I have grow a large variety of hot pepper plants, and this year I have added a lot more to the garden. I like to collect seeds and I know the ones that have been around for decades (some centuries) are safe to collect seeds from (and I plan to use both glue and cheesecloth to keep them from crossing) but I wondered, at what point can you safely collect seeds from hybrids and have them produce true? It's very frustrating because very few seed companies label whether their seeds are hybrids or not. I don't mind buying seeds, but I'd like to be able to collect the ones that I do with confidence.
Hybrids are hybrids forever. The only way to save seed from a tomato plant that you would like to reproduce for the following year is to hand pollinate it with its own pollen (self pollinated) and keep it segregated from all other tomato plants. Before you can pollinate the flower, it has to be protected from bees and other insects that will pollinate it with pollen from whatever plant they came from. As bees flitter from plant to plant for food, pollen sticks to their hairy legs that pollinate the flowers.
I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote the above as steadycam3 pointed out to me. He was right but it took me a bit of time to figure out what he was referring to. So ignore my incorrect advise and take cuttings instead. They will root in plain water. It is what my daughter also does to gain more tomato plants. Best of all, they are free.
In blomma's post above the first sentence is about hybrids. The rest of the paragraph is about collecting seed from any plant and does not refer to hybrid plants. .seeds from hybrid plants will not come true no matter how carefully you guard its pollination.
Tomatoes for the most part self pollinate. While it varies with situation, the number of open pollinated tomatoes varieties which one would expect to have crossed seed is 5%. What that means is if one were to save seed from 20 varieties on the average some seed from one of those varieties would be crosses. Not all the seed from that variety will be crossed, but some of it will.
Peas and beans are even better. Last year I grew dragon's lingerie and pencil pod black wax next to each other. When I say next to each other I mean the two beds ran together along one edge. I had what may be 2 crossed seeds out 2000 seeds I saved from both varieties.
Peppers cross much more easily than tomatoes and generally need an effort made to keep them from crossing.
If you have grown more than one variety of squash or pumpkin of the same species they will almost certainly be crossed.
Is it worth saving your own seed. I find it to be. I choose my varieties based on the ability to save seed from them. There many thousands of people saving seed. Where ever you see an heirloom variety we still have it because some family saved seed generation after generation.
One of the better books about seed saving is Suzzane Ashworth's "Seed to Seed."
Seed Seed Saver's exchange is also a place to find information. They put out a yearbook that comes with a paid membership that lists what other members have in the way of seed that they saved.
steadycam3 wrote:In blomma's post above the first sentence is about hybrids. The rest of the paragraph is about collecting seed from any plant and does not refer to hybrid plants. .seeds from hybrid plants will not come true no matter how carefully you guard its pollination.
So, what is your point?? Read it again.
I wrote I collected seeds from a cherry tomato called Sweet Thing. IT IS A HYBRID. I also stated what plants and characteristics I got from those plants. I gave my daughter the same seeds and her experience was the same as mine. Both of us decided it is not worth saving tomato or pepper seeds. My guess is that at least 98% of tomato plants grown today are all hybrids. The other 2% is heirlooms.
The tomato varieties I used to grow (now refered to as heirlooms) called Bonnie Best, and Earliana. Both are 65 days and early with a great tast. I bought the seeds from Henry Fields, mail order (before computer age). The closest I can find now is Early Girl, which is somewhat later and is a hybrid. I did come across a website that offered Bonnie Best but they couldn't swear that it was true to form.
Blomma, I was not disagreeing with you. I was just making sure the person asking the question did not think that doing what you advised about pollination would solve the problem of hybrids not coming true. Probably unnecessary for me to point that out...yes.
You were right. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote the above as you pointed out to me. I know better. It took me a bit of time to figure out what you were referring to. I must have been thinking of non-hybrid plants. So, ignore my incorrect advise and take cuttings instead. They will root in plain water. It is what my daughter also does to gain more tomato plants. Best of all, they are free.