Thank you for wanting to share your abundance with your community!
To improve the chances of success for your seed’s next grower, donated seed should be:
- Saved from open-pollinated plants, not hybrids
- Saved from “easy” plants: beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce OR saved from properly isolated plants
“Easy” seeds can be fairly reliably saved without cross-pollination (and unintentional hybridization). Other types of seed need to be protected from cross-pollination through isolation and sometimes require hand-pollination so that the seed will produce plants like those they came from.
Isolation means preventing pollen from plants within the same species from co-mingling. This keeps the seeds “true-to-type” so that they will grow the exact same plant again. Do not return seeds from the brassica family (ex. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard) or cucurbit family (ex. cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash) unless you have taken appropriate steps to prevent cross-pollination.
- Saved from a number of healthy plants
Self-pollinating plants (such as tomatoes) require a minimum of 5 plants to maintain genetic diversity. Cross-pollinating plants (such as corn) require a much larger population. Consult one of our seed saving charts for this important information.
- Clean, dry, and properly labeled
Please include plant name, variety, growers’ name, garden location, and year of harvest. Isolation information and number of plants the seed was collected from is very helpful, as well.
We ask that you follow these protocols to help us ensure that the seeds in the library are what the label says they are and that they will produce healthy plants. Fort Bragg Seed Library and our community’s gardeners thank you.