Seed Saving and Selection

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My Dwarf Grey Sugar peas are finished. A hotter than normal May made for a short pea season. But I have green beans ripe. The peas in the lower group will be seeds for my fall crop. I’m keeping only pods with 5 or more seeds for planting. These are the only pea variety I’m growing. Seeds of this variety are the first seeds I remember planting as a preschooler. They produced for a longer season in the cooler Michigan climate where I grew up. But we never tried a fall crop there. In two plantings a year here I get about what I could in one there. Southern heat comes with advantages and disadvantages.

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The okra in the photo above is much more prolific in the South. Its an African native that loves heat. Also, it is one of the easiest seed to save. I saved two pods of this burgundy okra from last year. Each pod had over a hundred seeds and I will only keep about 16 plants. I saved two for genetic variety. I put three seeds in each planting hole and will thin out two. Looks like the upper right one will be the keeper in this trio.

These are my Attila Strawberries. I grew them from seed I purchased in 2015. The first year they were mainly interested in living up to the Attila Strawberry name. That is, they mainly sent out runners to take over more territory. Its ability to invade is clearly how Attila Strawberries get their name. But it is a sweet little berry. As shown in the photo the size is small – typical for an Alpine Strawberry. I saved seeds only from the double sized berry on the right of the line in the left photo.

The right photo shows that Attila Strawberries are white on the inside. My Attila Strawberry seeds have been in the freezer for a month now. After their false winter experience, they are now ready to come out and germinate. If all goes well, I will find out next year if the offspring of the double sized Attila Strawberry produce bigger berries.

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