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Isolate Pepper and Tomato plants before saving seeds!

Much is mentioned about how to save seeds but one aspect seems to be forgotten. You have to isolate the seeds from cross-pollination before you can save them true to their variety.

If you want your plants to breed true to their parents.....Don't bother trying with any hybrid or Fl crop because they won't necessarily breed true the next year. They might be similar, but have differences to one or both prior parents from the hybrid breeding. You must use open-pollinated or heirloom plants for that.

For Peppers and Tomatoes, which are self-pollinating, its quite easy. Just tie a mesh drawstring bag over a newly-emerging pepper or tomato blossoming branch and close it up with the drawstring to prevent insects and bees from entering. Tap the flowers gently to disperse the pollen every couple of days and when the fruits begin to form, remove the mesh bag (which provided sunlight and rain) and tie a piece of colored yarn or fabric to the branch so you can be sure to harvest those particular fruits for seed saving in the fall.

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Mesh bags are easily made with netting or mesh fabric and string for the drawstring.

Enjoy the fun and good luck!
Last edited by quiltbea on Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:20 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

That's if you still want to be able to say this is X variety, say a California Wonder green pepper.

I grow hybrids all the time and save seeds from them. I understand I can no longer call it a California Wonder. But it is still a very nice green pepper, quite similar to the one it came from and it isn't a problem to me.

With the hybrid petunias I save seeds from, often the succeeding generations have different colors/ markings from the original. I think it is fun and interesting to see what pops up and I don't care that the color doesn't stay true.

So I often hear people say "you can't save seeds from hybrid plants" and I just want to remind people that that is not true.

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Greener Thumb
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:40 am
Location: Wyoming

I like wondering. That's half the fun for me. I will be growing my first third-generation plants this summer. The original plant was a hybrid, and I haven't a clue what I will get. I'll expect them to at least resemble the parent plant, but who knows? What a treat!

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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:32 am
Location: Holbrook Az. zone 5b

make sure different variety's are a few feet away because tomatoes don't need bugs to pollinate just some wind. and yes the little bags help thats a good idea.

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