July 19, 2015

Seed Saving Fail

I was sooo sure I was planting cucumbers as companions to my green beans.

A not-cucumber

It appears I need a better system for labeling my saved seeds.

It was a nutmeg melon, tasty with fresh blueberries

So instead of a salad, it made dessert. Not an unfair trade, but I surely do lament no pickles this year.

38 comments:

Michelle said...

Funny!

PioneerPreppy said...

Well they do look very similar in their natural seed state :)

Leigh said...

That's my only excuse!

Farmer Barb said...

I have a friend who uses water washable markers to indicate her seed when they are similar. Or you could just call it happenstance that you are having a different kind of pickle. Green beans? Carrots?

Dani said...

I bought some very small brown envelopes and keep them on my kitchen windowsill. That way, when I am peeling / cooking veg I simply pop the seeds straight in and mark what they are.

Leigh said...

I rotate my pickle making and this was the year for cucumber dills. I suppose the lesson is that when one eats what one grows, some years you just end up missing out!

Mama Pea said...

Well, we've all heard of watermelon pickles . . . nutmeg melon pickles?? (Or maybe you should pass on those.)

Just curious . . . if you planted (in good faith) cucumbers for pickles with your green beans . . . how would you get in there to harvest without smooshing the cukes or bean plants? I know there's more than one way to accomplish the same end, but my beans always require a wide berth on either side of the row for me to navigate up and down the row for picking, and I grow my pickling cukes on trellises so I don't step on the little buggers when picking.

Leigh said...

Dani, don't you have to dry them first? Things like cukes, tomatoes, and melons are so pulpy that I use the soaking method, and then dry thoroughly before storing. I sometimes have half a dozen towels with various kinds of seeds drying on them. Some how my labels got mixed up, as this post illustrates! Do you not have trouble with the seeds molding with your method?

Leigh said...

I do tend to "crowd" my plants, which does make the garden something of an obstacle course. The beans and cukes were planted in about 3-4 foot wide beds, with the beans on the outside and the cukes planted down the middle.

One thing I've figured out is that if my rows and beds are planted more thickly so that the wiregrass is shaded out, I have less trouble with it. The ground holds moisture better too. That doesn't solve the problem of incorrectly planted seeds, however!

Even so trellises would be helpful. When my beds were permanent, I had t-posts in the ground in rows so i could attach cattle panels as needed for vining plants. With the permanent beds gone, the t-posts have been removed and I don't do as well with my trellising. That's something else I need to work on.

Renee Nefe said...

I learned this year that pill bugs eat green bean seeds. :( Each day I've been having to pick the bugs out of that area of my garden. No idea how they're getting in as the beans are in a container. :-/
I'm trying cucs in a pot this year...I should water them more than I do.

Quinn said...

I planted a handful of saved squash seeds this year and only discovered when I looked up a related blog post which squash I was planting - it cracked me up! My blog is turning out to be a very useful memory bank :)

Lynda said...

Ha! Ha! Glad to see I'm not the only one!! I'm always messing up with my beans....oh, and my cukes/cantaloupe!

Fiona said...

Do you have time in growing days for another try at cucumbers? Ralph (who is bucket crazy :) wondeed if you had a stray corner for a bucket planted with cucumbers?

Harry Flashman said...

Seems like a good trade off though. That melon looks scrumptious.

Sandy said...

Leigh,

Great trade off for desert, snack, or even breakfast.
Cucumbers would be nice to have to make pickles however, you have to work with what you have. Now they're recipes for watermelon pickles.......don't know if they're are recipes for cantaloupe pickles.

Hugs,
Sandy

Leigh said...

What! I have tons of pillbugs but always hoped they were harmless. :(

Leigh said...

I have to agree about the blogs. Very useful for record keeping!

Leigh said...

Then I'm in good company. :)

Leigh said...

I could certainly try, except I couldn't find cucumber seeds available locally. One of my seed saving rules is to save enough for more than one year, and I appear to have broken that rule!

Leigh said...

Harry, I never complain about melons. :)

Leigh said...

That's true, except Dan won't eat cantaloupe or watermelon pickles on his burgers. :)

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

I planted early peas and found several mange tout plants among them. I obviously really mixed my seeds up. hey ho/
Gill

Renee Nefe said...

I always thought that they were harmless also, until this year when I caught them munching my barely out of the seeds. I planted 8 seeds, got two plants. :p

Frank and Fern said...

Yours turned out to be melons, mine 'cucumber' seeds turned out to be yellow squash. Guess we're both going to have to learn from that one. But I did plant some real cucumber seeds later on that are just now beginning to bloom.

Fern

DDD said...

The cucumber seedlings I bought turned out to be squash.

Kris said...

I learned early on that melon leaves are rounded at the corners while cukes and pointy. (Found out when I forgot to label my vine seedlings.) Bet the melon was yummy.

Tanya T said...

hahaha. The "not a cucumber" pic cracked me up. Too bad but maybe you still have time to get some cucumbers in?

Karen@ onthebanksofsaltcreek.com said...

I too need to do a better job of labeling EVERY start. A couple of things not planted where they should have been had I been able to correctly identify it.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! That is funny but at least it was yummy! I am no help. Not organized and I don't save a lot. Nancy

Dani said...

Leigh - Obviously things like tomatoes seeds have to go through the "mould" phase before they are dried and packed away.

Yes - I put the (pumpkin / squash) seeds straight into small glass bowls and add the appropriately marked envelope under that bowl. I leave them on my (afternoon) sunny kitchen windowsill. They dry out and get packed into their envelopes in 2 - 3 days.

We don't eat many cucumbers - so I don't grow them. And, like melons, they are water thirsty plants to grow, so I would prefer to use our precious water for other thirsty plants like pumpkins / butternut.

Leigh said...

Dani, that's an excellent system. I tend to be more haphazard (obviously!), which has it's pitfalls.

I hadn't thought about water requirements, but that's a good point, although Dan loves his cucumbers and cucumber pickles. Cuke and tomato salads are a summer mainstay, although I confess we've been adapting our diet more and more based on what we can produce ourselves.

One thing that's never done well for my is pumpkins. That's a pity because it is such a wonderful storage food.

Leigh said...

Gill, I've found odd things show up as well. Sometimes I figure they're volunteers, but from purchased seeds, I've gotten some interesting additions. Still, I need a better system for saving and labeling seeds!

Leigh said...

Fern, how funny. Glad to know I'm not the only one! I need to get a late planting going. Even a few cucumbers would be nice. :)

Leigh said...

And that was purchased plants? Interesting!

Leigh said...

Kris, good tip! Not that it would have changed much except that I could have gotten those cukes into the ground earlier!

Leigh said...

Tanya, I'm going to try!

Leigh said...

Karen, my other fail is not jotting down when and where I plant things. Because of such a long rainless period I assumed some things didn't make it. Now I've got various squashes growing and I a little fuzzy on what they are because I failed to mark down exactly what I planted!

Leigh said...

Obviously I'm not organized either. :)