Table of Contents
How To obtain seeds and seedlings?
Gathering your own seeds
What a pleasure it is to gather the seeds from your own garden, or to collect them in a distant land during a voyage, then to sow them and watch them germinate, then to plant them in the garden or in a flowerpot indoors (in the case of an exotic plant)!
Here’s some advice for collecting and preserving seeds:
- recuperate seeds on a dry day, preferably in the afternoon
- recuperate them from the best-looking plant
- if the container is airtight, don’t close it at first – allow the seeds to dry completely, otherwise, they may rot. Use a paper envelope as this prevents condensation.
- make sure that there are no worms or beetles present by verifying that there are no holes in the seeds
- keep everything in a dry, ventilated place
- note the name of the plant and the year of collection on the container
• To choose seeds I advise you to avoid any noted seed “F1”, even organic. These hybrid seeds are famous more resistant to the diseases or more productive, but one cannot resow seeds obtained starting from the plants that they produced, with the risk unrelentingly to see their genetic potential decaying from one generation to another.
You must unceasingly buy new seeds… However, with the help of some practical reference marks, you can do yourselves your seeds starting from nonhybrid seeds. Moreover, the seeds obtained starting from your garden have the great advantage of adopting a little more each year to your specific conditions of culture. Of course, it is recommended to buy seeds organic because they “are more accustomed” to a biological environment that those which were produced using chemical fertilisers and of pesticides.
But is also quite simple to contribute to improving our environment by supporting the organic emergence of producers of seeds. Moreover, the biological sector seems definitely able to ensure that your seeds are not GMO. The “organic whole” seems impossible today because of pollution in water and the air. But more there will be biological surfaces of production of vegetables and seeds in the farmers and, less there will be the risk of contamination GMO and of chemical pollution of the fields and rivers, and more our environment will be healthy for us, our cultures and the future generations.
As a simple gardener, our responsibility is large finally! If it happens that the seeds of an interesting vegetable are not available into organic, I advise you to buy them all the same in “chemical” for initially testing them, and if this vegetable corresponds well to your waitings, to learn how to multiply it by yourselves.
You will make work of public utility!
You will find seeds organic in the stores of biological food or at the seed–bearer ones which sell by correspondence. Your neighbour will have some perhaps too!
• To make its seeds After a first purchase, you can collect yourself your seeds on the plant which you cultivated the first year. However, with this game, it is necessary to be careful: For example, the varieties different from the same vegetable (turnip hammer and turnip with purple collet) or pertaining to the same botanical family (beet and better) can hybrid and give rise to seeds with the completely different genetic potential! But it is also as that which one creates of the new varieties! You can thus easily lose your variety.
It is frequent with carrots, the letter, the cabbages, the turnips, the beets, the zucchinis, the marrows… if some precautions are not taken. The carrots can cross with wild carrots! To avoid the crossings, it is necessary to respect long distances of separation, 500 m and more, because in fact the insects and the wind, mainly convey the pollen of flower in flower.
Nevertheless, here some vegetables of which you can collect seeds without troubles because they are far from sensitive to cross-pollination: bean, tomato, broad bean, pea, lettuce, aubergine, tare, alfalfa. It is also necessary to add to it garlic and the shallot for which you do not need in fact not seed: it is enough to replant bulbs (called caïeux for garlic) taken on the collected heads the previous year.
In particular for garlic, it is to better replant only caïeux circumference. The vegetable seedlings Much are easier to install with the garden when they already pushed out of pot: zucchini, cucumber, lamb‘s lettuce, cabbage, aubergine, tomato, etc It is even the only way for tomatoes for example of obtaining the first harvests in July, because if we must expect the sufficient conditions of heat to sow them in our kitchen garden, around mid-June even later in certain fresh areas, we would have harvested only at the end of September.
It is also the possibility of planting cabbages and salads early in the year whereas it is too cold outside to show them in open ground. It is finally a manner of circumventing the problems of slugs partly and snails because young sowings are much more vulnerable there than larger and strong plants.
However, any gardener will tell you how its cabbage and lettuce seedlings were entirely made devour the years of invasion of slugs… beside salads directly sown with the remained intact and growing completely normally! I told you, nature makes fun of the methods… The purchase of seedlings also represents an appreciable profit in time and in energy compared to a sowing which should be organized, to follow, maintain, etc, On the other hand, that will be to you more expensive and you will have much less choice of varieties.
To find seedlings organic is definitely more difficult than for seeds. The garden centre still pains to propose some, rather attend the stores of biological food and the markets. The “chemical” seedlings are certainly less expensive, but not more advisable than seeds of the same type, for similar reasons; even thing for the seedlings resulting from F1 seeds. In addition to the received treatments and manures, they present the disadvantage or of not having little-developed exchanges with the life of a ground. However, their culture is possible and in any event, you could not have another choice! Thus if a variety of particular strawberry is untraceable into organic, test a few “chemical” feet and learn how to multiply it if it is worth really the sorrow for you.
If not, does your close “ecologist” have some seedlings to give you? To produce oneself its seedlings is, of course, a very interesting alternative. Perhaps nevertheless, if it is about your very first year of gardening, he is worth to give that to the next year in order to concentrate you on the installation of the kitchen garden and the other training.
For example, as from the mid-May, your ground is normally sufficiently heated thanks to the sun of spring and the risks of cold are not any more to fear. In September or at the beginning of October, your plantations and sowings will have enough time to develop before the arrival of the very cold weathers and could thus be collected during the winter or next spring. These two times allow also the setting in a culture of a great vegetable diversity and plants fertilisations (broad bean, pea, tare, bean, etc).
Because of a method of “natural” culture implementation by the cycles suggested in the book, it is preferable, to begin with, the period more the fertilisation out of natural nitrogen, i.e. September-October. However, for your first year of culture, you can start with one or the other of the periods, the important one being to immediately put in culture a hillock which has just been shovelful.
Precision on the dates
The two periods of culture are sufficiently long to have several possible dates for the sowing of each vegetable. You refer to the indications on the packages of seeds. For vegetables bought in seedlings, it is even simpler since in general, one does not sell a variety unsuited to the season to you! You can set up them bought at once. But remain vigilant, beautiful April give us sometimes desire for buying the feet of tomato that one proposes to us.
It is too early! Wait until your ground is well heated at in mid-May and that the risks of frosts are isolated. Also avoid buying the seedlings that you will still find on the stalls at the end of the period, one can doubt their freshness and the conditions of cultures are not probably optimal any more. As for the moon, although it seems indeed to have some favourable or unfavourable effects on the growth of vegetables, I personally never succeeded in being ready the good days! But if the heart of told to you, it is enough for you to buy a lunar calendar of gardening and to follow the indications of them. Over the years and of the enlarging of your kitchen garden, your choices will become more and more complex, but you will have also gained in the experiment.