10 Plants for Beginner Seed Savers

Try saving seed from these 10 easy-to-grow, delicious garden veggies.

| September/October 2013

Try saving seed from these 10 easy-to-grow, delicious garden veggies. For more on saving seeds, read the original article, The Basics of Seed Saving.

1. 'Joseph’s Coat perfecta' amaranth: Edible as raw or cooked greens; loves heat and thrives in poor soil; scatter seed on prepared ground and thin seedlings; has small black seeds in dry flowers; shake over a sieve or colander to save

2. 'Chadwick's Rodan' lettuce: Ideal for small gardens; scatter seed in a row on prepared ground and thin as needed, or plant 6 inches apart for larger leaves; yellow flowers become puff-balls; rub dried blossoms over a sieve or colander and seed falls out

3. 'Mexican Sour Gherkin' cucumber or ‘Sandia de Raton’ (mouse melons): Wonderful, bug-free climbing vines from Central America produce hundreds of tiny cucumbers; great raw or in salsas; when fruit drops, seed is ripe; split open melons, remove seed mass and soak in water for five days until material forms on the top, stirring occasionally; rinse well and dry on a screen in a ventilated room

4. 'Jing Orange' okra: Wonderful Chinese variety with brilliant red stems and pods; start seeds indoors then transplant to garden, spacing about 10 inches apart; pods enlarge and become woody; when they begin to open, remove dry black seeds and store for next season

5. 'Chinese Red Noodle' bean: Loves to climb trellises, poles or fences; prolific with yard-long edible pods; let pods dry on vine until brittle and purple, and save dry peas inside

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