Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Growing Heirloom Vegetables and Saving Seeds


Published on

Growing Heirloom Vegetables and Saving Seeds

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Growing Heirloom Vegetables and Saving Seeds

  1. 1. 3/19/2014 1 GROWING HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES AND SAVING SEEDS Rebecca McMahon Horticulture Agent Sedgwick County Extension WHAT ARE HEIRLOOMS? Open-pollinated 50+ years old Saved seeds come true to type
  2. 2. 3/19/2014 2 WHAT ARE HYBRIDS? Crosses between at least 2 parents Saved seeds will NOT come true to type NOT GMOs (genetically modified organisms) HYBRID VARIETIES Parent A Parent B F1 Not Genetically Stable Hybrid
  3. 3. 3/19/2014 3 OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETIES Parent A Parent B F1 Hybrid F1 Hybrid F1 Hybrid Self-Pollination OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETIES
  4. 4. 3/19/2014 4 OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETIES 6th Generation! WHY HEIRLOOMS? FLAVOR! Unique colors, shapes, etc. Tender skin or flesh Other quality characteristics
  5. 5. 3/19/2014 5 WHY HEIRLOOMS? Want to avoid hybrids Maintaining genetic diversity Ease of breeding/selecting characteristics CHALLENGES WITH HEIRLOOMS Disease susceptibility Growth habit Low(er) yield Lack of uniformity of size & shape
  6. 6. 3/19/2014 6 CHALLENGES WITH HEIRLOOMS Longer/shorter harvest window Shelf life Tolerance of rough handling “NEW” HEIRLOOMS New OP varieties, some “improved” traits Hybrid varieties with some “heirloom” traits
  7. 7. 3/19/2014 7 KEYS TO SUCCESS ALWAYS use good cultural practices! Try a range of varieties Be alert for problems GOOD CULTURAL PRACTICES Rotation! Appropriate plant spacing Staking/tying/caging Drip irrigation
  8. 8. 3/19/2014 8 GOOD CULTURAL PRACTICES Mulching Adding organic matter Maintaining soil fertility TRY A RANGE OF VARIETIES Varying productivity Different responses to weather conditions Different tolerances of other conditions Plant more than one plant!
  9. 9. 3/19/2014 9 BE ALERT FOR PROBLEMS Scout for insects & disease regularly Watch for abnormal growth/coloration BE ALERT FOR PROBLEMS Treat at first sign of a problem Remove plants with viruses or severe bacterial infections
  10. 10. 3/19/2014 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SPECIFIC HEIRLOOMS TOMATOES Flavor Texture Cracking
  11. 11. 3/19/2014 11 TOMATOES Yield Green shoulders Uniform ripening Catfacing TOMATOES Long Days to Maturity Diseases Plant Size
  12. 12. 3/19/2014 12 PEPPERS Growth habit Yield Diseases MELONS Flavor Cracking Seeds & Seed Cavity
  13. 13. 3/19/2014 13 MELONS Over-maturity Huge vines Diseases SQUASH/ZUCCHINI/PUMPKINS Large seed cavity Huge vines Diseases Insects!
  14. 14. 3/19/2014 14 CUCUMBERS Huge vines Bitterness Diseases LEAFY GREENS May bolt quickly Flavor Disease
  15. 15. 3/19/2014 15 BEETS & CARROTS Root uniformity, shape, & quality Germination/seedling vigor Woodiness in older/larger roots BEANS & PEAS Pole or climbing types Yield “Strings”
  16. 16. 3/19/2014 16 “STORAGE” VARIETIES Intended for root cellar storage “Long keeper” tomatoes Other roots, cabbage, squashes SAVING SEEDS FOR NEXT YEAR
  17. 17. 3/19/2014 17 PLANNING TO SAVE SEED Research each vegetable Pollination requirements Isolation requirements Selecting & saving the right seeds Timeline for seed production Seed harvest, cleaning, and storage UNDERSTANDING FLOWER STRUCTURE
  18. 18. 3/19/2014 18 SELF-POLLINATING PLANTS Have both male & female flower parts in each flower Will self-pollinate with no assistance Relatively easy to save seeds! Have to save from multiple fruits/plants to maintain a little genetic diversity INSECT POLLINATING PLANTS Require insects for pollination May or may not have lots of inter-crossing with related species
  19. 19. 3/19/2014 19 WIND POLLINATING PLANTS Require wind to move pollen for pollination Usually highly promiscuous OUTBREEDING & INBREEDING Crossing between more distantly related plants Crossing between closely related plants or self
  20. 20. 3/19/2014 20 SOLANACEAE Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes Self-pollinating Can have some insect crossing Isolation or caging to prevent crossing TOMATOES Naturally inbreeding Certain types more prone to crossing Currant tomatoes, potato-leaved varieties, double blossoms on beefsteaks Save seed from best fruit of best plants
  21. 21. 3/19/2014 21 TOMATOES Remove seeds from fully ripe fruit Wet fermentation process Store dry, clean seeds in an air-tight container in a cool, dry area (or freeze)
  22. 22. 3/19/2014 22 PEPPERS Naturally inbreeding Insect cross-pollination is common 500 ft. isolation distance Caging individual varieties or bagging flowers PEPPERS Select fully ripe, fully colored fruit Scrape seeds off core and rinse clean Dry until seeds will break when folded Store in a cool, dry, dark area
  23. 23. 3/19/2014 23 LEGUMES Self-pollinating, but can be crossed by insects Best to keep multiple generations of seed Cages or blossom bags for isolation “Rogue out” non-typical plants CUCURBITACEAE (VINES) Insect pollination Separate male & female flowers Lots of crossing can occur between varieties! Less common between species Hand-crossing works best Maintain genetic diversity with many plants
  24. 24. 3/19/2014 24 CUCURBITACEAE (VINES) Harvest fully mature fruit (not when you eat it!) Let sit for 20 days to fully mature seeds Remove seeds and wash or ferment Dry & store BRASSICAS & UMBELLIFERAE Insect pollinated LOTS of inter-crossing Mostly out-crossing species Need LOTS of isolation for pure seed Timing of seed saving – second year of growth!
  25. 25. 3/19/2014 25 ALLIUMS & COMPOSITAE Insect pollinated In-breeders or self-compatible “Rogue” out off-types Don’t choose plants that go to seed early! Caging or isolation for seed purity CHENOPODIACEAE & CORN Wind pollinated Out-crossers Need miles of isolation or bagging to maintain seed purity Timing can be a challenge (with Chenopods)
  26. 26. 3/19/2014 26 RESOURCES Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener by Joseph Tychonievich Seed Sowing & Saving by Carole B. Turner Breed Your Own Vegetables by Carol Deppe SEED SOURCES  Seed Savers Exchange   Native Seeds/SEARCH   Southern Exposure Seed Exchange   Seeds of Change 
  27. 27. 3/19/2014 27 QUESTIONS?