Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?

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michellela

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Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« on: September 29, 2010, 17:42 »
Hello all,

I'm new to allotments and growing things so stupid questions will be flowing thick and fast no doubt.  My first is... I want to grow a number of different beans, courgettes and tomatoes and since I have no intention of saving my own seed does cross pollination matter?

Thanks,
Michelle

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gillie

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 17:46 »
No it does not.  The only crop you have to worry about is sweet corn, where you eat the seeds - that is the next generation - when you might get inferior crops if they have crossed.

Gillie

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michellela

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 18:44 »
Excellent!  Thank you for the speedy response gillie.  I don't plan on growing sweetcorn as it seems like a lot of trouble for the amount you get to eat.  They do taste wonderful though so maybe in my second year.

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compostqueen

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 23:42 »
It's well worth growing as it tastes 100% better than shop bought. You cook it as soon as is humanly possible after picking and you will be amazed at how good it is  :) Slurp

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TheSpartacat

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 23:57 »
As Gillie said it doesn't matter a jot if they cross polinate...
However, if you DO get tempted to save seed at any point, its worth knowing that tomato varieties rarely if ever cross with each other via normal insect pollination.... the flowers self pollinate themselves (the female part is tucked away beneath the male part, and the opening is too small for insects to get in to it!!)

Same with French beans- they don't cross easily, so you can happily save seed, even if you're growing lots of varieties right next to each other, and the same with peas.
(but runner and broad beans cross VERY easily, as do any of the courgette/squash/cucumber curcubits)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 23:59 by TheSpartacat »

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michellela

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 00:43 »
My grandmother used to grow corn in her back garden when I was little and it used to be one of my favourite veggies, so sweet and crispy.  Last month another allotment holder passed on a cob he'd grown and it was so good that I ate part of it without cooking, something I couldn't do with a shop bought one.

It's good to know which things are likely to cross easily.  I plan to do a number of tomato varieties and courgettes which I love and maybe one cucumber to see what it's like.  My main reason for not saving seed is laziness to be honest, though I've read lots of information on a website called Real Seeds that is slowly warming me to the idea.

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GreenOwl

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 15:34 »
Cucumbers are another veg where home-grown is incomparable with shop bought.  You will be hooked!

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michellela

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 22:45 »
The variety of cucumber I'm hoping to grow is called Miniature White as I don't really fancy growing really big ones that I'm not going to use.

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TheSpartacat

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 22:53 »
The variety of cucumber I'm hoping to grow is called Miniature White as I don't really fancy growing really big ones that I'm not going to use.

Ooh, on that topic, I only read yesterday that you can harvest half cucumbers- you just chop the bottom end off, and leave the rest still attached to the vine, and it calluses over the wound, and carries on growing!!!
I was amaaaaazed!!


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Yorkie

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 22:58 »
I saw that too, Spartacat - think it was on Gardeners World a couple of weeks ago.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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michellela

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 00:29 »
I saw that too and while I found it quite interesting and useful to know I'm not sure I'd want to do it outside.  If I remember rightly the gentleman showing this tip was inside a greenhouse.

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Pip Judgeford

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Re: Cross Pollination: Does it matter if I'm not saving seed?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 07:27 »
Thanks for the cucumber tip.  Sounds weird but if it works, hey  :D

=Pip




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