Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition Info

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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.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners, 2nd Edition:

2

January 2, 2008

not thorough enough to be very useful
I don't know if there's a better book on the subject of seed saving, but I've found this book frustratingly incomplete. There's certainly a lot of information, but it seems like a lot of really important basics were left out. I would say for a majority of the plants I would like to save seed from this year I can't figure out from the book whether the plants will cross with other things I'm growing or how far to isolate them if they would. I'm trying to figure out right now, for instance, if tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens) will cross with bell peppers and other Capsicum annum. The book has about a half a page of information on C. frutescens, which I think is a lot for such a minor species, but it still fails to give me that most basic information. I'd also like to know how many plants of each type I should grow to maintain adequate genetic diversity. The author mentions the importance of this, and there are a couple plants where numbers are given, but in most cases the reader is left without any numbers. I wish all this kind of information were covered more systematically, maybe with a simple chart or short paragraph at the beginning of each of the 20 plant families covered in the book.
2

March 22, 2012

a bogus revision and intentionally misleading copyright date
This book contains much valuable information, but much obsolete information too. For instance, many of the Latin family names of vegetables do not reflect more recent nomenclatures. The book's subtitle as a Revised Edition is totally bogus. To rightfully claim this, according to the Library of Congress at least twenty percent of a book must be rewritten, expanded, or updated. But the only real revisions were its updated title and verso pages and new color covers. Look inside at its dreadful black and white out of focus photos and you might fear you are going blind. Furthermore, its blurry typography suggests that the original book plates were discarded or lost, so the book was reprinted from another copy of the book, in essence a photocopy. Had its actual first publication in 1991 been the date claimed, I would not so stridently object to this book. But its copyright claim as 2002 is intentionally misleading, for which not the author but the publisher is to blame. You should return the favor to the publisher and pay for this book with a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. While worth your reading, you should register your protest against the publisher by not buying this, and instead purchase any other seed book that does not lie about its age.
4

August 11, 2016

No visual interest. Black and white. Thick pages, to make for a thicker book.
I was going to give it a three star, but decided on four stars. My reason for deciding four stars is more of a personal preference. I find the book to have amazing information that is necessary. It's packed with info and a decent amount of it. On the other hand it's a very boring book to read. It's all black and white (including the photos), so you won't have any visual detail or be able to see how certain seeds or plants look. You most definitely won't see any distinguishing characteristics. I feel the book was made cheaply. The pages are extra thick to make the book thicker and I honestly just don't enjoy researching or learning with it. Like I said, it's a personal preference. There's many other books that have visual interest. I'm a visual learner and like to SEE Photographs in color and as they are. Might be good for somebody else. My rating is a THREE star, but it's not fair to give three star because of my own preferences.
5

August 10, 2007

Great for seed saving and unusual vegetable reference
It's wonderfully complete for seed saving. I've saved my own carrot seeds now! And the squash from last years saved seeds looks just like it should. This book covers all the techniques, issues and risks although I think it's very much geared towards multi-generation saving of entirely pure seed - you don't need to be quite so careful on the isolation if you just want to grow one generation of kale for your own use (mine came out okay in spite of only minor control of nearby brassicas), and saving seed with only two chard plants, not enough genetic diversity to preserve a variety for long, can by themselves produce enough seed so you'll eat chard every day for 5 years.

It's also a great reference for unusual vegetables, it's amazingly complete; you can find out about 4-sided bean or other tropical type vegetables. And it sorts out the different squash and pepper species very well.

The gardening information in each section hasn't impressed me much as useful or accurate; but we are in-between the zones they provide.
2

December 25, 2010

Where's the COLOR?
Although this book has received kudos from others, and it is just alright, I do not find it special in any way, and where the hell is the color? A major part of gardening and seed/plant identification is COLOR! There are NO color pictures anywhere inside the book. This is a BIG mistake. Very disappointing. I'm tempted to send it back.
5

July 5, 2015

Great book
I recently bought this book. If you plan to save seeds, you need the information in this book. Some seeds are not as simple as remove, dry and then store until ready to plant.

What the book gives you:

A brief history of the plant. It doesn't spend a lot of time on this but does provide some history if it is known.

Pollination, crossing and isolation of the plant. It goes into detail on this part which can be important. It gives enough information that should prevent mistakes such as crossbreeding when you don't want to crossbreed.

Seed production, harvest and processing. This section gives info on when to pick fruit to save the seeds and what if any special steps need to be taken for them to be viable. For some plants, this is important.

Seed statistics. This gives info about how long seeds can be stored. It also talks about seeds per ounce and germination rates.

Regional growing. This talks about information that may be specific to a region. For one plant, it talks about seven different regions of the USA.

While the book is encyclopedic in arrangement, just looking up the seed you want to save in the back takes you right where you need to go. I only have one book for saving seeds. With the info this book has, I don't think a second book would add anything I need.
2

August 1, 2013

Wrong book for the average gardener!
OMG! I just want to know what time it is, not how to build a clock. This was obviously a book that is FAR beyond my needs or even my abilities. It might as well have been written in Latin. I don't even know where the seeds are on half of these plants. Where's the seeds on a carrot? I just want to know the most simple way to harvest and save. As one reviewer said about a different book, "Reading this thing makes my eyes bleed". I totally understand how he felt. I'm not going to buy a $1,500 seed cleaner so I can grow some plant that I can take to the county fair and keep a 200 year lineage of black eyed peas alive for the next 12 generations. This book is for those who don't get out much and have full blown conversations with plants/vegetables. What's the equivalent to a pen shield for people who are that into this stuff. No doubt that I would be considered uncouth by those of this religion. The author is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about this subject and as noted in the book, she has spent a lifetime putting together one of the most comprehensive collection of data on this subject that there is. Kudos to her and the monumental effort that it HAD to take to put this together. I'm sure that this is THE go to source for people of that persuasion, but WAY too much for me. Shame on me for making an uninformed choice (I guess). To my daughter, it's not your fault. I asked for this as my birthday present.
1

February 23, 2014

Not So Happy
I have heard so much about this book and seen it recommended on many many gardening sites. I was so unhappy with it for several reasons. Number one there are no pictures, no color at all and the book was written like a publication you would find written by a professor in a college library.
2

September 2, 2013

Note the subtitle: Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
The title of this book should be: Descriptions and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners with a few seed saving tips.

More than half of book (maybe 75% ) consists of botanical descriptions of plants and how to grow them rather than seed saving. The proportion varies by plant.

If you're new to seed saving, this will answer half your questions. Much of the seed saving info is obvious and meaningless. For example, the section on saving pepper seeds has half a page on getting the seeds out of peppers including: "When cleaning large-fruited bell peppers, break or cut the flesh without damaging the internal core. The stem should be left attached to the core and will act as a handle. The blade of a small knife can be used to carefully scrape the seeds off of the core and into a bowl." That is followed by three paragraphs on using a blender to separate pepper seeds. So much for all the care.

Does anyone need instructions on removing seeds from peppers? If you find advice like this helpful, then this is a 4 star book.

For peppers, there is no mention of the fermentation technique of saving pepper seeds.
2

January 31, 2012

Seed didn't plant a seed with me.
My husband purchased this book with great anticipation that it would be really good. I found the book to be of 'poor' quality, the page numbers at the bottom being cut off and the binding being poorly done with writing misaligned at the top of the page. There were no color pictures. I felt the book as a whole could have been organized a lot better. I wish my husband would not have purchased this book for me.
5

March 9, 2017

The book seems to fit the needs for a beginner seed saver like me. Also added bonuses include better descriptions than ...
I ordered this book because I bought heirloom seeds and wanted to start my own cache. I am so excited for this planting season to come! The book seems to fit the needs for a beginner seed saver like me. Also added bonuses include better descriptions than you get on seed packets for how to plant the seeds and when the mature.
2

December 8, 2012

Not impressed
This book has infinite knowledge...that being said, its not written in a user friendly manner at all. Seems designed more for a large, very large farm with infinite vegetable growing on them. As excited as I was about getting this book, my enthusiasm for saving seeds diminished quickly :(
5

December 23, 2014

... of seed growing books and this one is my favorite. The information is organized well so I can ...
I have a LOT of seed growing books and this one is my favorite. The information is organized well so I can easily and quickly look up answers to my questions. It's not too much information, but it's not so simple that you'll need supplemental books. I recommend this book first and foremost to individuals looking to start seed saving.
2

May 3, 2013

Seed to Seed review
I am sure that the book has a lot of information for experienced gardeners but it is a bit confusing for inexperienced gardeners like me . I could have done without the scientific names because I refer only to the common names when I talk to friends and nursery workers. Come to think of it' some of the nursery workers seem to be as much in the dark as I am. Thank god for Y Tube videos!!!
5

July 17, 2017

Essential book for seed savers
LOVE this book. Every gardener or homesteader who cares about seed preservation or survival should get one of these. Since hearing about how seed savers kicked its founder out and made a pact with Svalbard making it easier under UN treaties to patent heirloom seeds, I realized that it is even more important now to protect the genetic diversity of our seeds than ever before. Thank you Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy for making this book.
5

August 25, 2010

On my top 10 Favorite Books list
If you are at all interest in independent agriculture and heirloom crops, this book is an absolute MUST HAVE. I found out about this title through Seed Saver Exchange ( [...] ), checked it out at the library and finally bought my own copy.

The brief intro is instructive and enlightening without being preachy. It describes the development and importance of seed saving and clearly outlines the threat that our agricultural heritage is facing due to agrichemical conglomerates. Then: 20 or so pages covering the basics of pollination, maintaining varietal purity, proper harvest and storage. After that it walks through the different vegetable families carefully and completely.

The tone of this book speaks to the common individual (no degree required), it has frequent instructive photos and many references in the back concerning seed saving here and around the world.

I cannot recommend this book enough! Also, I suggest getting a new copy. This is one of those books that you will be turning to frequently and wearing down. Might as well start out with sturdy binding.
5

March 3, 2016

absolute best book on seed saving
Most helpful, absolute best book on seed saving! If you want to properly save your seeds and keep them from crossing...memorize this! It was soooooo worth it, the best book on this subject Ive ever read. I just wish it included all the herbs and flowers as well!
2

February 9, 2013

Complicated Data
As a novice; I have a problem putting to use the complex information in this book. It's good for the experienced.
3

March 22, 2016

Good luck finding your plants in this
Way too much extraneous information in this book for a home gardener. I expected more of a reference book containing all the commonly grown plants and received a book mostly full of material that will never be used and only some that is, admittedly, quite useful.
There may be more info than what I could find because the contents and index are poorly done.
It has a nice cover though ...misleading, but nice.
5

Feb 10, 2011

This is a reference book, really, so I can't say I read it cover to cover. I read the bits relevant to my garden (thus far).

This is a REALLY useful book for a seedsaver - meaning, if you're growing heirloom vegetables and don't know how to collect the seed, or what the risks of cross-pollination are, or how to correct for those risks in order to keep the next generation of seed pure, this book will answer all those questions exhaustively. It's extremely detailed and factual; it's a how-to, not a This is a reference book, really, so I can't say I read it cover to cover. I read the bits relevant to my garden (thus far).

This is a REALLY useful book for a seedsaver - meaning, if you're growing heirloom vegetables and don't know how to collect the seed, or what the risks of cross-pollination are, or how to correct for those risks in order to keep the next generation of seed pure, this book will answer all those questions exhaustively. It's extremely detailed and factual; it's a how-to, not a joys-of-gardening book, and in just one perusal it told me things I've never known. And blew up a few dearly-held gardening beliefs, too.

Great book. Highly recommended for those looking into a) planting a vegetable garden, b) planting with heirloom seeds - which is also highly recommended. ...more
5

Oct 02, 2011

I can't recommend this book highly enough. I've been hunting for a reference guide that tells me exactly how to save each type of vegetable seed, and this book is it. I only wish I'd bought it in hardback because I can tell that my paperback copy will be falling apart in ten years.

As an extra bonus, the book has introductory chapters explaining issues I never would have considered, like how many plants you need to save seeds. (No, the answer isn't "just enough to get them pollinated" as I would I can't recommend this book highly enough. I've been hunting for a reference guide that tells me exactly how to save each type of vegetable seed, and this book is it. I only wish I'd bought it in hardback because I can tell that my paperback copy will be falling apart in ten years.

As an extra bonus, the book has introductory chapters explaining issues I never would have considered, like how many plants you need to save seeds. (No, the answer isn't "just enough to get them pollinated" as I would have suspected.) This book should be on every sustainable homesteader's reference shelf. ...more
4

Feb 21, 2009

This books give detailed instructions on how to preserve seeds from Heirloom plants. I was just reading recently that most of the seeds you buy though the store and though a catalog are genetically engineered to not produce viable seeds. Check out seedsavers.org for plants that will produce viable seeds. This is an important thing to know about, especially if our food economy collapses and we must find ways to feed ourselves.
5

Dec 11, 2010

This is by far the best resource for anyone interested in saving various types of seeds (vegetables, mostly). You need no other book--it's all here, extremely well-organized, efficient, and chock-full of information. One of my most used garden books. It's all black and white and has very few (dated) pictures, but you're not there for plant porn.
2

November 13, 2014

Ok..... Little obscure for the ...
Ok.....Little obscure for the average gardener.
5

Nov 04, 2012

Only slightly biased because I met both the author and "co-author" and found them to be passionate, articulate and most importantly good fun loving folks. It's mostly all here. It's my go to book when growing something new and want to preserve seed purity if I'm unsure of its growth and pollination factors. Written for the layperson or the professional. No fancy, unwarranted verbage. Keeps it simple, informative and eminently enjoyable. My copy is held together with camo duct tape. In hindsight Only slightly biased because I met both the author and "co-author" and found them to be passionate, articulate and most importantly good fun loving folks. It's mostly all here. It's my go to book when growing something new and want to preserve seed purity if I'm unsure of its growth and pollination factors. Written for the layperson or the professional. No fancy, unwarranted verbage. Keeps it simple, informative and eminently enjoyable. My copy is held together with camo duct tape. In hindsight maybe camo tape ain't such a great idea; I'll get some neon pink tape Monday...too important to lose! ...more

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