Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties is an essential book for anyone looking to save seeds properly. The author uses technical terms and the book is designed to educate about vegetable breeding. It is written with beginners in mind and breaks down the concepts well. The information-packed appendices alone make this a book worth owning.
What I Learned from Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
Basic knowledge of plant genetics and breeding are incredibly important in the maintenance of heirloom varieties by saving seeds. This knowledge can also applies to creating new varieties or hybrids suitable for your growing situations and to recover degraded varieties.
The Thing I Found Most Interesting and Why
Hybrids produce seed and most of them are viable, they just don’t “breed true”. Most “hybrid” tomato varieties aren’t actually hybrids but open-pollinated varieties originally derived from a cross.
An excerpt from Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: “Hybrids are genuinely superior to open-pollinated varieties for some crops in some cases for some purposes…” She continues: The crops for which hybrids show the greatest advantage over open-pollinated varieties are those that show the largest inbreeding depression… For crops that are normally inbreeding or that are out breeding but don’t show much inbreeding depression, there is usually only a small advantage to hybrids, if any.”
What I Didn’t Like
That it took so long for me to learn about this book!
Final Thoughts on Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
Truly a wealth of information and solid ground to start from. If you ever dream of that perfect crop but can’t find it, this is the book. Even if you never intend to breed anything, the knowledge contained will help you recognize if you should save seed from your plants, and what to expect when growing them out.