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Malabar spinach regarding saving seeds

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  • Malabar spinach regarding saving seeds

    We had an incredible "first year" growing this variety. So much, it broke some of our heavy cane trellis supports. This year, planting the seeds from this last years crop and we only got ill looking plants that barely jump started. What could have been our mistake? We harvested at least a thousand beautiful seeds, air dried them on the porch in a big screen holding container, and then jarred them up. Any idea's? Help please, we're devastated about our failure!

  • #2
    This year was cool in my area. Not cold, but the summer came late for sure. We had red Malabar spinach which we brought in to preserve seeds from (pretty much dry on plant, no gel still surrounding seed, we had bad germination for un-dry seeds).

    We've been able to pick some leaves here and there this year, but not as much yield as last year. It has survived this dry warm spell we've had late in the year, and grown longer, but not much bigger i.e. leaf mass. May be the season...?

    Do not despair!


    • #3
      In Seed to Seed it says that the first formed seeds (at around the 100 day mark) aren't all that viable. This would suggest that later formed seeds are the ones to save. It also reckons that germination is poor below about 75F. Perhaps one or both of these is a contributing factor to the poor performance you've experienced this time round.


      • #4
        Our spinach thrived in the 90 degree summer, here in Fl. (it loved the heat) As far as dry vs. wet seeds, I have to lean toward; "in nature", they hit the ground, wet & dry, but eventually must go through some sort of drying cycle, then germinate, starting the next crop / cycle. But, for the record, I dried mine to save, and that is what I planted, although there were hundreds of seeds that hit the ground I'm sure. I read somewhere about "Removing the Gel", by rubbing in a colander or screen, and rinsing in a sink; which I did not do, before drying; it seemed labor intense. Maybe that has something to do with the health of the seed; wish I knew for sure; anybody have an understanding of this?


        • #5
          Both good points Ray; My only conflicting feelings are that, "we have had lots of hot weather", (maybe not at the time of actual planting?) and addressing the other perspective was, "we waited until the bitter-end to harvest", because I was dodging the fact it was going to take a half day to strip the trellis of the spinach; But, just maybe it is this "First flush" of seeds that are not viable(?) I think we made the 100 day mark but then, I will just order "more seeds", and start over, and scatter what I have on the fringes of the woods, and feed the wildlife and seed what pops-up. Thanks for the input! Steve


          • #6
            When I grew Malabar spinach in San Diego, there was no need for me to save & plant seeds. I just let them fall, and had plenty of volunteers, which I transplanted. Sometimes the easiest ways are best.


            • #7
              I had and have volunteers; but, all the plants (except one in a totally diff. loc.) look bad e.g. light green, going yellow and all leaves have spots as if they are lacking a micro nutrient or something(?). As you know, how fast growing they are once they break ground! I'm not knee jerking and throwing all sorts of remedies at them, (as to not confuse myself with wrong solutions) but, I have fed them a bit, and loosened the soil with no positive results. Thanks for the post.