Seed Question!

czfljo(Daytona Beach-9A/B)February 5, 2013

How do you know what you can keep seeds from to grow seedlings again? Sounds like a stupid question but I'm getting confused! :) I was thinking about the parthenocarpic Corinto cucumbers that I just paid a pretty penny for.

The things you can save seeds from how long do you typically let them dry out before you can use them?

Thanks!

Jo

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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Seed saving is fun, and I am just getting into it myself. Now that I have some saved seed, I am having fun trading seeds with other gardeners. I am getting a great variety of seeds this way for less money.

But seed-saving techniques are different for different types of vegetable. You'll want to learn when the vegetable plant will flower, whether it crosses readily due to pollen spread by wind or insects, how to know when the seeds are ripe (many vegetables are picked before the seeds are mature, and others are harvested before the plants even flower), and how to clean and dry the seeds. The instructions for lettuce are really different than for tomatoes, for example.

You'll also want to know whether your plants are from hybrid seed. Hybrid (should say "hybrid" or "F1" in the variety name or description) won't breed true. The offspring of hybrids will be variable (different shape, size, color, flavor, disease resistance, etc.), but may still be good. Open-pollinated (OP) or heirloom vegetables, they should breed true, though some kinds need to be protected them from natural crosses due to insects or wind.

About parthenocarpic cucumbers: they are hybrids and won't breed true. Also, they won't even *have* seeds if they aren't pollinated. They tend to have most/all female flowers, so usually they can't be pollinated unless they get pollen from the male flowers of another type of cucumber. (Tom, please correct me if I am wrong about this.) So no, I don't think you can save true seeds from Corinto, sorry.

I put a link in to Seed Savers Exchange's archive of webinars. Scroll down to "Seed Saving for Beginners" for a nice primer.

If you're interested in learning more, look for the book "Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners" by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy. This book gives specific instructions for many, many vegetables. If money is a problem, you might be able to get it (or another book on seed saving) from your local library or used book store.

You can also search on the internet for instructions - there is a lot out there. A web search on seed saving (for example, search "cucumber seed saving") will turn up instructions, pictures, and often instructional videos for just about any vegetable you're interested in. Of course, you can also ask specific questions here.

This may seem like a lot of information, but if you take it one or two types of veggie at a time, you'll see how easy it is. Tomatoes, okra, beans, lettuce, and annual herbs are easy plants to start seed saving with. Have fun seed saving!

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Saving Instructional Videos

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:40PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Jo, you cannot save seeds from the Corinto cucumbers from Johhny's, it is a hybrid. I wish that we could...
Any other cucumber that is open pollinated you have to let the fruit get ripe and then pick the seed, wash and dry, pretty simple.
If this is your first time growing Corinto, you are going to like it and the production is worth the money.

Silvia

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 2:50PM
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czfljo(Daytona Beach-9A/B)

L in FL - what wealth of information you provided. Thank you so very much. I will be diving in!

No Silvia I fell in love with the Corinto's last spring and fall. What a prolific producer!

Good to know about the others! I have a tomato bush that is still producing and I have no idea what it is. I was weeding my yard in October and said "Hey, that's not a weed!" Carefully shoveled it out and placed it in an Earthbox! Not the greatest tomato I've ever tasted but anything is better than store bought! Luckily I followed your directions about a month ago and have seeds saved properly!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:22PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi kids, hit and run here ;-)

Corinto's a good producer but in my opinion the seeds are way over-priced, considering that and flavor of the cucumbers I'd rather grow Sweet Success....

Tom

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:47PM
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czfljo(Daytona Beach-9A/B)

Good call on running Tom! Grrrr.... you can't say this after I've already placed my orders from both Park's and Johny's!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:58AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

You won't be unhappy with Corinto, it's just pricy and I think you'll do just as well with Sweet Success. Give it a try after you run out of the other seeds ;-)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:29PM
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