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  • seed saving

    I'd like to save seed from carrots and beets. I know that carrots cross with other carrots and beets with other beets. Do they only cross when in flower (which is how it makes sense in my head)? So, if I grow multiple varieties of each, but only leave one variety in the ground to flower, that's ok? Even if I then plant other varieties the year after (when the carrots and beets are in flower), it won't matter?

    Do I have that right?
    Hill of Beans updated April 18th

  • #2
    Yes. Just have one variety flowering in each flowering season and you should be fine.

    You might have to net the carrots though as wild St Anne's Lace will cross with it....

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    • #3
      Thanks.

      I don't think I've ever seen St. Anne's lace growing around the allotment. Should I still net them?
      Hill of Beans updated April 18th

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      • #4
        If you want to maintain a carrot variety effectively, you really need to save seed from at least 40 good roots to maintain good genetic diversity. If you have too small a genetic pool, you will end up with small, poor quality roots in a very few generations.

        Carrots grow into big plants waist high or taller, producing successive branches with large flat umbels of flowers. They are insect pollinated, and need to be isolated from other flowering carrot varieties by at least 500m in an open field situation.

        This is not normally a big problem, since few people let their carrots go to seed. However, they will cross with wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace), giving thin white useless roots... you don't necessarily need to eliminate all Queen Anne's Lace within a 1/2 km radius; but do watch out for any white roots in subsequent generations and get rid of them.

        To harvest your carrot seed, keep an eye on the umbels of flowers, and cut them off with secateurs as they start to turn brown and dry. If you have plenty of plants, just save seed from the first and second umbels of flowers to appear on each plant, as these will give the biggest and best seed.

        from: How To Save Seed
        Last edited by Two_Sheds; 16-12-2010, 07:59 AM.
        All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Two_Sheds View Post
          If you want to maintain a carrot variety effectively...



          from: How To Save Seed
          Thanks, that's very helpful.
          Hill of Beans updated April 18th

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