Asked by Fred on Saturday, January 30
I've seen the phrase "open pollinated" on some of my seed packets but I have no idea what it means. Most of the links I found were just confusing, like this one http://www.southernexposure.com/open_pollination.p.html talking about the genes and chromosomes and stuff, I just want a layman explanation if anyone has one. Thanks a lot.

2 Answers to This Question

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Basically open pollination means that your seeds came from plants that were pollinated by normal means (bees, wind, etc). This also means that if you save the seeds from a vegetable you grow from open pollinated seeds and plant them, the new vegetable will probably be similar to the one you took the seeds from.

A lot of hybrid plants are specifically grown through controlled or hybrid pollination to produce desired traits (hardiness, flavor, disease resistance). If you save a seed from a hybrid vegetable and plant it you probably won't get a similar plant, it will most likely be more like one of the parents.

In summary, open pollination is what happens in nature with most vegetables and you can treat those seeds and resulting plants like any other normal plants.
Answered by Jason Logsdon on Saturday, January 30
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In talking to several old farmers who had gardens for their family, one thing that speeded up the process was taking a straw type brooms and shaking them over various plants like tomatos and other type plants. Believe it or not it works. Sometimes it pays to sit around the large tables in family resturantes and listen and learn from the old farmers that come in for coffee in the mornings. Be careful who you listen too, but soon you will know who ha the right answer and who is bulling you with their stories.
Answered by Dixie on Saturday, January 30

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