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Saving for Seed

Saving for Seed

It is now just after mid Summer here in the Western Cape. The temperatures are soaring and the South Easter is taking up what little moisture there is left in the soil.

My vegetable garden has literally bolted in this weather. Now it is time to prepare to save seed for next year’s bounty.


Only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce the same crop next year. (The packet that the seeds came from will tell you whether the variety is open-pollinated or hybrid.) And, except for tomatoes, the plants shouldn’t be cross-pollinated by insects (which would happen if several varieties grew in the same area). Such saved seeds might grow into something that resembles the parent, or something tough and tasteless.

Tomatoes are self-pollinating. So if you avoid hybrid varieties, you’ll be able to grow the same tomato next year from seeds you save this year—even if different varieties were grown close together. That’s not the case with peppers and eggplants. Their flowers can be cross-pollinated by insects, so different varieties of these must be separated by 500 feet for the seeds to be pure.

Saving Seeds for next season