Saving The Seed Of The Dreaded Cucurbit

Are you still afraid of saving seeds?

Of all that crossing that comes with bees and pollinators and wind in your seed crops?

Let us review #seedsavingformarketgrowers so far.

  1. Two crops will only cross if they are the same species.
  2. If a crop is a SELFER (predominantly self pollinating) – there is very little crossing even when two crops are side by side. This is true for beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
  3. If a crop is a CROSSER (predominantly cross pollinating) then all you have to do is make sure you only have 1 crop of a species in flower. Since you grow most crossers in your market garden for their 🥕roots🥕 or 🥬leaves🥬 , then you only have flowers if you let your crops go to flower.

So, no real reason to be afraid of cross pollination when you’re saving seeds to use in your own market garden.

Well, that is, unless you’re growing Cucurbits – the dreaded Squash family. 

This is where you should be afraid.

Cucurbits need to flower before you get the edible vegetable. So your vegetable Cucurbit patch will be in flower at the same time as your seed Cucurbit patch.

And Cucurbits are very willing crossers. If you grow two Cucurbits of the same species in about a 1200’ radius, they will cross.

But both Cucurbits have to be the same species for crossing to occur!

That’s right, there is more than one squash species. There are also a number of other cucurbit species. If you don’t grow 2 of the same species, you won’t see crossing. 

Over my next posts, I’m going to explore these 6 Cucurbit species:

  • 💛Cucurbita pepo squashes
  • 💛Cucurbita maxima squashes
  • 💛Cucurbita moschata squashes
  • 💛Cucumbers
  • 💛Melons
  • 💛Watermelons

And once you understand your cucurbit species, the fear will dissolve.

And then the planning begins.

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