Posted By Jonathan on July 8, 2013
We are going to be saving nearly all of the seed that we grow within a few years and so one of the most important things we can learn how to do is to save pure seed from our plants each year.
Pure seed is seed that will grow true to it’s variety, becoming a mirror image of it’s parent plant as opposed to a hybrid which will result in a combination of the two parent plants, if they are different species within the same family. This is desirable particularly with good varieties because you can predict what food you will have, barring any bad weather.
Last year we attempted saving pure seed using plastic sandwich bags. I do not recommended doing this. Reason one – no air can get in the bag, so the part that is covered will die. Reason two – water can still get in and will cause the plant mold and wilt. It didn’t work at all.
This year we are trying something similar but better – organza bags. So far they have been working very very well.
Not only do they allow air in to keep the plant alive, no moisture can build up. It is also easier to close off the flowers using the drawstrings on the bags. As the plant grows, it tightens up against the organza bag even more sealing it off. Just make sure to find unopened flowers since once they are opened up, they can be pollinated by an insect which can result in crossing.
This only works for plants that are insect pollinated. Wind pollinated plants may still get pollinated due to the tiny holes in the bags. However, for insects, it works perfectly.
Time will tell if we are saving truly pure seed….we will update when we know for sure.