Polluted non-hybrid seeds?

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Heres a question>

I am an enthusiastic gardener. Yet this one question worries me. If I plant non-hybrid seeds in the same garden as my hybrid plants, will the cross pollination corrupt my non-hybrid seeds?

You may ask, why plant hybrids at all if there is a risk, answer> hybrid seeds provide superior yields and disease protection.

Also, Im not sure that all hybrid seeds cannot reproduce after their own kind. I have had many a potatoe and watermelon/tomatoe reproduce in the compost pile.

I have considered planting two gardens, far apart to ensure seed purity.

Any suggestions? ww



I think you answered your own question Wayne. Not many of us want a tomato/watermelon. I plan to go ahead with nonhybrids this spring and do a lot of canning and freezing. My nonhybrid seeds are in the freezer and will stay there until the spring of 2000.

-- Vic Parker (my68roadrunneris@compliant.com), December 30, 1998.

Im always in too big a hurrry. I don't mean to imply that I actually have grown a cross watermelon/tomatoe. (very funny vic;-)

I know that sweet corns will not reproduce after their own kind, they are hybrids. But I think that some hybrid foods will reproduce itself, for example watermelons.

thanks ww


I think you are correct to want to grow both the hybrid and the non hybrid, especially for somethings that you MUST have (In my case, it's broccoli!) Then work with the non hybrid to get a sub selection that will grow in your particular environment. We did this with the Brandywine tomato, and now our seeds are not only sprouting better, but the tomatoes are getting earlier.

I do however, think that you should get a seed saving book. There are several. The one I have seems to be very complete, for vegetables. It is Seed to Seed by Susan Ashford. I wish she had gone into the calorie crops, like wheat, also. Don't forget those. Did you know that spinach plants are either male or female!??? M.

-- Mary Phillips (blufrogg@garlic.com), December 30, 1998.

OK, after 3 years on the net im going to ask this question.

Does anyone have addresses for good garden based forums? I have some other garden questions I would like to ask. Thanks, ww


For good common sense information on the subject of hybrid vs. non- hybrid, check out this site: http://www.gardencityseeds.com/seedsave.htm

-- Peabody (work@it.net), December 30, 1998.

Vic --

Are you sure that the seeds in your freezer will survive being frozen?

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), December 31, 1998.

Hybrids are simply a genetic cross between 2 or more different varieties. They are not claimed not to reproduce true at all, but not to reproduce true in a consistent manner. Especially after several generations. However, the longer a particular hybrid has been in production, the more consistently that particular variety will reproduce. For instance, a non hybrid was at one time a hybrid that was bred for a specific characteristic long enough that that characteristic breeds true. You cannot plant hybrid/non hybrid plants together for the same reason you cannot plant 2 varieties of the same plant together-they will cross breed and develop a new hybrid, so you wouldnot be able to use the seed. does anyone know any sites that give seed saving info other than buying a book?

-- Damian Solorzano (oggy1@webtv.net), December 31, 1998.

Get some practical gardners books WW. They will tell you a lot about what crops go well near each other. It is a lot more complicated than most people think - esp. if you are planning to save seed over for the next year. Funny stuff happens - some types of tomato and potato will actually pollinate in such a way that the potato will grow tiny tomatoes. Have seen that myself. Kind of funny really.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 31, 1998.

Whoops - the wife just cracked up and said "Tell him about the melons that tasted like squash", then she said "Remember the time we planted the Indian corn next to the sweet corn?". Came out all different colors and wasn't really very sweet. Ah well, we ate it anyhow - added a bit of color to the freezer too!

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 31, 1998.

Tom, The best way to preserve seeds is in the freezer. Just make sure they stay dry.

Paul, I made the corn mistake once too!! Guess we will all review gardening 101 this year! Good luck to all of us..I'm collecting jars now! Need more lids though. Bought a bigger pressure cooker.Other way takes too long for SERIOUS canning.

-- Moore Dinty moore (not@thistime.com), December 31, 1998.


Try Non-Hybrid Gardening Forum Also seed storage procedure:
1. Dry seeds. Typically use a dessicant such as silica gel. Place dessicant in a canning jar, along with seeds (in envelope). Let sit for a week or so in order to dry out the seeds.
2. Remove dessicant. The dessicant can be heated (375 degrees for an hour or two) until water it picked up is driven off, then stored for future use.
3. Place dryed seed in freezer. They'll store for 2 to 3 years.

Hmm, hope I got the link right. We'll see.

-- rocky (
rknolls@hotmail.com), December 31, 1998.

I didn't

-- rocky (rknolls@hotmail.com), December 31, 1998.


It goes to the non-hybrid gardening forum. Looks OK to me, except for the tags and the fact that thewhole post is a hotlink.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 31, 1998.

Wayne - With respect to other gardening forums, I highly recommend checking out: http://www.gardenweb.com/forums/ Brooks.

-- Brooks Bie (brooksbie@hotmail.com), December 31, 1998.

I sure hope so, Dave. The local "expert" at the feed store assured me they would do just fine in the freezer.

-- Vic Parker (rdrunner@internetwork.net), December 31, 1998.

Excuse me, Tom

-- Vic Parker (rdrunner@internetwork.net), December 31, 1998.

Usenet's Rec.Gardens is a good forum for Q&A's on the subject.


-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), January 01, 1999.

Brooks, I can't get your link, what is it?

-- Sara Nealy (saran@ptd.net), January 01, 1999.

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