Thomas LeRoy Montgomery County Extension Agent – Horticulture To preserve our heritage and biodiversity. To control your food supply. To preserve the varietal characteristics you want. To develop and preserve strains adapted to your growing conditions. Because it’s a fun and enjoyable addition to our gardening experience. The first generation of a cross between two different parent varieties (inbred lines). Offspring produced are a new uniform seed variety with characteristics from both parents. One unique characteristic of F1 hybrids is their uniformity. Seed saved from F1 hybrid plants will not come true if replanted and may exhibit distinct differences in the second generation. Hybrid varieties are not good choices for seed savers. Natural or human selection for specific traits which are then reselected every crop. Seed is kept true to type through selection and isolation. Flowers of open pollinated varieties are pollinated by bees or other insects. Genetic traits of open pollinated varieties are relatively fixed within a range of variability. Asparagus Carrots Cress Okra Radish Beets Cauliflower Endive Onion Rhubarb Broccoli Chard Leek Parsley Rutabaga Corn New Zealand Spinach Parsnips Spinach Celery Squash Cucumber Melons Pumpkin Gourds Cabbage Eggplant Peppers Beans, Peas, Lettuce & Tomatoes A plant with a life cycle that is completed in two years or seasons, with the second season usually devoted to flowering and fruiting. Self pollinated plants are easier for the novice seed saver. Cross pollinated plants must be protected from foreign pollen. Isolate varieties to ensure quality seed production. Hand pollination may be required for some varieties. Varieties must be isolated. Choose your earliest and best developed ears. Cover ears with paper sacks to keep insects out. Allow cob to develop and dry out on stalks as long as possible. Remove seeds from cobs when fully dry. Collect ripe fruit from plants exhibiting the most desirable traits. Eliminate any plants showing abnormal characteristics or poor health. Remove the pulp and seed from ripe fruit and ferments for two to five days in water. Seed will settle to the bottom and can be separated using a fine mesh strainer. Great care must be taken to prevent crosspollination with other related varieties. Allow fruit to become overripe but not rotten. Cut fruit open and remove seed. Rinse in a strainer and let dry. Isolate plants up to one mile. Consider caging a group of plants, or bagging the flowers to maintain purity. The pods are simply left on the plants until fully mature. Pods are then dried and broken open to remove seeds. Isolation of beans and peas is not generally required in order to maintain purity. Allow pods to remain on the plants as long as possible. In humid climates, leave plants in the field as long as possible. Then pull up plants and hang upside down in a dry place. Pollination is accomplished by insects. All of the species will cross with each other. If you wish to grow more than one variety in a species to seed in a season, you must either isolate at least one half mile or cage the varieties (and introduce bees or pollinating insects into the cages). Separate varieties flowering at the same time by at least 20 feet to ensure purity. Wait until half the flowers on each plant has gone to seed. Cut entire top of plant and allow to dry upside down in an open paper bag. Small amounts of seed can be shaken daily from individual flowering heads. Allow seed to dry naturally on the plant. Remove seeds and allow it to air dry. Fermentation.