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Source:amazon.com
Publisher: Seed Savers Exchange

Summary

Seed to Seed is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables. This book contains detailed information about each vegetable, including its botanical classification, flower structure and means of pollination, required population size, isolation distance, techniques for caging or hand-pollination, and also the proper methods for harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing the seeds.

Seed to Seed is widely acknowledged as the best guide available for home gardeners to learn effective ways to produce and store seeds on a small scale. The author has grown seed crops of every vegetable featured in the book, and has thoroughly researched and tested all of the techniques she recommends for the home garden.

This newly updated and greatly expanded Second Edition includes additional information about how to start each vegetable from seed, which has turned the book into a complete growing guide. Local knowledge about seed starting techniques for each vegetable has been shared by expert gardeners from seven regions of the United States-Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast/Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southwest, Central West Coast, and Northwest.

Where to get it?

Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Seed Savers Exchange
Chelsea Green

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Related Threads

Where to start with seed saving
is it worth seed saving with a small garden?
Seeds and Breeding Forum on Permies

Related Websites

Seed Savers Exchange
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

As in it's a must have for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture or simply saving their own seeds; however, it's not life shatteringly good and/or the author hasn't come to my home to wash dishes.

Seed to Seed is about growing seeds for saving seeds. Nothing less, and very little more. Ashworth focuses on this one topic and does it exceptionally well. Of all the other seed saving books I've come across, this is the one book that I refer to most. It is the one book that I recommend to novice and experienced gardeners, farmers, and seed savers. It is also the gardening book with the longest wait list at my local library. It is that useful.

There are two basic sections to this book. The first covers general knowledge about the sexual behaviour of plants and basic seed saving know how. Things like what is an self-pollinater, why bother with isolation distances, how to keep two interbreeding crops pure when you can't provide sufficient isolation distance, how to process and store seeds, and the different things you need to know when growing a plant for seed vs growing it for food. The second section addresses the major vegetable families, listing a vast multitude of plant varieties, how they breed, what they need to maintain purity, growing conditions, and the occasional picture. Although the plant families are listed by botanical names, the index makes finding the plant info you need a snap.


The only real drawback with this book, is that it focuses on American growing conditions. Each vegetable listing includes a list of regional growing recommendations, a few sentences long for different areas in the USA. Of course, to include every growing region in the world would make this book impossibly long. An experienced gardener can extract the relevant growing information for their own climate, but sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to get it right.
 
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

I am continually surprised, every time I have reason to refer to it, at how much unusual plant material this covers and what details it provides about each plant's cultivation. Although there are no regional recommendations for my area, the sheer mass of information it provides makes it essential for me.
 
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

While I initially read through it from the cover to the back, Seed to Seed is incredibly useful as a reference. When I want to save seeds from a plant (or find myself with a plant that I accidentally let go to seed), then I consult this book to find out when and how to save the seeds.

I've also used the index at the beginning of the book as an easy way to find out new plants to try.
 
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

As someone else mentioned I use it as a reference for how to save the seeds of a particular plant and also to know how it is pollinated, what species it is and how easily it will cross pollinate with others of it's species be they domestic or wild.

My initial feelings when I first read the book were were depressing. I had just made the decision to try to stop buying seeds and grow just those I saved myself. My gardens are small and this book is very detailed on how to prevent crossing between varieties and inbreeding caused by small populations. The book is very specific about required isolation distances, something that is pretty much impossible in my case and on minimum population size, also very difficult for me with many crops.

Back then I was stuck on the notion that it was important to preserve the genetic purity of individual varieties and due to the limitations above, that wasn't possible for me unless I devoted my gardening to just two or three crops.

When it dawned on me that I didn't care if my different variety watermelons crossed with each other, the result was still a watermelon, I started looking at the book differently. Not caring, in fact hoping they do cross eliminates the issue of isolation distance and that of population size as well.

Looking at corn for example, the book says you to save seed from minimum 200 plants to prevent genetic depression in a variety. However if you plant multiple varieties, widely different in ways other than those few you really care about the necessary number of plants for seeds drops dramatically. It made sense to me in theory and has shown true in practice.

So this book, while initially very discouraging to me is one of the most important in my library. I've read it probably 1/2 a dozen times and it's still my go to reference when I want to know how encourage or discourage crossing in a species I'm growing.
 
 
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