Saving Vegetable Seeds - Avoiding Cross Pollination

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I'm planning on saving my own vegetable seeds. I'm still unclear about how to avoid cross pollination. I need to figure this out for all the veg I'm growing, but right now I'm puzzling over beans.

Next year I hope to grow:

1. Scarlet Emperor Runner Bean
2. Greek Gigantis (also a Runner Bean)
3. Climbing Berlotti (French Bean?)
4. Slenderette Dwarf French Bean
5. Cobra Climbing French Bean
6. Jacobs Cattle Gold Bean (a shelling Bean)

How do I find out what's likely to cross pollinate with what, and how do you go about saving seeds where cross pollination (even with neighbours plants) is a possibility.

ALL thoughts/info on seed saving greatly appreciated.
 
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Beans are self pollinated and do not require insects in most cases. Just separate each variety a few feet to avoid accidental wind blown pollination. Perhaps this link will help

 
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Beans are self pollinated and do not require insects in most cases. Just separate each variety a few feet to avoid accidental wind blown pollination. Perhaps this link will help

Perfect. Thank you!
 
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True, I was growing runners Scarlet Emperor and St. George at opposite ends of the same 9ft frame. Even if I got the seeds mixed it was quite obvious which was which, the St. George were white, and they always came true.

Do you know about Gregor Mendel? He understood the basis of Darwinism long before Darwin by breeding true breeding types of bean and pea and then crossing ,let's say, a smooth and a wrinkled pea. To do it he had to remove all the stamens and then fertilise the flower with a stamen he brought to it. Then he tied a little muslin bag over it to make sure pollen from another flower on the plant didn't get to it. Purely from the proportions of the off spring of the next generation he worked out each plant had pairs of 'sex factors', chromosomes.
Of my two examples one would be dominant, let's suppose it is 'Smooth', that would mean in a pea with one smooth gene and one wrinkled the actual pea would look smooth, and of course all the peas that were a first generation (F1) cross between two pure breds would have one gene from each parent ; one wrinkled, one smooth, and would look smooth.
The interesting bit comes with the F" generation, the next generation when two of those F1 generation hybrids are matched
If I use S for the smooth gene and w for the wrinkled one it could be represented as Sw X Sw and there are four possible ways they can each give one gene to the offspring SS , Sw , wS and ww, but remember S is dominant, so only one of those four will be wrinkled.

He worked that all out by careful breeding and counting even before Darwin was puzzling why a red breasted bird and a white breasted one didn't have pink offspring, only red or white. He went blind in the end trying to figure out Hawkweeds, that do some peculiar genetic things , but have very small flowers.
 
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So I guess the chances of cross pollination are extremely low. If you save seeds from plants that are true to type there shouldn't be a problem?

When I read reviews of tomatoes etc I keep seeing 'used to be great but seed companies aren't being careful and it's drifted'.

But in my case (I'm 59) chances of me running into problems during a decade or so of growing are slim. And if I do the penalty is I need to buy a packet of seeds.

Interesting story re Mendel. You've now inspired me to try creating mutant veg!! LOL
 
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If anyone else is interested in this there's an awesome free resource at the Real Seed Company.

They sell their own grown heritage seeds, but also provide free instructions on how to save and dry your own seeds. Along with important info about which plants are likely to cross pollinate and how to prevent it.

It's all freely available on their site, but I particularly like the section on WHY you should save your own seed. I would love to find someone local to me that's been gradually adapting their seed to our local environment!

 

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