The Beginner Seed Saver's Garden

Are you worried about cross pollination? Are you unsure which varieties will cross with one another? Does the idea of hand pollinating and using isolation cages fill you with dread? Don't despair, the SEEeD beginners seed saver's guide will show you how to save lots of different kinds of seeds from your garden without any extra work.

In the vegetable garden, some plants rely on insects for pollination. Others are self fertile but can also be crossed by insects. Some rely on the wind. Some do not cross at all. There seems to be so much to remember it can seem confusing at first. Follow these simple rules and save seeds from everything in your garden, sure that you will produce only pure varieties.

(The botanical name of each species is given in italics.)

These do not cross

You can grow as many different varieties of each as you like, all at the same time, and you will still only get pure seeds of each variety:

  • peas   Pisum sativum
  • lettuce   Lactuca sativa
  • tomatoes (except beefsteak!)   Lycopersicon (or Solanum) lycopersicum

Grow only one variety of each

- otherwise different varieties of the same thing can cross-pollinate:

  • cucumber    Cucumis sativus
  • melon    Cucumis melo
  • watermelon   Citrullus lanatus
  • aubergine   Solanum melongena
  • okra   Abelmoschus esculentus
  • sweetcorn   Zea mays
  • spinach   Spinacia oleracea
  • carrot   Daucus carota
  • parsnip   Pastinaca sativa
  • radish   Raphanus sativus
  • leek   Allium ampeloprasum
  • pumpkin   Cucurbita maxima
  • pumpkin   Cucurbita mixta
  • butternut squash   Cucurbita moschata
  • courgette   Cucurbita pepo
  • beefsteak tomato   Lycopersicon (or Solanum) lycopersicum
  • cardoon   Cynara cardunculus
  • globe artichoke   Cynara scolymus
  • basil   Ocimum basilicum
  • coriander   Coriandrum sativum
  • parsley   Petroselinum crispum
  • chives   Allium schoenoprasum
  • garlic chives   Allium tuberosum
  • rocket   Eruca sativa
  • broad bean   Vicia faba
  • French bean   Phaseolus vulgaris
  • runner bean   Phaseolus coccineus
  • soya bean   Glycine max
  • chick pea   Cicer arietinum

With these you can choose one from each group

- although we think of them as different vegetables, things in the same group below are actually the same species, and are liable to cross:

  • onion, shallot, multiplier onion   Allium cepa
  • celery, celeriac   Apium graveolens
  • beetroot, chard   Beta vulgaris
  • brocolli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi   Brassica oleracea
  • turnip, chinese cabbage   Brassica rapa
  • sweet pepper, chilli pepper   Capsicum annuum
  • cow pea, yard long bean   Vigna unguiculata
hands-seeds hands-heart-seeds seedlings
Semillas Españolas Ecológicos en Deposito

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