Site Talk forum: Seeds For Postage - purity

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 16, 2013 6:45 PM CST
In another thread, we're discussing recommended packet sizes when we offer seeds for postage. Probably when we list them as offers, we should say "around 30 seeds" or "1/16th tsp" or "1/4 gram".

Similarly, it would be nice to list "collected from my garden in 2011" or "packed for 2013 by Hazzards".

But what should we say about cross-pollination, when we collect our own seeds? I think that a lot of ATP members sometimes care about the exact ancestry of some particular cultivar.

I think we should have some standard ways to say a variety of things.
Or maybe this is MUCH too nerdy, and it's enough to say "random pollination" or "I think it is fairly pure", or, for example in Jonna's case: "I know exactly what this is and where its pollen came from."

0. This is commercial seed straight from the packet.

1. I grow many varieties of this species close together, so it's a mix

1.3 I grow the following cultivars, and collected this seed from cultivar #1, but it may be very cross-pollinated.

1.5 I grow the following cultivars, and collected this seed from cultivar #1, but it may be a little cross-pollinated.

1.7 I grow species that cross, but they are pretty far away.

2. I don't think I'm growing anything that cross-pollinates with this, but you take your chances.

3. Anything in my yard that cross-pollinates with this bloomed at a different time

4. This is not wind-pollinated, and I use bags or row-covers and have some scheme that allows self-pollinating but not cross-pollinating.

5. I forget the exact name of this plant that's been re-seeding in my yard for years.

6. This came from a seed packet with a botanical name and cultivar name, but the colors were a "mix".

6.5 This came from a seed packet with a botanical name and cultivar name, but the colors were a "mix", but I collected this seed from only the darker RED blooms. (I have some Dianthus barbatus I saved this way: the mother was dark red, or white, or bi-color patterns, or "mixed".)

7. This F2 hybrid seed came from a seed packet with a botanical name and cultivar name, but it was an F1 hybrid when I planted it, so you will probably get much more variety, fewer "special" features, and your plants will not be very "true" to catalog descriptions. (Some people hate this and some like it.)


8.This came from a seed packet with a botanical name and cultivar name, but I only have ONE plant, so I'm not maintaining genetic diversity. One the other hand, the seed I'm offering is only one generation from the commercial seed packet.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Apr 16, 2013 7:01 PM CST
Sometimes seed will be listed as "ex"----a certain cultivar.
Then it is understood that the seeds were from that cultivar,
but may have been cross pollinated with something else.

Sometimes people indicate whether they "bagged" the blossoms and then collected seeds.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 16, 2013 7:12 PM CST
>> "ex"----a certain cultivar.
>> may have been cross pollinated with something else.

That's great for that case, and it's the most concise way of saying it I've seen.



Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 23, 2013 6:06 PM CST
I hope that many donors will clarify HOW cross-pollinated donated seeds are likely to be.

For example, this case might be pollen-pure and probably is more than 90% pure:
- "I have no other plants of closely related species and I'm not aware of any in neighbors' yards"

Which is very different from this case, which might be 50-90% out-crossed:
- "This parent plant grew in a mixed of the same species, most of which were all in flower at the same time".

Plant breeders may be smart to recognize only two categories: "bagged" and "ex cultivar".

I think many seed traders appreciate knowing whether some seed started out 80-90% self pollinated (or 95 or 98%). It makes rouging out oddballs more worthwhile.

In my case, I didn't realize that many seed traders never give much thought or labeling to the pollen parent! In fact, one person told me that "OP" on her labels meant that they had been pollinated "open to the wind and sun".
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Apr 25, 2013 8:18 AM CST
I also use open pollinated when labeling seeds I have collected from the garden. Who knows where the bees have been Smiling
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 25, 2013 1:16 PM CST
I think "open pollinated" has a specific meaning that applies to the whole variety, not the way one specific batch of seed was saved. Seed catalogs, nurseries, breeders and most seed traders use the term "open pollinated" in a way that's much more specific than just the way the words sound.

I kn ow that "open pollinated" sounds like it means "randomly pollinated" or "out-crossed", but it is usually used to mean something different. I know one guy that calls this "promiscuously pollinated".

"OP" means a plant variety or cultivar that is reasonably genetically stable, so that if you pollinate it with itself, it will "come true" and the offspring will closely resemble the parents.

Unstable strains have a wide variety of genes, and when you pollinate those with themselves, you get considerable variety among the offspring.

F1 hybrid plants had two dissimilar parents, and when you cross F1 plants with themselves, the F2 population is pretty guaranteed to have a LOT of variety, and probably NOT have the special characteristics that the F1 had.

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 25, 2013 5:04 PM CST
I'm sure that's all very correct, Rick. But it's confusing and misleading and my personal opinion (which is worth somewhat less than the current value of 2 cents on the open market) is that the "Seed catalogs, nurseries, breeders and most seed traders" should come up with a better term that is either so incomprehensible as to require looking up or specific enough that it's obvious to the general gardening population. So there. Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 25, 2013 6:42 PM CST
I'll try to arrange that for you.

"HEY, LISTEN UP , GUYS!!!"

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 25, 2013 7:37 PM CST
Thank you, kind sir! I tip my hat to you.
Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 25, 2013 7:46 PM CST
Seriously, tho, a LOT of informal seed gatherers, here and elsewhere, use the term "Open Pollinated" to mean just that: open to the wind and the weather and the busy-ness of the local insect life and yeah there may very well be another variety of the same plant nearby, so the seeds might have been cross-pollinated.

So, for clarity, do we need to stomp on those who use Open Pollinated to mean that, and insist that they use some other term? And if so, what should that term be? Or do we let the purists sort themselves out? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm really a bit (make that a LOT) confused by the terminology on this issue.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 25, 2013 8:36 PM CST
I have to admit that I'm pedantic about this one. "OP" has a specific meaning that is universally accepted among businesses, breeders and academics.

I hate to try to tell anyone what to do - I hate it when anyone tells me what to do.
Furthermore, no one SHOULD tell anyone else what to do.
And gardening should be fun, not an exercise in bullying or "do it my way".

And I know that "open pollinated" SOUNDS like "not bagged" if you just say the words and don't worry about what it means in seed catalogs, or its value in conserving heritage varieties.

So I would be against almost any 'rule' for this swap or sharing system that we're discussing that starts out "YOU MUST". (Well, maybe we should insist that no one trade poison ivy seeds labelled as Morning Glory.)

But I would urge that any central listing for such a swap use "F1" and "OP" correctly.

(Apology)

It matters a lot to some gardeners and preservationists know that a variety will come true if you plant it. Then you can multiply it and share it and know that you are preserving something with a history and a lineage.

I think it is true that almost no seed trader in the world will bag and hand-pollinate blooms, then give away the seed without mentioning that little fact! Therefore to label each packet "OP" meaning "I did NOT bag and isolate this bloom" is somewhat redundant, even though it is polite to remind people that we're mostly gardeners and mostly not commercial breeders.

So I personally think there is more value in keeping the meaning of OP "pure" than there is in using it to mean "freely cross-pollinated" or promiscuously pollinated. That's just me.

But it does kind of get back to the reason I started this side-thread. No matter which way we encourage people to use the term "OP", I do hope we find some method we would like to encourage donors to use to describe roughly HOW out-crossed their seeds are.

Lots of people, including me, like to sow zinnias in mixed beds and shared mixed seeds. No pedigree, no cultivar name, just pretty flowers in different colors, heights and bloom forms.

At the other extreme, many people who grow tomatoes care which variety they dedicate a whole square yard to. Fortunately, "most" tomatoes are pollinated by themselves inside their own bloom, and you can get 90-95% purity without bags OR isolation.

We even have the opportunity that Jonna will share some commercial-quality, breeder-pure seeds! It sounds like Caroline also knows exactly how mixed her strains are: she uses the term "ex", where bagged blooms have known ancestry, and everything else is just toothpaste.

In between those two extremes, I think it has a lot of value to at least some gardeners to make distinctions like "mostly pure" and "probably not very pure".

1. This is the only plant of this species that I grow in my yard, and I'm not aware of any neighbors growing it (but they might). It's probably worth growing out and rouging if you want to propagate a known variety.

2. I grew these in my FRONT yard and have some other Salvia coccinea varieties in my BACK yard, so expect 10-30% cross-pollination. Suitable for looking at but don't re-offer them on the Seed saver's Exchange with the original cultivar name.

Or maybe the number of home gardeners who care about specific cultivars and foo-foo genetics is lower than I think.

I want to cross some snow peas I like with some long-vined snow and snap peas, but I want to know what I'm starting with before I get ambitious.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Apr 25, 2013 10:23 PM CST
No argument that "OP" has a specific meaning for a specific group of users of the term. It's just unfortunate that it is so easily misinterpreted outside of those disciplines. Actually, it might be a good idea for someone to add a clear description of the meaning of the term to the glossary here. (Hint, anyone? Whistling )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 26, 2013 11:49 AM CST
>> so easily misinterpreted outside of those disciplines.

I agree! "Open pollinated" does sound like "pollinated out in the open".

The first time heard the "promiscuously pollinated" usage of OP, I charged indignantly to the glossary on that OTHER site, only to learn to my chagrin that BOTH meanings were already entered.

P.S. A Wikipedia article gives your definition for "Open pollinated" .

But I'm sticking with the meaning used by seed and plant vendors, breeders and scientists!

Umm ... does ATP HAVE a glossary?

[Last edited by RickCorey - Apr 26, 2013 11:56 AM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Apr 26, 2013 1:05 PM CST
Oh, right now the glossary is limited to Articles titled "Glossary Tip." When we get a decent number of entries, I think Trish is planning on making a separate Glossary section. If you do a search in the Ideas section for "Glossary" you'll see what I mean.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 26, 2013 2:08 PM CST
That's hard! I have to spell "glossarey" correctly, an d the search box doesn't have spell-check!

So we could both submit meanings and let Tish reconcile them! I have a meeting coming up, but I'll try to submit something that mentions both usages.

I think I'll title it: "Gloassary Tip: "OP" vs. "OP"
[Last edited by RickCorey - Apr 26, 2013 2:10 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Apr 26, 2013 4:16 PM CST
I know! Dave really needs to give us a spell check for those search boxes! Hilarious!

Edited to add: Hey, maybe that title should be "OP versus OOPs!"
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
[Last edited by woofie - Apr 26, 2013 4:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 26, 2013 6:36 PM CST
Hopefully my bad spelling will prevent ANYone from thinking I know what I'm talking about.

I submitted an "Idea", but usually I can't find those again. So I made a blog entry:
http://garden.org/blogs/view/RickCorey/

Ummm ... I forgot to title it ":Glossary". But it is more like an article ("Much ado about nothing") than a definition.

P.S. You hardly ever hear about tree-frogs cross-pollinating zinnias, but I have living proof!

Thumb of 2013-04-27/RickCorey/d46a8d
[Last edited by RickCorey - Apr 26, 2013 6:57 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Apr 26, 2013 10:15 PM CST
Gee, and I didn't even know that tree frogs produced pollen! Whistling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 28, 2013 4:05 PM CST
Very few do! My rare tree-frog-zinnia hybrids are the only knows trans-Kingdom hybrids ever produced without genetic engineering.

It took a whole case of beer just to convince them to TRY.



Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Apr 28, 2013 6:06 PM CST
RickCorey said:
It took a whole case of beer just to convince them to TRY.



Did you share it with them? Whistling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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