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25/07/2013 at 15:36

Seeds!

It may just be me but have all the prices gone up?

I go to the garden centres for seeds and I'm a little taken aback at their prices, I'm not tight with money, it just seems like a lot of money these days.

Anyway, I want to amass my own stash.

Is there anything I've to watch out for, any little wrinkles/advice on this subject.

I'll tell you what I've done since I decided to get my own seed bank.

 

Set aside all the Marigold deadheads

Got the Lavender stalks, taken what I believe to be the seeds, off

I'm drying out some broad been seeds, taken from the pods

Googled tomato seed harvesting, found out how to do it and am in the process of seperating the juice stuff from the tomato seeds

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28116.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28117.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28118.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28119.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

 

I just decided last night but I will go around the garden and see what else I'd like seeds of. Just seems to easy, there's got to be more to it.

Any help would be great.

25/07/2013 at 15:41

I think seeds are a ridiculous price 

You need to let those marigold seeds get darker before harvesting and let a few broad bean pods dry on the plants, they need to be mature before you dry them off.

Great idea, just let things mature. Seeds rattle about and fall out on their own when they're ripe.

25/07/2013 at 16:33
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I think seeds are a ridiculous price 

You need to let those marigold seeds get darker before harvesting and let a few broad bean pods dry on the plants, they need to be mature before you dry them off.

Great idea, just let things mature. Seeds rattle about and fall out on their own when they're ripe.

Hey, great advice!

And it's not just me then, about the price of seeds, I thought I was being a right moan so it's heartwarming to hear you agree, thank you.

25/07/2013 at 16:48

It's not just the price it's the tiny number of seeds in the pack.

25/07/2013 at 17:06
nutcutlet wrote (see)

It's not just the price it's the tiny number of seeds in the pack.

It's funny you should say that, i bought a packet of sweetpeas from a store, can't remember exactly where, I'm not loyal to any 1 shop, I go where the price/quality is.

Anyway I was really disappointed when I opened the packet, there was 10 seeds in the packet, I shook the packet, peered in to the bottom, got a stick in the corners and ripped open the pack to try and see if there were anymore! This may sound really sad, but I could actually feel my heart sink. It sounds daft but I felt cheated.

That, however was not the last straw for me, the last straw was looking around online for the autumn planting and getting frustrated at the prices so I thought, how hard can it be!?

 

I learnt that it's not good for a chap to hold on to vexation, so I'm going to stay positive and simply have a go at amassing a seed bank, and finding out as much as I can about the seed harvesting process.

I mean I've already learnt two important things today,

Let the seeds dry/rattle - leave some on the plant till they're really dry, great advice nutcutlet!

And how to seperate the goo from tomato seeds - I googled that one. I did have a go last night but I had a wee think, I left the seeds in their goo on a kitchen towl in the green house, they'll probably sprout or rot, so I decided to google the issue. I found out that it doesn't seem to hard.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28139.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

25/07/2013 at 17:17

Sorry to rain on your parade slightly-but to collect seeds you need to leave the flower or pod on the plant to mature of form a seed head

In most cases this is not the time-leave it a few weeks -more into the autumn

Then it is a seed bonanza

25/07/2013 at 18:51
lazy gardener wrote (see)

Sorry to rain on your parade slightly-but to collect seeds you need to leave the flower or pod on the plant to mature of form a seed head

In most cases this is not the time-leave it a few weeks -more into the autumn

Then it is a seed bonanza

Thanks for the advice, I need to know these things so thank you. 

25/07/2013 at 19:18

I have to say I have bought all of my seeds this year off eBay. Pumpkin seeds, bean seeds and even wild garlic at a snip of the price. Not to mention some poppy seeds that have given me the most spectacular display I have ever seen!!!!

25/07/2013 at 20:15

And you have to make sure they are not from F1 plants because they will not breed true.

25/07/2013 at 20:55
Welshonion wrote (see)

And you have to make sure they are not from F1 plants because they will not breed true.

Just to speed up my research (save me searching on google) what's an F1 plant and please forgive my ignorance. I can dig a hole, build steps, walls and fences but the fine points in the garden, I've yet to learn. Thanks in advance.

25/07/2013 at 21:04

F1 plants are normaly bred for their uniformity and can have certain genetic moderations. Most are sterile and even if there is success from the seed it will never be true to the parent plant.  They are also quite often trademarked!! F1 seeds are normally more expensive due to the producers having to control the parent plants pollination to keep them true!! In a nutshell (although i have an F1 apache chilli plant that i grow sucessfully every year from harvested seeds 8 years and counting now!)

25/07/2013 at 21:13
Stacey Docherty wrote (see)

I have to say I have bought all of my seeds this year off eBay. Pumpkin seeds, bean seeds and even wild garlic at a snip of the price. Not to mention some poppy seeds that have given me the most spectacular display I have ever seen!!!!

I bought some peas and strawberry seeds from ebay last night, so I'm hoping they'll do well. I'm going to keep my eyes open near the end of the season for sad strawberry plants that need some TLC. I'll snap them up.

 

I feel I'm missing something with this seed saga, why are they so dear?

What's so special about them.

Does anyone have good experiences from never buying a single seed. That would be interesting, to find someone whos had success from never buying a seed for years and has had very little issues with diseases etc...

25/07/2013 at 21:21
Stacey Docherty wrote (see)

F1 plants are normaly bred for their uniformity and can have certain genetic moderations. Most are sterile and even if there is success from the seed it will never be true to the parent plant.  They are also quite often trademarked!! F1 seeds are normally more expensive due to the producers having to control the parent plants pollination to keep them true!! In a nutshell (although i have an F1 apache chilli plant that i grow sucessfully every year from harvested seeds 8 years and counting now!)

So the seeds from most F1 plants aren't reliable, you might get a plant from the seeds but the quality may be suspect. I'll have to do some research because I'm in the dark a bit, I'm unsure what the point of them is. Is it just a show piece or maintain a strain, keep it true.

Not sure but will do some digging, thanks for your help.

25/07/2013 at 21:31

F1 plants are basically designed around money, correct me if I'm wrong. All the plants are engineered so farmers can predict their crop, they can crop all the plants at exactly the same time, saving money and making the most money.

They also are unreliable breaders, which is a design advantage to the people selling them as they will always be able to sell more.

 

I'm not sure if the F1 is something I'd be interested in, in my wee rustic garden.

26/07/2013 at 00:24

F1 seeds in the garden are produced from a specific cross between two known parents to produce a plant with known characteristics. It could be colour, height, uniformity of maturity, or anything.

When someone comes on this forum and says 'What can I do, all my broccoli has flowered?'  10 to 1 they used F1 seed and every plant matured at the same time.

If those F1 plants in the garden are pollinated by bees which collected pollen from random plants in other gardens, the resultant offspring could have equally random charteristics.  Some good, some middling, some rubbish.

26/07/2013 at 07:38

Saving seeds from F1 plants gives you F2 seeds. F2 seeds won't produce true to the F1 parent plants because, in simple terms, you're starting to unravel the gene combinations created and stabilised in the breeding of the F1 plant.

F2 seeds will usually produce fruit recognisably similar to the F1 fruit but with variations. The further you go down this road - F3 seeds, etc - the greater the variations you'll see.

I know some tomato growers with too much time on their hands who delight in trying to grow out F1 tomato plants to try to determine the original varieties used in the F1 creation. Most seed companies who create F1 varieties decline to reveal the varieties they use.

The more varieties used in the creation of the F1 plant, the longer it takes to trace its origins. I know one chap who spent 10 years on one plant. As I say, too much time on his hands.

27/07/2013 at 13:02

I like the idea of free seeds and the challenge and it's a winter passtime, dealing with all the dry deadheads etc... I also discovered that the seed prices drop near the end of the season, like buying summer clothes in the winter, cheaper, stock up on next years fruit and veg now, just got some seeds from the ALDI for 39p a packet so there's something to be said for having fun gathering seeds and having a balance, snap up the seeds when they're out of season and a decent price.

Saw a beautiful aubergine plant, absolutely gorgeos, very ornamental and could really see that gracing the corner of my greenhouse seasonaly, I will go see online if there's any seeds. I couldn't see any in the shops.

 

I'm really loving this make do and mend approach to gardening, recycling the garden rubbish as much as possible. Saw last night, the experiment with nettles vs comfrey, very interesting. I like the technical side to this, the science behind it all, feed the fruit potassiam when the fruit appears, feed the plants nitrogen when the leaves start showing to get strong leaves, get the plant good and strong, as soon as the fruit shows, get the potassiam mix in the water.

The thing is at the moment, all my tomatoes are very strong and really leafy, very thick trunks and really vibrant and strong leaves, so must get some potassiam rich feed for them....I know this is not about seeds but any ideas on the best feed to use?

 

Back to seeds, I've a feeling the tom seeds I'm in the process of separating are f1 as they're supermarket cherry toms. Might stick out the process to see. I must watch that and only take from my plants at the end of the year. I'll see how these ones do next year, I'll grow a plant in a big pot to judge it.

27/07/2013 at 15:45

have you tried charity shops for seeds? I bought some spectacular poppy seeds last year and they were amazing this year .10p a packet..... I love to seed swap with work mates I always have packets land on my desk!!!! I'm an avid (armature) chilli grower and people are always bringing me seeds from there travels I have had some corkers... You were talking about strawberries did you see the garden on the move (Hampton court) pallett lettuce? I loved it so much am gonna do one for strawberries next year as I am having to get rid of my raised beds......

27/07/2013 at 23:08
Stacey Docherty wrote (see)

have you tried charity shops for seeds? I bought some spectacular poppy seeds last year and they were amazing this year .10p a packet..... I love to seed swap with work mates I always have packets land on my desk!!!! I'm an avid (armature) chilli grower and people are always bringing me seeds from there travels I have had some corkers... You were talking about strawberries did you see the garden on the move (Hampton court) pallett lettuce? I loved it so much am gonna do one for strawberries next year as I am having to get rid of my raised beds......

The garden on the move pallett lettuce, you'll have to enlighten me...

28/07/2013 at 06:41

I tried collecting seeds from a snake's head fritillary a couple of months ago. I let the seed pods swell on the plant then chopped & tried to open and collect the seeds. I got in such a mess I've ended up with zero seeds. I'm going to try again with the foxglove this week see how i get on with that.

I dont find seeds to expensive for the volume you get to what you would have to pay for one plant. I'm always picking up a packet of something and putting them away in my seed tin.

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