Seed Saving Simplified

The following site gives a good quick and dirty on seed saving, by plant. The seeds from the watermelons I had for lunch are drying as we speak. They’re from the CSA and perfect for seed harvesting since the melon was a little overripe – could be from the fridge losing its temp or just having been perfectly ripe when I picked it up on Wednesday. I will be reaching out to the Garden of Eve farmers who grew the yummy watermelon that was in my lunch today. I want to find out what kind of watermelon it is and where they got the seeds. I’m making more of an effort to keep a thorough history of the plants I’m growing (someyhing I wish I would have started long ago), since i want to get a local seed exchange going here in Brooklyn ( email me at Revelgardener@gmail.com if you’re interested in being a part of it), and also to just be more familiar with whats in my own yard.

Going back to the question of ripeness, I’ve been hearing that it’s best to get your seeds from ripe or over-ripe plants. I don’t believe a watermelon is a squash. It is described, generally, as a flowering plant (originating in southern Africa). However, I don’t know about its possibilities to cross-pollinate. I do not know, if it is capable of cross-pollinating, whether it might cross-pollinate with squash (I found conflicting theories in a quick search online)? I’ll probably play it safe next year by planting no other watermelons, or even any other squash, next year. One goal for the next growing season for me is to simplify, simplify, simplify. In that spirit, I refer you to the quickest and easiest reference I’ve found online for seed saving:

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/homegard/seedsavr.htm.

More on seed saving to come, later this week. In the meantime, here’s the

QUESTION: what seeds are you saving. What are some tips you’ve learned on saving seeds? Go ahead … Gimme the dirt!

Mushroom Invaders

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These little buggers appeared next to some beets I have growing in a wooden box. Note the leaves of grass growing right next to/within the beet leaves. Like I said, unless they pose a take-over threat, I generally leave them alone. These guys were growing so close to the beets that pulling them out risked damaging the beets themselves. Voila! Weed problem solved!

All Green Flying Bug

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I have discovered that if you spend long enough and watch closely enough, you will find out what you need to know about your garden.  This morning, I went to check on the peach tree and pluck the hopeless ones from the branches.  After about ten minutes of doing this, I finally spotted an all green flying insect (she’s in the pic above but you can’t really see her).  She was nearly perfectly camouflaged with the unripened peaches.  I don’t know if this is what’s plaguing my tree, but it’s the first possible predator I’ve seen after the ants.  When I went to Shannon’s on Friday (biding my time till the second plane was leaving JFK for N’awlins), I was told that the peaches with the gooey stuff coming out of them definitely have to go.  There will be no eating them.  I wondered whether they would go bad on their own, turning brown and soft, if I didn’t pick them.  I have seen some like that (see pic above of “The Bad”).  Joe at Shannon’s said that it was a sign of a bug who had gotten into the fruit.  If I understand what he said correctly, the gooey stuff is the juice of the flesh seeped out after the bug enters or leaves the fruit.  I doubt it’s the flying green thing which looked like she was happy to just hang outside the fruit and pick at it a little.