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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:

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

Grow only one variety of each

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

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

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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