Friday, December 26, 2008

gathering and giving seeds

Gathering: I saved the seeds from a sweet Butternut squash we ate at our Christmas dinner. Nice big seeds - the squash was from our local CSA farm. It feels good to be gathering the beginnings of my next garden. I've collected five or six types of seeds by now. I'm still gathering my list of seeds to order.

Giving: I gave my sister (who lives in CA) seeds for Christmas, though I think her box arrived late (I hope it has arrived by now). Cucumber, red lettuce mix, purple poppies and a interesting one called chocolate flower (yellow petals with a brown center). My sister grows lots of flowers. She tells the story about a young girl who fell off her bike in her front yard. As the mom helped the young girl up, the girl looked around with a scowl and said "This yard has much too many flowers!" Now how could that possibly be true?! I'm hoping my sister will send me a photo to post when her yard is in full bloom again.

Think small.
Planting tiny seeds in the small space given you
Can change the whole world or,
At the very least, your view of it.
- Linus Mundy

garden gifts


Susie said...

I know...I can't wait to get going!!

Anonymous said...

So can any squash seed be successfully saved? This may be an incredibly simple question, but if I save seeds from the CSA butternut squash I ate yesterday, and then plant at the proper seeding time, will it germinate and bear the squash? Or can only certain seeds work?
I love that you give/get seed presents!

kathy said...

If the variety is heirloom / open pollinated (OP) and not a hybrid, then you will get the same squash from saved seed - IF the squash you picked was not cross-pollinated by a different species or variety of squash.

I copied this post from here. "...OP just means that you can save seeds and expect them to be identical to the parent IF they aren't cross pollinated.... You need to hand pollinate if you want to save seed.

"When I think of OP I think about how the seeds are collected commercially. Chances are OP seeds are grow in one large patch of nothing but that one variety. And it is planted far enough away from related species that you can be nearly certain there was not cross pollination. Hybrids on the other hand are the result of some worker selecting the parents in most cases.

"You still don't absolutely have to hand pollinate if you don't want to. Chances are you will end up with something very similar even if cross pollination does occur. But if you want to be certain your seeds are pure, then you need to hand pollinate."

Here's another good article that lists vegetables that don't cross pollinate: "peas, beans, lettuce and tomatoes. These will give the best success with seed saving. .... Vine crops, eggplant, peppers and celery are partially cross-pollinated.... curcurbits/squashes are divided among three genera, which, in general, will not cross pollinate, (i.e. cucumbers and watermelon don't cross), but some different squashes will cross (i.e. Butternut squash and Kentucky field pumpkin will cross)."

With all this said, I'm experimenting this year to see what I get. I think chances are I will end up with something very similar even if cross pollination did occur.

I'd love to hear comments from others who save squash seed.