Viewing post #1106076 by Sorellina
|Jill, I grow 48 different indeterminate and 12 determinate tomato varieties each season here at home, more at the community garden. I harvest the very first best specimens and save seeds from those fruit. Tomatoes have perfect flowers which means they have both female and male parts, not solely relying on bees for pollination - a breeze can do it. Those first tomatoes have less chance of cross-pollination because those pollinating insects are not in large numbers yet. I get about a 5% chance of crossing which is a good bet as far as I'm concerned. Commercial seeds have higher rates overall. I don't guarantee no crossing because that's impossible - nature finds a way.
I do not save seeds from cucurbits other than pumpkins and gourds, only growing one type per season. I grow a fair number of zucchini and cucumbers, however, and as Joseph will tell you, they're quite incestuous. They do NOT have perfect flowers and DO rely on pollinators. I grew a lovely tiny melon called Plum Granny this year and it had an amazingly strong fragrance. Victorian ladies, so the story goes, held these melons in their pockets as a type of perfume. I was not quick enough to rescue the seeds before the fruits dried up, but I may try again next year. As far as corn goes, it's the same with cucurbits - I only save seed if I'm growing one type. This year, I grew Glass Gem at the community garden and Miniature Blue Popcorn here at home. I did not get my act together with shucking that last one to include it in this swap.
Danita, I owe a lot of my limited flower-growing knowledge to what I've picked up here from you all. As long as it doesn't need cold-stratification or germination times past a few weeks, I have a decent shot at success. And you're right, it is nice to see my vegetables and flowers bringing others a lot of joy. In addition to preserving biodiversity, it's a huge reason why I love to share my seeds.
It's still early December, but I've already got a big New Year's resolution and that is to get my seed room better organized. I found 5 bags of flower seeds that I didn't get around to looking up and a lot of them will not grow in my climate. When growers include the Latin name but not the common name on the seed pack, it makes it hard for me. I think I'm finally on board with Asclepsias being milkweeds, but there are a zillion others that I have no and I mean NO clue what they are. There's got to be some kind of flower database or list out there that is somewhat comprehensive without being a botanical textbook that I can use as a reference. Maybe one of you can recommend one.
Grazie a tutti,