Saving Your Own Vegetable Seeds - a guide for farmers

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Vegetable seeds can be saved to sow new crops in the future, but not all seeds are suitable for saving. Varieties suitable for seed saving include local varieties that have been grown in one region for a very long time, self-pollinating crops (for example, beans and peas), and open-pollinated varieties of some cross-pollinating crops (for example, pepper, cucumber and carrot).

Commercial F1 hybrid varieties are popular among many vegetable growers today. However, the seed of hybrid fruits should not be saved, because the F1 hybrid seeds were produced by crossing two different parent varieties. Seed saved from hybrids will either be sterile or the plants of the next generation may show wide variation in characters, uniformity and maturity.

Seed saving involves selecting suitable plants from which to save seeds, harvesting seeds at the right time, and storing them properly. The seed saving techniques of many common vegetables will be introduced in this manual.

Sutevee Sukprakarn
Sunanta Juntakool
Rukui Huang
Tom Kalb
AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center