Forum home Tools and techniques

I feel another stupid question coming on - saving seeds

My stupid question is about cross pollination when you’re saving your own seed. We live a fair distance from our nearest neighbour, so if I were to grow only one variety of each type of veg, and leave them to their own devices, it’s possible that they would only cross with their own variety and come true from their seed next year.  But a) I don’t want to only ever grow one variety of my veg and b) how do commercial producers of open pollinated seed do it? Do they hand pollinate every one? It doesn’t sound practical on a large scale. 


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    edited June 2020
    Vegetable seeds don't cost that much; is it worth it?  I only save seed from flowers, I buy veg seeds, from organic growers as far as possible.  Could it be that commercial producers only keep one variety per greenhouse?  It isn't a stupid question; I don't think there are any when it comes to gardening.
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 201
    I was planning to do it for interest rather than cost savings. Also because the Real Seed company reckon that your own saved seed would be better than commercial seed (including theirs), because you would save the best from a plant that did best in your conditions. In theory, you would gradually develop strains ideal for your plot. I thought that sounded interesting and was going to try it on one or two veg only. 
  • BraidmanBraidman Posts: 122
    Sometimes when sone abandons (quite often) their plot, next season parsnips and carrots that were left and self seeded grow, they end up taller than me.
    Don't know how the seed companies produce true seed after seeing the self seeders!
  • stephentamestephentame Southwest EnglandPosts: 61
    edited June 2020
    I've started saving some veg seed - it's very satisfying. I think the issues of cross pollination vary a lot between different plants. I found this website both useful and beautiful: and there's this on isolation techniques in particular:

  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 201
    Thanks, They look useful. It’s the seed sowing and germination that I love most about veg growing, so this next step will be even better. 
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 201
    BTW @stephentame are you growing just one variety for seeds? using nets? I don’t think I can justify a hive of bumblebees! 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,825
    Runner bean and sweet pea seeds are easy to save from seed. Even then, I refresh the stock with commercially bought seed every two or three years.  Any F1 hybrids will not come true so don't even try.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
Sign In or Register to comment.