Seed Saving: Heirlooms, Landraces and Breeding Projects

Fts Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
edited September 2018 in Our Garden: Growing Food
I always saving seeds of some sort but nothing really out of the ordinary except maybe the pawpaws.


  • Wendy
    Wendy Posts: 20
    edited September 2018
    I save seed from herbs, wild and cultivated, that do well in my climate.  I'm working on a landrace tomato that will bear fruit very early, from seeds that sprout in spring from my garden leftovers.  It's a yellow pear heirloom that I started with about 25 years ago.  I also save squash, peppers, other tomatoes.  I love Joseph Lofthouse and Carol Dieppe and am now working on cold hardy potatoes that don't need so much mulch.  Getting the original genetics for potatoes has been a fun experience.  I also save beans and peas and grains.  I experiment with all sorts of "ancient grains".
  • DebiB
    DebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    My best crazy seed saving experiment was when I took several different types of cowpeas and planted them all together.  When they all grew together the harvest season was much longer than usual with some early, midseason and late season peas to harvest.  That's how I plant cowpeas now.  If I get another variety I'll throw it into the mix.
  • Dominica
    Dominica Posts: 42
    edited October 2018
    I'm definitely interested in saving heirlooms as I love the idea of preserving historical crops. I haven't saved any of my own seeds yet because I had to move recently, but it's definitely on my to-do list once I have proper storage for the seeds. :-)
  • Cherlynn
    Cherlynn Posts: 169 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I save seeds too.  I do carrots about every 10 years.  When I do carrots I save 4 to 5 of the best ones and pack in damp sand and put in a root cellar for the winter.  In the spring I plant them with a lot of room to spare.   They will get huge heads that will produce the seed.  I put done flat sheets under them to collect the ton of seed I get.  I wish I could do this with broccoli but no such luck.  We get down to -20 in the winter so leaving things out is out of the question.  Annuals are easier but other than carrots I totally suck at saving seed on biannual's.
  • Fts
    Fts Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    Wondering if any of you have read Carol Deppe's book " The Resilient Gardener".  It really gives some good insights about preserving the quality of heirlooms and restoring heirlooms whose quality has degraded. She gives you ideas for how to keep the quality of your heirloom seed high.

    Cherlyn, I totally agree, saving seeds from annuals is much easier than biennials.  I'm in a place where some of the root vegetables can overwinter in the ground with some straw over them.  I have had carrot that overwintered go to seed, but was too much of a seedsaving novice to try to do anything to keep it from crossing with the wild carrot(queen anns lace) that was also blooming, so did not save that seed.  I have successfully saved seed from celery and parsley.  But mostly I save seed from annuals that are selfers.(tomato, pepper, beans, peas)