Welcome to the 2020
Ottawa Seed Library Newsletter
SEED SAVING SELECTION
Roguing is the single most important aspect of seed saving and it can be done at every step of the process. It can be done at as early as the sprouting stage to as late as post-harvest of fruits and seeds. The more roguing one does, the better traits one is selecting for. Seed will be exactly what you selected for year after year.
As you can see from the picture above. A small tray of tomatoes were planted in smaller soil blocks and now these tomatoes are being selected for traits that we desire. In this specific case I am selecting for straightness and early sprouting. You can select for any trait you desire and if the physical traits have genetic underpinning then it would continue to show that trait in the future generation. In the above picture the blue are marked for selection as they satisfy our criteria for straightness and early sprouting while the ones marked with red don't meet our criteria. Straightness at this stage ensures efficient transport of nutrients and stable root growth while early sprouting means vigorous seeds that meet the criteria of your growing setup.
There are other characteristics or traits you can look for in the early stage of a seedling, including color. For instance there is a project I am working on where I am selecting for deep purple tomatillos. Usually in tomatillos the color of the tomatillo starts showing in the seedling stage. The batch I grew last year had a mix of green and purple tomatillos so this year while in the seedling stage I chose to select the seedling that showed purple hints in their stem. Now I will wait to see later in the growing season whether those selected seedlings will produce purple tomatillos.
When seedlings mature you can further select for things like number of nodes where stem and leaf meet, which is usually an indication for vigorous vegetation that may lead to healthy flowering and fruiting stages.
As you can see there are numerous traits to select for at an early stage. Try with your seedlings and see what traits you can select for. Remember to keep selecting at all stages for the traits you think would be beneficial for you and your garden in the long run.
If you need more inspiration to select see the below image and article here. Kale was selected from Brassica oleracea, a wild plant that grew along the coast of Britain, France, and countries in the Mediterranean. What will you create from your selection?
Connect with The Ottawa Seed Library on Instagram
Tired of just saving seeds from the fruits – and vegetables – of your labour? So are we! For the upcoming season, the Ottawa Seed Library welcomes you to showcase your favourite plant varieties on your Instagram page. As many of us will invest time and effort into our garden, we feel it is fitting to want to share our achievements with the seed saving community. To get started, we put together a guide outlining how to display the fruits of your efforts to the Ottawa Seed Library Community using Instagram.
Log in or Sign up for Instagram
If you don’t have the Instagram app, you will need to visit the App Store on your phone and proceed to download it (for free). Once you have completed this task, sign up by entering your name and email.
Post Your Pictures on Instagram
Post photos through the growing season from seed to seed harvest, of the species you have borrowed from the seed library. Follow this simple hashtag process to inform the OSL and followers what species of plants you are growing. #ottseedlibrary #(common name)onepennysquash. The common name of the plants is found on the OSL seed package.
Ottawa Seed Library Obtains Permission to Use Photos
Please be advised, if you choose to share to the Ottawa Seed Library’s Instagram, you will be permitting us to use the pictures for future promotional activities. In this way, we are not obliged to provide photo credit.
Want to See Other Members Photo
Use the hastags to search for the pictures posted by other members of the OSL in our community. Search #ottseedlibrary or use #plus the common name of the plant to find others growing the same vegetables.