If you like to start your plants from seeds and/or save seeds Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth is considered the Bible of seed-saving and growing. Originally published in 1991 and updated in 2002 is has a treasure trove of information for you.
It goes in-depth into how to make sure your seeds are pure, different ways of pollinating, and lots of information on each family of seeds. I’ve found it a great help in collecting seeds.
One of the most fascinating things is to see what plants are related to each other. This morning I was noticing that the beet and Swiss chard sprouts look almost identical. When I looked in the book today I found that they are from the family-Chenopadiaceae (don’t ask me how to say that), genus-Beta, Species-vulgaris, along with sugar beet and mangel. Orach, lamb’s-quarters, quinoa, and spinach are from the same Family, as well. I never would have suspected that quinoa and beets are related!
Knowing this will help you know which plants you need to keep separated so that they don’t cross pollinate with each other.
It lets you know if they self-pollinate, wind pollinate, insect pollinate, etc. So, if you have a plant that is insect pollinated and you absolutely want it to come true to its parent, you’ll need to protect it from any possible insect visitors, and more than likely have to hand pollinate it yourself.
It’s got lot so practical information on how to clean and store seeds and how long they are usually viable, so that you’ll know when you need to keep another round of seed. Most seed is viable for a minimum of 2 years and many will last 3 or more. However, if you have one that only lasts 2, like carrots, you know you don’t have to keep tons of seeds, because you won’t be able to use them all (I have sandwich bags full that never got used in time…).
So, this is my second pick of books that you should include in your Gardening Library. It is still available both new and used from Amazon. So, latch onto one if you’re interested in the best of the best about seeds.
Any interesting tales about seeds saving, we’d love to hear them.
- Starting A Garden Library
- Upgrading Lawnmower