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Seed Swap - Herefordshire

SEED SAVING TIPS

An interesting piece on seed saving – the title is a link
Hudson Valley Seed Library

 

Seed-saving is a gardener’s art and it doesn’t have to be difficult:
– always keep seed of strong healthy plants which look typical of the variety
– pull up weak or atypical plants before they flower

Three pollination methods are of concern to the home gardener:

Wind pollinated
There must be no other varieties within 1 ½ km that are shedding pollen at the same time, as cross-pollination can occur and the harvested seed won’t be pure.

Insect pollinated
A ½ km separation is generally required to avoid cross pollination.

Self-pollinated
Pollen is transferred directly to the stigma within the flower so cross pollination is unlikely.

To hand pollinate using a paintbrush
Each day choose newly opened flowers (on a runner bean plant for example) and push down the lower keel of each flower to mimic a bee landing, then brush the anthers and stigma. Move from one flower to the next, just as a bee does. Wash the paintbrush if you pollinate more than one variety.