- February 12, 2009 at 3:04 am #270541
I have been meaning to post about this but today I found an article that explains better than I could so I will pass it on instead.
From ” A better home & garden” web site.
If you live in the backwoods or rural areas, no doubt you have either experimented with a garden or at least entertained the idea of having one.
I buy many of my seeds at the grocery store. When I want to plant pinto beans, for instance, I buy a two-pound bag for a ridiculously low price. I eat half the beans and plant the other half.
But aren’t food-quality beans treated so that they will not germinate? After all, no one wants to buy a package of beans where half of them have already sprouted.
Every package I have ever bought germinated without any trouble at all. In fact, they germinate at least as well as any I have ever bought at the seed store.
You can also buy limas, black-eyed peas, crowder peas, great Northern beans, kidney beans, and virtually any other type of bean on the market, as long as the beans are sold in a package on the shelf. Do not try to plant canned or frozen beans. They will not work.
How do you plant the beans? Treat them as you would if you had bought them at the garden store. You may want to try freezing the beans overnight before planting them, but, although this seems to help some seeds, this step is not necessary.
What else can you buy at the grocer’s that will produce well in the garden? Anything that is sold at room temperature and contains seeds.
This means that if you buy a watermelon or a slice of melon from the produce counter, the seeds in the melon will germinate readily. One caution: the melon may be a hybrid, and if it is, the seeds will not produce the exact melon as the one you are eating.
In order to achieve a hybrid melon, two or more melons were hybridized to get the one you bought. As a result, the seeds will incorporate many of the qualities in the melon you are eating. Part of the idea in the process of hybridization is to take the best or most preferred qualities of one plant and
combine it with the best qualities of another.
These qualities, however, are not always centered around taste or appearance but may be concerned with the plant’s resistance to blight, cold, and pests.
You can also plant the seeds of cantaloupes, honeydew melons, and nearly any other type of melon on the produce shelves.
But what about apples and peaches? Here you may experience a slight problem. The apple seeds will germinate, but you may get an apple that is not what you expected or wanted it to be.
The same is true of peaches.
In one of our most recent peach plantings, we planted several peach seeds and succeeded in growing half a dozen nice peach trees. The trees, though slow-growing, produced large, attractive, delicious fruit very early in their lives.
We’ve also had wonderful luck with potatoes. Have you ever bought a sack of potatoes and, as you used them, discovered some had started to sprout slightly.
If so, you are in business. If the potato will sprout at all, it will grow in the soil.
When we peel these potatoes, we save the peelings and let them dry for a few days. Then we plant them in regular potato hills or rows. The sprouts grow and flourish.
What about sweet potatoes? When we buy yams, we generally shop at the roadside markets rather than at the supermarkets. Supermarket potatoes or yams may be grown in other countries under radically different conditions from ours.
They may also have been treated to prevent sprouting.
The roadside market potatoes were undoubtedly grown by local farmers. And the difference in price can be shocking. We saw sweet potatoes in the supermarket for 59 cents per pound and at the roadside market we bought beautiful yams for 15 cents per pound.
Some of the sweet potatoes we grew weighed as much as four pounds each, and they were not pithy or tasteless. To create sweet potato sets, we slice one sweet potato through the center and then we place half of the sweet potato, cut side down, in a container with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Within a few days the sprouts start to appear and within a week the container is filled with sprouts and foliage.
Snap off the sprout at the base and set it out, well after the danger of frost is past.
Incidentally, when you store potatoes, you will notice the large tubers will form tiny new potatoes, and you can snap these off and eat them, or you can plant them. Either way, you get a nice bonus.
You can plant a whole garden with the leftovers from your food shopping trip.
When you prepare peppers for dining, remove the seeds. Dry them, and plant them when the weather has warmed.
Do the same with cucumbers, squash, and nearly anything else with a seed.
You can’t get seeds from carrots, lettuce, turnips, and quite a few other foods, so you may still need to do some seed shopping at the garden center the first year. After that you can let some plants go to seed and store them for the next year. But when you buy the seed-bearing foods, like the melons and cucumbers or squash, you get the seeds totally free.
Here’s an added bonus. If you buy some foods, such as horseradish, with the tops (or at least part of the top still attached), you can cut off the top, plant it in the ground, and it will reproduce another horseradish root just like the one you bought. The next year it will divide, and soon from only one top you will have an entire patch of horseradish.
And that’s a bargain. When was the last time you bought something, ate it, and still had 200 of them left over?
Now thats frugal gardening 🙂
- February 12, 2009 at 5:11 am #414770
me being silly, thinking my gardening would only work with the green onion since I overdo watering- planted about 3 different types of seeds in a container… now that something sprouted I have NO idea what it is.
- February 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm #414819
If you grow Biennials like Carrots, beets, turnips, it’s easy to save your own seed but it will take two years! When you harvest your crop pick out the “best” 7 to 10 carrots, or what ever it is and pack them in saw dust making sure they don’t touch each other. Put in a cold area that won’t freeze for the winter.
Come springtime they’ll be ready to take off growing! You will need to plant them at least 1 foot apart because they are now ready to grow seeds! they will get huge and flower all out.
All those flowers are going to be your seeds! When the seeds are ready and drying you’ll need to carefully pull the plant and put in a container. When I have time I will shake the plant down and remove all the seeds- I use a clean sheet!
I get almost a quart of seed off of my 7 carrots! that will last you many years if you store them properly! I seal them into canning jars with good rubber seals and then freeze them.
When I need seed I pull the jar and let it set at room temperature for an hour and then wipe down to make sure the jar is clean and dry! the seed must stay very dry! I remove what I need for the year and then reseal and freeze again.
This is how seedsaver.org stores seeds. It will keep your seeds in excellent shape for many years if you treat it right!
- February 16, 2009 at 3:31 am #414992
two questions… when you thaw wont the seeds dew? Also dose anyone know how long seeds are good for if they are not frozen?
- February 16, 2009 at 4:03 am #414993
Basic Seed Biology:
Under the proper conditions, after a flower is pollinated, seeds develop. Seeds consist of an embryo, some stored food material to nourish the embryo and young plant, and a covering or seed coat. Some seeds are tiny and contain very small amounts of stored food while others contain more than the embryo actually needs.
Seed Storage and Germination:
Seeds are living organisms that require specific storage conditions in order to remain capable of producing healthy, vigorous plants. High quality seeds are essential to successful vegetable gardening.
While seeds begin losing their viability from harvest, with proper conditioning and storage, some may last years. Many vegetable types will maintain germination rates of at least 50% for ten or more years. For commercial vegetable production, the following list provides some guidance:
1 year – Sweet corn, onion, parsnip, okra, parsley
2 years – Beet, pepper, leek
3 years – Asparagus, bean, carrot, celery, lettuce, pea, spinach, tomato
4 years – Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, kale, squash, pumpkin, radish, turnip, rutabaga
5 years – Cucumber, endive, muskmelon, watermelon
For home garden planning, the average germination rates published by MM. Vilmorin-Andrieux in his book called “The Vegetable Garden” (1885) are useful. Click here to view.
When storing your seeds, be sure to keep them consistently cool and dry. Temperature and moisture are the primary factors that cause seeds to lose their ability to germinate.
Excessive seed moisture increases its respiration rate, can contribute to the growth of micro-organisms, attract insect attack, and reduced viability. Most commercial seeds are dried to less than 10% moisture soon after harvest and held in dry storage during packaging and distribution.
Like moisture, temperature has an influence on the seed’s respiration rate. As the temperature increases, so does the respiration rate.
For short-term storage (one year to eighteen months), storing seeds at 35 to 50 degrees F and an air relative humidity of 30 to 40% is desired. The rule of thumb for good seed storage conditions is when degrees F + RH >= 100; the further you can go below 100, the better.
Aside from the conditions mentioned above, here are a few more guidelines:
Store in the coolest, driest location available to you avoiding temperatures over 70 degrees. Sealed in airtight, glass containers and placed in the refrigerator meets requirements.
Make sure that the storage containers are moisture-proof.
Maintain a fairly constant temperature.
Prior to planting old seed and wasting valuable gardening time and space, run seed quality tests.
- February 17, 2009 at 1:43 am #415120
ooohhh! thanks that was pretty helpfull!
- February 19, 2009 at 12:17 am #415357
Did you find an heirloom (open-pollinated) tomato at your farmers’ market that you adore? How about an heirloom pepper? My rule for farmers’ markets: if they grow for them, they’ll grow for me.
You can save the seed of both fairly easily. For peppers, ensure the fruit is fully ripe, then slit it open and scrape out the seeds. Wash the seeds in a mesh (screen) strainer, then place on a cookie sheet to dry, away from direct sunlight.
They should keep for a couple of years if you keep them dry and cool. Tomatoes require a couple more steps, but keep that mesh strainer handy. Get a couple plastic tubs (half pint is perfect), one for each variety of tomato.
Get a couple tomatoes of one variety, let ripen fully, then squeeze into a tub, seeds, pulp, skin and all. What you are going to do is rot off the gel sack that encloses each little seed: this sack contains something that prohibits germination. Add a tiny bit of water into the tub, stir, and let sit outside for one to three days.
It will ferment and smell pretty bad, and a fungus will grow to cover the tub and the gel sack will have rotted off. Take a hose and your strainer, and you can separate the pulp, skin, etc. from the seed.
Dry on a cookie sheet indoors, label your seed, and it too will keep for 2-3 years if kept dry and cool.
- February 19, 2009 at 12:26 am #415358
Root crops won’t work to make more roots, but they will make more seeds! I planted some turnips from the grocery store and they put up new greens, thinking it was their second year. They should go to seed any day now.
Should work with carrots or beets, too.
post from the same site. good info to know.
they also say you can plant leeks to gain seed. Just plant the white part.
- February 19, 2009 at 12:42 am #415359
Cut the eyes out of a potato and let it dry 2 to 4 hours before planting it in the
OR Take cuttings leaving the eyes in. Each eye should have a piece of potato the size of a small egg attached to it which will increase the size of your potatoes. Let it dry 2 to 4 hours before planting it in the soil.
OR Pre-sprout a potato in a bright but not directly sunny spot for a few weeks.
In the 1st week of June cut off a chunk of potato the size of a small egg with a sprout or eye on it. Place cuttings on soil the12″ apart (30 cm) and let them dry for an hour or 2. Then cover them with 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of straw or hay.
After you sprout your spuds plant them 3 inches deep (8 cm) and 6 to 12 inches apart (15 to 30 cm).
Add a thin layer of mulch and keep them watered. When the shoots and leaves eventually poke through the mulch add another 6″ (15 cm) of mulch around the plants without covering the leaves. You can peek underneath the mulch to watch the tubers develope and make sure they aren’t turning green which is a signal to add more mulch.
When plants reach 9 inches high (15 cm) hill the potatoes with another 3 to 6″ (8 to 16 cm) of , hay or straw. Mulching will keep the potatoes from turning green. Green spuds produce an alkaloid poison.
Watch for potato bugs while they are growing and treat them if necessary. In September, carefully dig up your potatoes or pull the mulch back to expose the tubers. Brush off any loose dirt, let them dry off and store them in a , dry place.
- February 19, 2009 at 1:07 am #415360
I found another site that sujests chacking your spice rack. They say some of your seeds such as poppy, musterd seed,dill,coriander,celery may be plantable.
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