Posted by Gardener Marc | Posted in Basic Gardening Tips, Vegetable Gardening | Posted on 09-03-2012
Tags: bulbs, hybrids, safe side, seed catalogues, tomatoes
Getting the seeds for the vegetables you want to plant this year.
Of course, all the extensive seed catalogues give you broad options, what I prefer. But sometimes it’s fun to raise plants from normal vegetables I buy. Advantages are in cost (as you may easily spend 30$ or more on one year’s seeds for your vegetable garden) but also in the thrill to collect the seeds by yourself (after all, is there anything more worthwhile than pleasant anticipation?).
Do you know where your vegetables come from?
One problem you may encounter is that vegetables you get in your local grocery store are mostly from hybrid seeds (which are created by closed pollination of two different kinds of plants). The problem is that plants grown from these seeds will not come true to the original planted (or rather fruit) but maybe completely different – or even be sterile. So called “heirloom seeds”, on the other hand, are not produced from the specific interbreeding of two selected lines, but from open pollination – the result is that they’re quite close to their ancestors (as the two origining lines will not be that different). This being said, you may encounter some queer results when you grow plants from (hybrid) vegetables bought for consumption – the worst being that some hybrid seeds will germinate, but not produce fruit! By the way, “hybrid” or “heirloom” is not a question of organic or not, but a simple breeding procedure!
So, although you’re on the safe side if you buy seeds from catalogues or get them for free for friends, it’s a nice option to grow them from vegetables you bought. You could for example take peppers, tomatoes or bulbs like garlic. Beans sold in grocery stores are often not hybrids and thus a good option.
What to do with collected seeds?
For collecting seeds, you should remove all seeds carefully from the fruit/vegetable and put them in a bowl of water until all connected tissues have detached from the fruit. You can then put the seeds on paper tissue to dry (which may take up to 24 hours). If you don’t want to plant the seeds directly, you should store them in a cool, dark place.
I hope this article was helpful to you. I’m looking forward to your comments, especially if you’ve had first-hand experience in growing plants from vegetables bought for consumption!