Saving Seeds from your garden : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Since I have been growing and saving my seed for over 25 years, I thought I would do some thumb nail "how tos" on it. That is if you are interested. Don't expect me to get scientific or anything. I just cut to the core and tell you how and when to harvest your seed and how to store it. Thats all I know! Don't ask me any technical questions as I won't know the answers. I will start with something incredibly simple: the common bean

When you begin to see that your beans have pretty well had it for the season, start leaving some of the bigger older pods for seed. When you can see that the pods are drying up pick them and lay them aside for a few weeks. Make sure they are in a dry area where they won't mold. Then remove the beans from the pods, let dry somemore and then package in plastic zip bag, pill bottle, whatever is handy. Store in cool dry dark conditions. This thumb nail "how to" applies to both bush and pole beans. ALL of my seeds are in various containers in a large plastic rubber made box with lid and stored in the back of a closet. Hope this helps and will continue with the more difficult seed saving processes if ya'all are interested in it.


-- Taz (Tassie, June 03, 1999


Thanks, Taz - Do keep going!

Any particular recommendations for those seeds that do not store well? I recall that onion and lettuce seeds do not keep, so storing a few years worth may not be an option.

Also, any rules of thumb for which particular plants to save the seeds from? The next generation may produce "true", but there is still a level of selection going on, whether it is intended or not. I have heard to save seeds from your best looking and earliest tomatoes, for instance, rather than the end-of-the-season discards.

Times when I have taking lots of pictures (usually of my garden, of course), I saved the black plastic containers for seeds. Also, small manilla envelopes of various sizes can be bought cheaply in bulk from office paper store wholesalers, like Staples. Sharing a few seeds from your favorite veggies (those Brandywine tomatoes!) or perennials would be a great addition to your Christmas cards this year.

-- Brooks (, June 03, 1999.


We would love for you to give us as much info on seeds as posslible. Alot we may already know, but I'm sure you know things I dont and visa-versa. I have alot of experence in vet work. If anyone has a question that I can answer, I'd be happy to.


-- bulldog (, June 03, 1999.

Taz & anyone else...

any good suggestions for places to get non-hybrid seeds? those I've come across on web I'm skeptical of their y2k bankwagon affiliation, if you know what I mean?

Thanks for all help!

-- Dina (, June 03, 1999.

Brooks, you will just have to wait until we get to tomatoes. LOL Taz

-- Taz (Tassie, June 03, 1999.

Thank you Taz. Have gardened for years, but never attempted to save seeds unless they where edible.

Does anyone have experience with any of the various seed savers exchanges?

-- Lilly (, June 03, 1999.

Dina, Burpee Seed Company sells heirloom seeds...

-- BiGG (, June 03, 1999.

There are many many seed companies that distinguist between hybrid and open pollinated seeds. Do a search for seed catalogs on the net. Most of the companies have their catalogs on the net now and you can order over the net. Yes, I have supported Seed Saver's Exchange for years. Its a wonderful repository and I have contributed to it. Another thing to that is sooooooooo important. Look around your neighborhood and see who has veggie gardens. Go talk to them. Gardeners love to talk gardening. Find out what grows best in your area. IOWS, which seeds to buy. In my area the Celebrity tomatoe outshines everything else. Most of us whom have gardened for years have some old open pollintated seeds that we have been growing for years. I have a heritage bean that went across the country from Mass in a wagon train to where I used to live in Washington State. Now I have brought it to Florida and its growning just fine. Also, many of the living history mueseums save their heritage seed. Like Old Sturbridge Village, Colonial Willimsburg, Plimoth Plantation. You can sometimes get seed from them if you hold your mouth right and act interested when talking with Farmer Brown at the barn. If you are into beans, get the Vermont Bean and Seed catalog. They do a wonderful job of keeping so many bean varieties going. Jeez!! Who wound me up this morning.????


-- Taz (Tassie, June 03, 1999.

For what it is worth, I have $185 worth of non-hybrid seeds coming to me, should have shipped yesterday. I ordered them from, used a credit card on-line. I placed my order back on May 6, so I guess that translates to about a 1-month turnaround.

Taz, I really appreciate your practical advice here, both on saving seeds and canning (next thread). I have 11 raised beds filled with very rich soil, just itching for vegies. This will be my First Gardening Experience, so please continue to orient your valuable info for the inexperienced. Thanks!

-- Jack (, June 03, 1999.

I bought some open pollinated seeds from a Y2K special. The corn appears to not be open pollinated. It came up fine but all of the ears are small and not complete.

Many of the seeds did not germinate.

Be careful what you buy and from whom.

-- Rick Knight (, June 03, 1999.


They are open pollinated. You either have bad weather conditions or are dealing with a segregating population. Most of the major seed companies sell non-hybrid corn seed. You should buy from them. But you know that now.

-- Z1X4Y7 (, June 03, 1999.

would suggest that you pick out a section of a row for beans and peas to save- don't just pick end of season beans and peas- you don't want to extend the maturity date by selecting it that way. For tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons, squash, cukes, etc- pick out nice looking early fruit to save.

re: onions and lettuce seed- have stored these seeds for years- no germ problems. just store carefully. also- be wary of buying outof date seed from a discount type store- even good name brand stuff- has often been stored poorly before arriving at that store- learned that the hard way with my asters this year-ouch...

re: corn- most hybrid corn has been developed to give large plump well filled ears- some OP corn is good but some is sorta iffy- also- need good polllination to get well filled ears- always plant in blocks of rows- minimum of four rows to a block to ensure good polination.

Also- be sure to not plant different types of corn near eachother- will cross that way- can get iffy corn and seed that way.

Also- be careful if planting several kinds of winter squash and wanting to save seed- there are several "kinds" or categories- for instance in "Cucurbita pepo" is acorn, delicata, sweet dumpling, spaghetti, etc. These will all cross readily if planted near eachother- will not affect this years crop but will affect next years saved seed. So, either separate squash plantings or else pick one plant of each kind to separate out and save seed of- plant each far from others of the same category. Or only grow one of each category each year- ie: acorn, butternut, and buttercup one year, and the next year, delicata, blue hubbard and butternut...

-- anita (, June 03, 1999.

I recommend GardenWeb's Seed Exchange forum. Everything is available for trade. I have been trading there happily for two years. Gardeners are very generous, go there and post what you are looking for. If you don't have anything to trade mention that as well, you will likely get whatever you ask for. Also GW has a LOT of useful gardening information.

-- Mommacares (, June 03, 1999.

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