The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees, and Shrubs

Robert E. Gough

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1603425748

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Learn how to collect, save, and cultivate the seeds from more than 300 vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs. In this comprehensive guide, Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough provide simple instructions that clearly explain the whole process, from basic plant biology to proper seed storage and successful propagation. Gardeners of any experience level will find all the information they need to preserve genetic diversity, cut costs, and extend the life of their favorite plants to the next generation and beyond.

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The gelatin is high in protein, which contains nitrogen, so it can also give the germinating seeds a small, extra boost of nutrients as well. For even coverage, sow tiny seeds in a looping pattern across a flat from left to right, then from top to bottom. DEPTH OF COVER The depth of seed covering is critical. Too deep and the seeds won't germinate or the seedlings will die before making it to the soil surface; too shallow and the seeds will dry out. Our rule of thumb is this: Don't cover seeds to more than twice their largest diameter.

The flowers are wind-pollinated. ISOLATION REQUIREMENT: Raising more than one variety of orach is an unlikely scenario, but if you do, you'll need to isolate the varieties by bagging several plants of one variety together during pollination. Recommended isolation distance is ¼ mile. SEED COLLECTION: Fruits are utricles with seeds contained in bracts. Cut plants prior to maturation and seed drying. Drying of the plants should be as quick and thorough as possible. SEED CLEANING: No seed cleaning is necessary.

CAPRIFOLIACEAE. Flowers in this family are usually perfect flowers. Each blossom typically has five stamens that are exserted above the style. The flowers are easily emasculated. CARYOPHYLLACEAE. This family has a large range of flower types. Flowers usually have 8 to 10 exserted stamens. Emasculation is fairly simple and straightforward in the single-flowered types. CUCURBITACEAE. Plants in this family are monoecious with imperfect flowers, for the most part. The female flower can easily be identified by the ovoid ovary at its base.

In general, germination is best at the optimum temperature cited for a particular species rather than at either end of the optimum range. However, there are times when achieving optimum germination is not the goal to strive for. The optimum soil temperature for germination of watermelon seeds is 95°F (35°C), for example. But if you intend to direct-sow watermelon seeds in your garden, waiting for the soil temperature to reach 95°F may leave you too short a growing season to enable the melon fruits to ripen.

POTERIUM Burnet, salad burnet P. sanguisorba (burnet, salad burnet) FAMILY: Rosaceae; rose family PLANT TYPE: Perennial SEED VIABILITY: Unknown HERB ALERT Once established, this species will self-sow readily and can become weedy in some areas. FLOWERING: Sex in this species is interesting. The lower flowers on the plant are staminate, the midlevel flowers are perfect, and the upper flowers are pistillate. SEED COLLECTION: Harvest the perfect and pistillate flowers when they dry. SEED CLEANING: Spread the spent flowers and fruits on screens to dry, then thresh to remove the seeds.

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