Author Topic: Seed Saving Circle 2020  (Read 3009 times)

Vetivert

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2020, 15:52:52 »
I haven't made corn flour before. I'd like to grow at least 200 plants with intensive spacing. It's a small variety, maybe 4ft tall. I planted a few very late last year, July, as an ornament in some beds and to see how they developed. August was wet and awful, but they had cobs in September. These didn't get to drying stage when I pulled the plants up in Oct but I thought it was interesting to see nonetheless. And the plants are very pretty.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 16:12:47 by Vetivert »

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2020, 15:52:52 »

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2020, 16:15:05 »
That will certainly give you a good genetic range for seed saving. Is the intensive spacing simply to use space efficiently or is it to do with wanting as much cross fertilisation within the block as possible? I guess it also means that plants in the middle of the block are safer from crossing with other varieties.

Do you have any farms growing maize anywhere near your growing space? Or other growers? No problems of that kind?

Vetivert

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2020, 17:09:28 »
A bit of both really. There are other growers nearby so will only save seed cobs from the middle of the blocks. May not have to worry about it if they tassel earlier than nearby corn.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2020, 08:54:39 »
Perennial brassica cuttings - itís a good time to take cuttings for distributing to the Seed Circle.

I've recently become aware how very useful Daubenton and Taunton Deane kales are in the Hungry gap - April into May when many other brassicas are going to seed. These plants are quite expensive and cuttings are quite easy to do, so now is a good time to be thinking about it.

To take cuttings of these brassicas I find that a small side shoot taken off the main stem often with a little heel on it works well. I make a sandy compost mix for good drainage and put three cuttings down the side of a 9cm pot. I put a plastic bag over the pot and cuttings, making sure itís away from the leaves as far as possible. 

My Daubenton kale has tried to set seed and Iíve busily cut the shoots off to try to keep the plant going. Iím not  sure whether some strains are more prone to seeding than others and, if they are seeders, whether that means they wonít survive. Mine are only in their second season so rather too early to tell. As an insurance Iíve taken cuttings and now have two young plants as standby.

I also have a plant which I think is thought to be somewhere between kale and cabbage. I got the seed as Tronchuda kale, a Portuguese type. I believe itís perennial but has tried like mad to have flowers, so much so that itís been impossible to keep up with cutting them off. So Iíve taken cuttings of that too as I donít know how long it will live.

Iíd be interested if anyone has different methods or has experience of how critical it is to stop a perennial kale from flowering.

The first photo (I'm not sure why they've come out sideways) is of cuttings of the Portuguese kale. They have rooted and are ready to do without their plastic bag.
The other photo shows the many flowering shoots the plant thew up. However many I cut off more would keep coming
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 09:16:11 by JanG »

galina

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2020, 09:10:00 »
Enjoy the tronchuda 'broccoli' florets.  A small amount of ripening flower shoots does not seem to matter.  I always miss a few.  Lives for 3 years for me.  Definitely take side shoot cuttings during third year. 

I also put a thin plastic baggie over the top, but cut a few small holes in it.  Goodlife who gave me my first cuttings advised not to have them in direct sunlight.  If rooting in summer, she puts them under the greenhouse staging.
 :wave:

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2020, 09:20:37 »
Good to know that you can carry on taking brassica cuttings through the summer as long as not in direct sunlight.

I seem to need to keep mine in the house to keep a parental eye en them!

And yes, all sorts of brassicas have very palatable budding shoots in April and May, another recent realisation. A whole other culinary delight.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2020, 16:26:50 »
Saving chilli pepper seed
Over the last couple of weeks, Iíve been making my first attempts to isolate chilli flowers so that I can save seed from a few different varieties and know that the seed will be true.

Itís all bit tentative but basically Iím trying three methods in the hope that something works.

The first method Iím experimenting with is the technique beautifully explained and illustrated by Jayb a few years ago on the blog she was keeping at the time.
 https://growingfoodsavingseeds.blogspot.com/2016/06/gluing-chilli-flowers-way-to-save-pure.html
Itís the PVA method where you use PVA glue to glue a flower shut so that itís forced to self-pollinate, and therefore remain true to type. I ordered a bottle of glue and set to work hopefully. Once or twice I glued a flower shut only to find a couple of days later it had burst open. so I think it needs a good covering of glue and perhaps a second visit to put an extra layer on. Another setback was that I put coloured thread round the flower Iíd treated but somehow it fell off so I couldnít at all tell which flower was which. Sometimes it got very messy but generally speaking it was very satisfying and strangely enjoyable!

Iím hoping now after quite a bit of trial and error that Iíve got one or two to successfully form baby peppers. It seems to me though that itís probably fairly impossible to apply this method to peppers with very small flowers, like Purple Tiger/Trifetti for example

The second method is the more well known bag method. It seems to me that the only way to apply a blossom bag is to put it over the whole of a shoot before any of the flowers have opened. The shoots occasionally seem to struggle a bit inside the bag and itís too soon to be sure that any peppers have developed but fingers crossed.

The last method Iíve used was simply to find a windowsill in a room in the house where I could be sure that there was no cross fertilisation taking place. This is appealingly simple, of course for a prized specimen . The only disadvantage for me has been the tendency to get greenfly. But Iím hoping to get Purple Tiger seed - I love Purple Tiger! - to pass on this way.

Iíd be really interested to hear how anyone else has got on with any of these approaches or it would be great to have any other tips or experiences.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2020, 07:52:53 »
Following on from writing about chilli seed saving and having experimented a bit more, I'm realising that fruit setting inside the blossom bags is quite low. I'm thinking that what I need to do is a lot of shaking to encourage the pollination to occur - as Galina mentioned in connection with Aeron Purple Star bean.

For fruit set, at the beginning of the season I tried the electric toothbrush method on aubergines by agitating the back of the flower. The effect was stunning! Multiple aubergines set fruit, in fact too many probably for the poor plants to cope with.

So maybe an electric toothbrush on the chilli flowers plus a bit of regular shaking .......

saddad

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2020, 06:46:56 »
I have flowers on my Aubergines... , may sneak down the Lottie with an electric toothbrush this morning!

Vetivert

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2020, 07:03:25 »
If there is a lack of bumblebees one can employ this method with tomatoes, too. I know of a plant breeder who just straight up uses a vibrator for this purpose  :icon_flower:

markfield rover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2020, 07:10:49 »
Well thatís my coffee spilt all down my front know 😱😱😱

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2020, 06:18:24 »
Lettuce seed
Weíre getting into big seed-saving time! I have buckets of upside down brown strawy heads of spinach, lettuce, corn salad, landcress, perpetual spinach etc waiting to be dealt with, not to mention trays of peas and broad beans for podding.

I love a relaxed evening of seed sorting. Handling the different shapes, textures and colours, and running them through fingers .....obsessively sorting out the last speck of chaff if youíre that way inclined ...

But I think the most patience-trying seed is lettuce. The seed seems to come away with fluff attached which is as light as the seed and so sieving, winnowing etc donít work in the normal way.

Does anyone else find lettuce seed laborious to clean? Or any handy suggestions? Any other seeds which are particularly satisfying to process or other particular bugbears?

galina

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2020, 08:03:52 »
Yes very.  One way round is to pick off the black or white seeds manually or gently rub and carefully winnow.  I winnow into the greenhouse.  Lost seed settles among the tomato plants and eventually germinates, which could be just before winter or in early spring.  Careful winnowing means small losses only and winnowing into the greenhouse means that the spoils are being put to good use.  Better use than on the lawn at any rate. 

There is no point for amateurs and seed circles to have perfectly winnowed lettuce seeds.  If you do nothing at all just collect the seed heads and crush a bit at sowing time, they will still germinate.  Not that I recommend that for sharing, but there is no reason to produce immaculately winnowed lettuce seed if that means unacceptable losses.  Seed houses have complicated machines for the job, we don't, we just rub with our hands, then use a domestic sieve for the coarse stuff where the seed goes through the sieve, and a gentle winnow to get rid of most of the white fluff and leave it at that.  You can also use a high sided container after sieving, and shake the seed from side to side for an initial clean, the fluff will go to the top and relatively clean seeds will collect at the bottom.  These can be spooned out with a small teaspoon into a container more suited to winnowing, ie not quite as high sided, for a gently final blow across to remove more fluff.  Lettuce fluff can get into your nose and eyes, so angle away from face.     

:wave:
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 08:19:36 by galina »

galina

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2020, 08:08:13 »
But an even worse problem with lettuce seed is that often when the seeds are developing we get wet and damp weather, which stops seed development.  Then it is often difficult to harvest enough for my own needs.  I have tried to pull up the whole lettuce and hang it dry, but that also seems to result in fewer seeds.  If I am really down to only a few seeds, they go into the greenhouse, where a good seed harvest is guaranteed.  Any other cover can be used too.  :wave:

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2020, 05:02:51 »
But an even worse problem with lettuce seed is that often when the seeds are developing we get wet and damp weather, which stops seed development.

I had a row of two or three self-seeded lettuces which survived winter very well in the open garden and have already gone to seed. Iím saving them for winter hardiness but their other advantage is that they produce seed in mid summer. Having said that, itís been unseasonably wet lately.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2020, 08:13:27 »
There is no point for amateurs and seed circles to have perfectly winnowed lettuce seeds.  If you do nothing at all just collect the seed heads and crush a bit at sowing time, they will still germinate.  Not that I recommend that for sharing, but there is no reason to produce immaculately winnowed lettuce seed if that means unacceptable losses.  Seed houses have complicated machines for the job, we don't, we just rub with our hands, then use a domestic sieve for the coarse stuff where the seed goes through the sieve,

I tend to get a bit obsessive about cleaning seed, carrying on well past the point of usefulness.

To carry the domestic sieve theme a bit further, I found that you can get small pieces (about 6Ē x 8Ē) of various types of wire mesh online as free samples or for a pound or two. My carpentry is abysmal but I knocked together some seed sifting screens for smallish scale use. Seem to do the job well in spite of the bodged frames.

pumpkinlover

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2020, 11:37:22 »
Looks like a neat set to me, well done



Jeannine

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2020, 04:44:52 »
I have several packets , this years I bought a good selectiob of seeds lettuce from Johhnys and West Coast, some a  pelleted. I grew a few this year  but I had ton more than I needed. I grew exatras for my daughet hwo didnt want it, there some very nice colorful ones among them.I wont use tn again as I will onle grow the mini lettuces as they will be just for. me.

Ate they any use for your seed saving club I didn;t grow these seeds but they are ood  oand may have some you can;t get there,If interested let me know and I will fish out the file and give you the names.
When God blesses you with a multitude of seeds double  the blessing by sharing your  seeds with other folks.

JanG

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2020, 05:59:45 »
Jeannine, thatís a very kind offer. Although the seed circle is usually for exchange of home saved seed I think members would very much appreciate being able to grow some different varieties especially ones only or more easily available west of the Atlantic.

Is there anything youíre looking for which is more easily available here? An exchange would be good.

Jeannine

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Re: Seed Saving Circle 2020
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2020, 05:29:34 »
Hi, it a long time since I passed seeds to you all, so maybe someone could use them.I will be seriously cutting down my stash..again..LOL. I will fish out what I have and get back to someone..have a great harvest XX Jeannine

PS sorry for the dreadful typing earler, huge pain level that day, lousy typing and I had nothing left to go back and correct it
When God blesses you with a multitude of seeds double  the blessing by sharing your  seeds with other folks.