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Grocery harvesting - yes or no?

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by roflol on October 23, 2006 06:56 AM
Sorry if this is a rehash, I couldn't find anything on search of "grocery." lol

I brought home various squash from local big grocery for my family and am cooking it up, and so here I am with lots of seeds. Did a little research online and am wondering what the consensus is here.

Is it worth saving the seed from acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, delicata squash, white pumpkin, pumpkin pie pumpkin to try to grow next year? These are all from what I'd consider my *general* region - Colorado, Illinois, Ohio (I'm in Missouri).

If you have done it before, what did you end up with?


Thanks for any words of wisdom.

by kennyso on October 23, 2006 07:53 AM
I've saved pumpkin seeds before from a jack o lantern but I forgot to plant them [Embarrassed] I guess it woulodn't hurt to try, I'd just be sure to wash off the slime real well.

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by tkhooper on October 23, 2006 09:08 AM
I've germinated Avocado seeds, tomato seeds and bell pepper seeds. I'm still looking for the perfect tomato and bell peppers. The seeds germinated but I didn't feel that the veggies I got from them were as good as the fruit they come from. But that could be because I'm a beginner gardener and still learning many things.

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by roflol on October 23, 2006 11:07 AM
Tammy, I'm not sure your results had anything to do with your skill. The more I learn the more it sounds like our grocery produce is grown in such big fields that it's cross pollinated and the fruit's seeds are going to produce surprises (sometimes good, sometimes not as good) no matter what your level of expertise.

My biggest question I guess is this: Is it worth saving these seeds for swaps?

I may grow 1-2 squash plants a year each variety *maximum*. Should I just save that many and pitch the rest, or do you suppose there would be any interest in the rest of these if I were to dry them and offer them?

On further consideration, I am thinking perhaps it would be best to get a package of seeds in spring of some squash I like best and grow it, being as careful as possible to avoid cross-pollination with anything else I might be growing (I'm the only one in this house who eats it, won't need more than a couple plants), and swapping the seeds from any fruit from those plants. That way I'd be a little more sure of what I was giving out, rather than just junk. Or (I hate this option, but my experience with non-producing pumpkins this year makes me consider it) just let the farmers do what they do best and buy the squash like everybody else.

I hate to throw away seeds but in this case it doesn't seem helpful to do anything else with them.

by tkhooper on October 23, 2006 09:32 PM
If you are going to trade seeds you pretty much have to grow one variety of each type of plant.

As far as non-producing there can be several reasons for that. One is if it gets to hot or to cold at certain times in the squashes life. That causes blossom drop. Or if you leave to many female flowers on a vine. You should only leave 2 or 3 per vine. And then there is the fact that they are very heavy feeders so they need a bunch of compost and fertilizer through out there growing season. And of course a very long growing season as well. I usually have to start them inside even though it stays warm here all the way into October.

And of course you want to keep your tomatoes along way from your squash. At least I think it's the tomatoes that will cross pollinate and cause some strange flavors. There is a post around here somewhere that talks about that. It's probably down in the archives. It's been a good long time since I saw it.

Anyway if you garden is small and you want to trade seeds you may have to bag the Blossoms that you want to colect seeds from and then hand polinate those. Bit of a pain huh?

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by roflol on October 23, 2006 11:29 PM
Bit of a pain huh?
That's putting it politely. lol [Big Grin]

I see now all the places we went wrong with the pumpkins (not knowing female flowers from male is my first clue, among others). I think I will be leaving this particular produce to the farmers. We'll stick to tomatoes and flowers I think. Those worked out for us.

Thanks for your help, Tammy!
by rainie on October 27, 2006 12:54 AM
I can't pitch in much about seed saving, but the talk of sprouting pumpkins got me to thinking way back when my rottweiler ate three of our pumpkins.... [Frown] well, he turned them into pumpkin "dust" so to speak and I had pumpkins sprouting all over my yard [shocked]
by daysea on November 20, 2006 10:57 PM
i dont think it would be good. only because we really dont know where most of our grocery veggies come from, another state, another country??? do the growers use pestacides? do they genetically alter them?? ive heard some do in order to get better crops.. the only safe ones i can think of would be from local growers at farm markets. then you can ask what they use.. or, my husband and i found a store called Trader Joes. they carry organic food, veggies, always fresh , good prices. I have seen on ALL of their labels EXACTLY WHERE THE PRODUCE COMES FROM....ALSO, it is noted that they are organic and not altered in any way.. Then, HECK YEAH!!!! SAVE THOSE SEEDS!!!!!!!!

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by roflol on November 21, 2006 04:35 AM
(rainie, I laughed when I read your post).

Daysea, I kind of came to the same conclusion that I won't be saving produce seeds just because I don't know enough about them. The labels on the veggies I buy tell me where they came from and I'm reasonably certain they're safe or I wouldn't be eating them, but whether the seed will grow what I'm eating is another story.

Plus most of these veggies are more work than I am willing to do, so I'll pay the farmers to do it and stick with things like tomatoes.

Thanks for the input, everybody. I learned a lot.


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