Learn about the wonderful skill of seed saving. Over the last 100 years, we’ve lost about 75% of our vegetable varieties and the top 10 seed companies own 75% of all the seeds planted globally.
- Self-pollination – fertilization in a single flower, usually true-to-type. Tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas are examples
- Cross-pollination – fertilization occurs between two flowers. Hybrids are common. Squash, zucchini, kale are examples
- Perfect flowers – contains male and female parts, self-pollination is common
- Imperfect flowers – single male flower and single female flower. Cross-pollination is required, hybrids are common
- Hybrid – cross between two similar varieties. The next generation is unpredictable
Easiest vegetables to save:
They are self-pollinating and generally true-to-type.
Intermediate vegetables to save:
- Squash, pumpkin, melons, cucumbers, zucchini
- Plant only one of each species to prevent crossing
- Honeydew or cantaloupe
- Pumpkin or zucchini or squash
- Zucchini + Pumpkin = Zumpkin
- They cross-pollinate easy by insects, so they must be hand-pollinated.
- Find out how to hand pollinate squash here.
- Carrot family
- Beets, parsnips, carrot
- Brassica family
- Kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, chard…
- Not self-seeding so they require pollen from other plants to be fertilized
Biennial plants that produce seeds in the second year so they must overwinter.
Brassicas also cross-fertilize with other varieties very easily.