The Q&A Archives: Should I Save Seeds

Question: If I save the seeds from my Burpee grown vegetables, they never seem to germinate the following year. Are these hybrid fruits sterile? Is this to insure that I keep buying seeds, rather then save them?

Answer: The answer to your question depends on which hybrids you are growing and on how you are collecting and saving (and starting) the seeds. Very often seeds saved from modern hybrids do not breed true or are sterile. However, a number of hybrids are stable and can be grown from seed saved by the gardener. The seeds must be collected when mature and then stored cool and dry and at an even temperature (a jar in the refrigerator works well) until the following season. Burpee offers a number of such seeds specifically in its Heirloom Seed Catalog. To order a catalog, please call Burpee at 800-888-1447. You might also wish to look at a basic book about seed saving. One I particularly like is "Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds" by Marc Rogers, ISBN 0-88266-634-7.

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