like the parent anymore.

There have been several folks showing off their strange mystery squash and melons on the forum. I am sure some of these were the results of cross pollination!

If you want your seed to be true, a separate seed garden makes sense or only using one kind of each vegetable. Watch out as some melons, cucumbers, and squash can cross-pollinate even though they seem different!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner 3/4/2011, 10:15 am

My grandfather used to keep seeds in perscription pill containers in the freezer, and never had problems. He didn't keep them for 5 years, though, either.

I never saw in Mel's book where he says specifically not to freeze seed. I remember he keeps his in the back of the fridge, but never saw him say to avoid the freezer. If someone knows where he said that off the top of the their head, I would appreciate pointing me to the spot. (I have lent my book to a neighbor across the street.) Thanks.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/4/2011, 10:30 am

In the new book, it's on page 118, How to Store Seeds.

He says he prefers putting the packets in a jar, with powdered milk, because the ziploc bags don't always get airtight and seeds can still get moisture to them.
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Post  kimbertangleknot 3/4/2011, 11:33 am

My MIL grew up a huge family, who farmed, and that was how they got food on the table most years. They saved seeds constantly to save money. They put all their seeds in baggies in the freezer and never had a problem the next year. She still has corn in her freezer from a strain of corn you can't find anymore. It's quite quite quite old. She was able to try a few last year to see if they would still sprout, and they did. She did move them to a jar years ago though, I do agree that air tight is much better than a baggie that can rip or not seal.

Just my .03 that I learned from someone with experience.

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Post  quiltbea 3/4/2011, 1:06 pm

I saw the freezer burn tip from Mel in a video within the last 2 weeks. I thought it was on one of the SFG member blogs but it might have been on a YouTube video. I can't find it right now. If I find it, I'll give more info.
I know I didn't dream it up.
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Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 Empty Freezing causes freezer burn per Mel.

Post  quiltbea 3/4/2011, 1:19 pm

I found the video.

Go to the Home Page.
Click on What is SFG?
Click on Video and Audio (a sign in the raised bed)
Click on YouTube (on the left)
Click on Monthly Tips
Click on the Feb Video, and you'll hear him tell you beyond halfway thru the video.

Use an airtight jar and in the refrigerator, NOT the freezer.
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Post  Furbalsmom 3/5/2011, 12:37 am

A local restaurant serves Peruvian dishes, seasoned with a special hot pepper, Peruvian Aji, that he imports fresh from Peru. Is anyone using saved seeds this year? - Page 2 965819 The owner gave me fresh seeds from several ripe peppers so that I might try to grow them. I am in the process of drying these seeds so I can start some seedlings soon. I will save some of these seeds to grow next year. Of course, that assumes that these peppers will grow in our cool, damp, foggy climate.


Oregon State University Extension Service provides information on saving and storing your own seeds, with tips for various types of veggies.

COLLECTING AND STORING SEEDS
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Post  MeyerLemon 3/8/2011, 10:27 pm

Last year I saved all my seeds. I kept them in their packets, and put them in a little box and stored in the bottom drawer of my fridge. I sewed 1-2 extra seeds in each spot when I started my plants this year, and the germination rate was almost 100%!! I was shocked, and now I have WAY too many plants started.

I think having a heating mat this year made a huge difference, and I am going to give the extras away in the spring as gifts Very Happy
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Post  quiltbea 3/8/2011, 10:42 pm

If you mean saving the leftover seeds from the seed packets we bought, I've saved mine for the last few years. Germination has been very good even on those that are 3 years old. I save them in my crisper in the fridge with dried milk as a desiccant in each jar or baggy.

As for seeds saved from crops like tomatoes that we grew last year and were saved by collecting the seeds, I have some tomatos I will be trying this year to see if they breed true. I didn't know about 'bagging' them to keep bees off them last year so I only relied on distance between varieties and tapping the branches for pollen to drop to blossoms below. It'll be interesting to see how that works out this year.
I've got Matt's Wild Cherry, White Cherry, Black Cherry, Moskvich and San Marzano Gigante 3. I can't grow them all, but will try a couple.

I have so many other tomato varieties I want to grow this year.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/9/2011, 8:28 am

I don't have heat mats, and I even priced heating pads (I found on that has 6 settings and a timer for $20 at Wal Mart online), but the keeper of the checkbook said not this year. So what I did is I used a counter near our wood burning stove, and placed the seed starting dome up on 2 5-gallon buckets on the counter, right under my under the cabinet light. Boy what a difference in these 2 batches of starts and the last batch. We literally watched the seeds come up, we checked them 4-5 times a day and each time they had grown.
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Post  NHGardener 3/9/2011, 8:52 am

I guess the trick is warmth. They say on top of a fridge works too.
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