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Excluding unwanted pollen Empty Excluding unwanted pollen

Post by 12acrehome on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:49 pm

The idea of excluding all unwanted pollen is a lofty ideal. Most of us must contend with neighbors growing things that have the potential of crossing with what we are attempting to grow for food and seed. Since we cannot build a bubble around our homesteads or gardens the next best thing is to minimize the opportunity for foreign (unwanted) pollen to contaminate our efforts. There are three basic methods that one can choose to employ, depending on the crop grown. Those methods are timing, distance, and caging (I consider bagging corn to be a form of caging).

Distance is easy to discuss, for most crops simply ensure that no one within a 2 mile radius is growing anything that would cross pollinate what you are growing. Simple huh?? Well maybe not, corn is a grass not a grain. Cabbage will cross with brussel sprouts, and broccoli. Don't dare ask about squash, pumpkins, and gourds...some will some won't and the lists are beyond my desire to type. So my advice is to not rely on distance or isolation range as your only control method, unless you are absolutely certain that no one within that 2 miles mentioned is growing anything that might possibly contaminate your seed crop.

Bagging and caging is the most work intensive method, but also it is the most likely method to be successful. For information on bagging see the hand pollinating thread. I have done my best to make that thread as thorough as possible, given my level of experience. Caging involves the building of cages that can be set around plants to exclude insect pollinators for a given time, but the cage is removed or pollinators introduced to the cage depending on your circumstances. I will post a thread about this method in the next few days.

Timing is the simplest method, but relies on both weather and careful timing of planting and a lot of planning. In the simplest terms if you are growing both a late and an early season crop of the same vegetable or garden plant then you will want to have the early crop to be done shedding pollen long before the late crop starts to be receptive to being pollinated.

These can be expanded on if there is demand. Caging will be discussed later.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Excluding unwanted pollen Empty Re: Excluding unwanted pollen

Post by Sonshine on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:15 am

This is a concern for me. Most of my neighbors are actually growing from seeds I have given them, but there's a few within a 2 mile radius that aren't so I have no idea what they are using.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
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Excluding unwanted pollen Empty Re: Excluding unwanted pollen

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:04 am

caging and hand pollinating may be your best bet. Creativity is most assuredly called for.

Below are some links I have found that I think would provide the guidance. I have no experience with cages (other than supporting tomato plants) so I can only comment on what makes sense to what I have observed.

http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthread.php?t=43

http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/11774/caging-to-prevent-cross-pollination-of-vegetable-varieties

http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php

_________________
Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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